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Archive for August, 2016

Betsy Head Among Five Parks to Receive a $30 Million Investment

MAS was thrilled to hear about the Mayor’s plan to invest a total of $150 million in five New York City Parks: Saint Mary’s Park in the South Bronx, Freshkills Park on Staten Island, Highbridge Park in Washington Heights in Manhattan, Astoria Park in Queens and Betsy Head Park in Brownsville, Brooklyn. The announcement represents a much needed commitment to investing in the maintenance of existing public assets, and recognition of the critical roles they play in improving quality of life in neighborhoods.

MAS has been working with partners including the Brownsville Partnership, the Brownsville Community Justice Center and Friends of Brownsville Parks to support community-based planning and advocacy since 2013. On June 4th MAS helped plan and facilitate a community discussion about Betsy Head Park, resulting in a set of resident identified priorities around activities, safety, cleanliness, facilities, open space, furniture and equipment and circulation of the park.

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Broadway Sherman Plaza rezoning has been unanimously rejected by the City Council

After months of negotiations and ongoing debate between a private developer (Arcadia Sherman Avenue LLC), city officials, and the residents of Inwood, the City Council unanimously rejected a proposed rezoning that would have potentially facilitated a 17-story, 355-unit building between Broadway and Sherman Avenue across from Fort Tryon Park.

The Municipal Art Society commends the Council for making the appropriate decision for the Inwood community, reinforcing trust in the public review process. We hope the decision will encourage continued public engagement regarding the future development of the site and similar land use decisions.

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Summary of Public Review for Sherman Plaza Project, C 150438 ZMM, Community District 12, 4650 Broadway (Block 2175, Lot 1), Inwood, New York

Summary of Public Review for Sherman Plaza Project, C 150438 ZMM, Community District 12, 4650 Broadway (Block 2175, Lot 1), Inwood, New York August 11, 2016

Background

If approved, the Broadway Sherman rezoning in Inwood would facilitate the City’s first development under the Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH) zoning text amendment passed by City Council in March 2016. MIH is one of the key mechanisms utilized by the City to achieve the affordable housing goals to build or preserve 200,000 affordable housing units over a ten-year period as outlined in the Mayor’s Housing New York Plan. Under the proposed rezoning, the project developer Arcadia Sherman Avenue LLC (Arcadia) is proposing to construct a 369,000-square foot (sf), mixed-use, primarily residential building consisting of 15 stories on a site directly across Broadway from Fort Tryon Park in an ethnically diverse neighborhood characterized by 5- to 7-story residential buildings. As such, the Broadway Sherman rezoning has the potential to be a precedent setting project with citywide implications. This document summarizes the evolution of the project and the public review processes involved, and provides clarity on the various issues and the involvement of The Municipal Art Society of New York.

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