BP MARKOWITZ CONGRATULATES BROOKLYN’S “WORKFORCE OF TOMORROW” AT SUMMER H.E.A.T. CELEBRATION
Task force formed by BP Markowitz continues work on creating grand “Brooklyn Boulevard”
On Tuesday, August 23, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz released his ULURP approval and modifications (full report attached) for the Special 4th Avenue Enhanced Commercial District, first proposed by BP Markowitz to require retail in 50 percent of the ground floor space of any new buildings along 4th Avenue, to create lively mixed-use neighborhoods and a positive streetscape experience for pedestrians, and to prevent future developments from adding to the Avenue’s unattractive corridor of blank masonry walls. The application and BP modifications now head to the City Planning Commission and City Council for consideration.
Earlier this month, BP Markowitz hosted a long term planning meeting at Brooklyn Borough Hall for the transformation of 4th Avenue—which he first proposed in his 2009 State of the Borough Address—and announced the formation of a task force, chaired by Chief of Staff Carlo Scissura, to oversee planning of project specifics, including tree planting and use of a newly expanded Times Plaza—the intersection of 4th, Atlantic and Flatbush Avenues.
“This rezoning, which I first proposed in a February letter to the City Planning Commission, would, with my recommendations, provide the opportunity for exciting new retail—a necessary component of a vibrant and active street life—as well as more residential space and affordable housing, additional parking, and aesthetic changes resulting in an enhanced ‘Brooklyn Boulevard’ from Atlantic Avenue to the Atlantic Ocean,” said BP Markowitz. “I urge the Planning Commission and City Council to give my modifications serious consideration so that we can move ahead with transforming 4th Avenue into a grand thoroughfare worthy of the great neighborhoods it traverses.”
“The creation of the Special Enhanced Commercial District will go a long way in helping our task force turn what is now only a plan on paper into an exciting reality for the future of 4th Avenue and all of Brooklyn,” said Carlo Scissura, chair of the 4th Avenue Task Force. “By requiring more retail and having developers incorporate enhanced streetscapes and landscaping with each new project, we are bringing together all of the elements needed to make 4th Avenue what it was always meant to be: a majestic, user-friendly, economically viable and safe thoroughfare for everyone to enjoy. We look forward to gathering input from Brooklynites on the plan.”
Among the proposed modifications in BP Markowitz’s ULURP recommendation were prohibiting trade schools, business schools and medical dental labs—which he believes are ‘not lively or engaging uses or necessarily pedestrian friendly’—from being located within the mandatory commercial use portion of the ground floor level, and lowering the sill height of transparent “show” windows from four feet to two-and-a-half feet above the curb, allowing for better views of merchandise for pedestrians walking the Avenue.
Additionally, BP Markowitz recommended that:
- The Department of City Planning conduct a zoning analysis into a greater amount of residential development along the west side of 4th Avenue between Douglass and 6th Streets and south of the Prospect Expressway to 24th Street; affordable housing north of 15th Street; and sufficient parking areas within the enhanced commercial district
- The City consider streetscaping and landscaping along 4th Avenue, including subway grate upgrades, as well as enhanced Builder Pavement Plans that require such additional improvements for all new developments
In May, 2010 BP Markowitz released “Vision for the Fourth Avenue Corridor,” a collaborative effort with urban planning students from New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service (NYU Wagner) to begin the process of initiating a community-driven transformation of Brooklyn’s 4th Avenue. To view the report, visit www.brooklyn-usa.org.
BP Markowitz has also committed $2 million in capital funding to improve the streetscape around the 4th Avenue/ 9th Street subway station.