Rabsky Group is pushing forward with a rezoning of the former Pfizer site
Simon Dushinsky’s Rabsky Group is pushing forward with its contentious proposal to rezone two blocks where Bed-Stuy, Williamsburg, and Bushwick meet in an area known as Brooklyn’s Broadway Triangle. The site that was formerly owned by pharmaceuticals giant Pfizer is bounded by a demapped segment of Walton Street to the north, Harrison Avenue to the east, Gerry Street to the south, and Union Avenue to the west and is currently used for parking and storage.
Rabsky Group is seeking a rezoning that would allow them to construct seven buildings that would include apartments and retail, as well as create a 26,000-square-foot privately-owned park open to the public. If the proposal moves forward, it would fall under the city’s new Mandatory Inclusionary Housing mandate that would earmark 344 of Rabsky’s proposed 1,147 residences as affordable for low- and moderate-income New Yorkers.
YIMBY spotted an Environmental Assessment Statement filed with the city for Rabsky Group’s project, marking the first of many steps towards obtaining a rezoning. The proposal will also have to pass through a series of public approvals as well as a land use review that would require a green light from the local community board, the City Planning Commission, the borough president, and the City Council.
YIMBY notes that Council Member Stephen Levin, who represents the area the site falls into, will have the final say in whether Rabsky wins the rezoning, and how much affordable housing will be built.
The new developments on the site would be capped at none stories along Harrison Avenue, 11 stories along the area that would face the park, and 14 stories alone Union Avenue.
In addition to residential space, the redevelopment would also give way to nearly 65,000 square feet of retail space for seven-plus stores as well as 427 non-attended parking spaces. If the development moves forward as-is, Rabsky Group estimates it will bring 4,027 residents to the two-block area, judging by the average household size in the area.
Residents of the Broadway Triangle area have been warring over the site’s best use since a 2009 rezoning of eight blocks nearby ignited a debate between the neighborhoods’ Hasidic, Black, and Hispanic communities about the land’s best use and who developments in the region should cater to. Projects in the rezoned area have come under fire for violating the Fair Housing Act, and per an earlier Curbed article, similar concerns are being raised with Dushinsky’s development where area residents believe that his plan to build shorter buildings with larger apartments is intended to suit the needs of the Hasidic population rather than cater to the community at large.
Rabsky first filed for a rezoning of the site in March 2015.