The Brownstoner has the scoop on the latest development in Brooklyn to draw NIMBY attention, which is one of the borough’s largest future projects; Greenpoint Landing. The 10-odd tower project promises to bring thousands of homes as well as a retail component to land that is currently derelict.
For a comparison between what is to be and what currently exists, look at the two below images.
|Greenpoint waterfront, image from Archpaper|
What will be:
|Greenpoint Landing, image from Handel Architects via Archpaper|
The land Greenpoint Landing is proposed for–the old lumberyard–is total and complete dead space at the moment. Covered by parking lots and a sporadic warehouse, the site is a waste of prime real estate on the Brooklyn waterfront.
Instead of addressing the size of the towers, any complaints should actually be with the aesthetics. Visually, the towers have nothing in common with Greenpoint of the past or Greenpoint of today, instead presenting a monotonous development of towers that could be from Miami or Vancouver. That may not be a bad thing though, as any real homage to Greenpoint’s past would involve vinyl siding, which has come to define many of the neighborhood’s buildings.
The flyer asks “[can] you fit TEN buildings (and all these new residents) responsibly and ethically on 22 acres here?” as if Manhattan isn’t directly across the river, where almost all projects are significantly denser.
|NIMBY flyer against Greenpoint Landing, from The Brownstoner|
The qualms with green space are also ridiculous. The developers of the project will restore the waterfront link between Brooklyn and Queens, with the inclusion of a Calatrava-designed pedestrian bridge. Whether that pedestrian bridge is value-engineered or not remains to be seen, but so does whether anyone wants to traverse Newtown Creek, which is one of New York’s most notorious superfund sites.
The real question is whether the land the development is being built on is actually safe for habitation, given the fact that 17 to 30 million gallons of petrochemical products were released into Newtown Creek and leached into neighborhood soils beginning in 1950, only being discovered in 1978. Those numbers are roughly double the amount spilled by the Exxon Valdez.
Modern construction should be able to mitigate the effects of the pollution, and most residents won’t be living at ground level anyways–just enjoying the green space! If people want to live in a neighborhood bisected by a creek that contains “[pesticides], metals, PCBs, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are potentially harmful contaminants that can easily evaporate into the air,” (per the EPA) they are welcome to pay exorbitant prices to do so.
There’s certainly no sense in protesting the development of land that–in its current state–actually detracts from the neighborhood. Logic is not something NIMBY opponents typically possess.