The debate regarding 80 Flatbush Avenue continues. While the project would rise across the street from what had long been Brooklyn’s tallest tower at One Hanson Place, its opponents’ attacks have escalated following YIMBY’s report on a poll showing a 3:1 margin of support, with the NIMBY group behind its creation and deletion accusing “foreign bots” of meddling in the outcome. Today, however, comes another marker of broad community support, as we have word that the Arab American Family Support Center (AAFSC) has officially endorsed the mixed-use development.
The AAFSC has submitted a petition with over 600 signatures to Brooklyn’s Borough President Eric Adams in support of 80 Flatbush Avenue. The inclusion of the Khalil Gibran International Academy is a primary factor. It was the first of three NYC Public School opened to focus on Arabic language and culture. The updated facility would have a capacity for 350 students. A second public school will be included on site, with 350 seats. The AAFSC also voiced support for the 200 affordable housing units that would be created.
“Khalil Gibran is a treasured institution for Arab Americans in Downtown Brooklyn and across the borough, and we were proud to deliver more than 600 petitions from our constituents to Borough President Adams in strong support of a new Khalil Gibran and the 80 Flatbush project,” said Joseph Botros, Chair of AAFSC.
The Alloy-Development-led project would fill a city block with five buildings, including revamping and renovating two existing structures. Nearly 900 apartments will be created, with 200 designated as affordable under the City’s Inclusionary Housing Program. 15,000 square feet will be dedicated to cultural use, 200,000 square feet for office space, and 40,000 square feet to commercial-retail use.
While today’s news is mostly positive, as mentioned, YIMBY’s previous reporting elicited a worsening of rhetoric from those who would deprive New York’s international community of additional resources.
Despite the baseless anger, reactions on social media and endorsements on the ground appear to confirm increasing community support for 80 Flatbush, as more members of the surrounding neighborhoods are informed of the plan’s imminent benefits.
When complete, the tallest tower is expected to rise 986 feet above street level. The development is still moving through the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP). Alloy anticipates it will conclude by the end of 2018, and that construction will start in early 2019. The school is expected to open in 2022, and the full development is expected to finish by 2025.