BP MARKOWITZ, TASK FORCE HOLD FIRST IN SERIES OF TOWN HALL MEETINGS
ON TRANSFORMING FOURTH AVENUE INTO GRAND “BROOKLYN BOULEVARD”
On Tuesday, November 15, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz and the 4th Avenue Task Force, chaired by Senior Advisor Carlo Scissura, held a town hall meeting at St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Park Slope, the first in a series of public meetings to gather input on transforming 4th Avenue from Atlantic Avenue to the Atlantic Ocean into a grand “Brooklyn Boulevard.” Subsequent town halls will be held in other neighborhoods surrounding the corridor.
BP Markowitz is scheduled to testify before the City Council tomorrow, November 16, as the Council considers the Special 4th Avenue Enhanced Commercial District, first proposed by BP Markowitz, and outlined by the Department of City Planning 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. In August, BP Markowitz released his ULURP approval and modifications for the Special District.
“The Special 4th Avenue Enhanced Commercial District, which I first proposed in a letter to the City Planning Commission in February, 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 will urge the 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.”
Also in August, 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 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.
“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.”
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.