Proposed Brooklyn Development Creates Cultural Clash

A proposed construction project in Brooklyn has produced a clash between competing forces in New York City, one that supports development and the other dedicated to preserving the status quo.

If approved, the project will involve the construction of a huge apartment complex along Flatbush Avenue. Containing 900 units, the apartment will be situated in close proximity to several subway stops, making the complex “transit friendly” to residents. There are also plans for the construction of two schools, making the area friendly to everyone from senior citizens to young couples with children. However, the development also includes the planned construction of two skyscrapers, one of which is expected to be the second tallest building in Brooklyn.

The combined effects of the development, especially the skyscrapers, has concerned those who want to maintain the historic status of the community, particularly the neighborhoods of Boerum Hill and Fort Greene. This issue was emphasized at a recent meeting at the office of Eric Adams, who serves as the president of the Brooklyn Borough. Several of those who spoke expressed concern that the project will simply be out of place in an area known for its brownstone architecture.

The Flatbush development is the latest move by the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio to achieve gentrification, which is essentially an attempt to attract residents of higher income levels into what were historically low-income areas. The plan involves the adoption of what is known as spot rezoning. This philosophy was employed in a development in the Cobble Hill section of Brooklyn, but the project was not considered to be a complete success. Though less crowded than other developments, the Cobble Hill project lacks sufficient accommodations for seniors and did not produce the desired amount of affordable housing for everyone else. More information about the Flatbush project and general issue of development in New York City is available at

Official resistance against the Flatbush development has already begun, with the local land use committee having voted against the project. However, a number of other steps that involve both the New York City Council and the mayor’s office will be required before the project is finally approved or rejected.