Vineapple to Return in Spring

According to the sign, “Vineapple will be returning this spring” at its location on Pineapple Street between Henry and Hicks. It will feature “a fresh new concept” and serve “breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner.” It will have “a curated menu of wine, beer, and cocktails.”

Those seeking “employment opportunities” or offering “general suggestions” are invited to email [email protected]

To see a photo of how this block looked in 1940, check out the link to Brooklyn Heights Blog below and view the “Comments” section.

http://brooklynheightsblog.com/archives/90146

MTA Announces Elevator Replacement Timeline for Clark Street 2/3 Station

New MTA C&D to Accelerate Work to Eight Months;

Contract for Project to be Awarded Later This Year; Local Bus Service Will be Enhanced During Construction

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today announced its intention to proceed with elevator replacement at the Clark Street 2/3 subway station in Brooklyn Heights over an eight-month period, in which technicians will repair all three elevators simultaneously. This approach dramatically minimizes the duration of the project, and avoids up to two years of service unpredictability. The contract for the project will be awarded later this year. Local bus service will be enhanced during construction to accommodate affected customers.

Because Clark Street is a deep cavern station accessible only by elevator, the station will close while this work is underway and customers will be directed to nearby stations. The start and end dates for the elevator replacement work will be announced after the contract is awarded.

New York City Transit President Andy Byford said, “This plan reduces the length of construction time at Clark Street to just eight months, and eliminates uncertainty for our customers. We strongly feel our approach minimizes the impact that this disruption will cause. When the elevators return to service, the public can look forward to new elevators with improved reliability. We will continue to work in close collaboration with the community during the duration of this project.” 

MTA New York City Transit presented the community with alternatives that would have led to repair work lasting for 22 to 24 months, but would have attempted to maintain train service to the station during construction work in Brooklyn Heights . Under these scenarios, technicians would have worked on one elevator at a time, leaving two elevators in service. But because two elevators are needed to safely maintain train service to this deep cavern station that lacks stairway access, New York City Transit would have had to suddenly and unpredictably suspend train service whenever one of the two remaining elevators was taken out of service. The elevators have been in service for 100 years and are being replaced because they have reached the end of their useful lives. 

The upper level of the station will remain open, preserving public access to businesses located there. The MTA will also take steps to minimize the impact on local businesses. Measures being considered include: installing and maintaining windscreens on fences and barricades around all work zones incorporating business signage, and installing wayfinding signage so that pedestrians know that businesses on the block are open during construction.

Customers are advised to use nearby stations, including the High Street A/C station located north three blocks and through a walkway to Cadman Plaza, or the Borough Hall-Court Street 2/3/4/5/R subway complex, located two to three blocks south and one to two blocks east, on Montague Street between Clinton and Court Streets. From the Clark Street station, these alternative stations can be reached via the B25 bus.

Cobble Hill to Meet on BQE Feb 27

The Cobble Hill Association (CHA) invites you to an evening focused on the question: “What is possible for the BQE corridor?”
To bring about a comprehensive and transformative plan, we need to imagine what  we want for our future.  
Mayor’s BQE EXPERT PANEL released their study
Read: Executive Summary and the Full Report PDF
The panel chose not to recommend a specific design, instead outlining a
“path forward for the next decade” while a more comprehensive plan is
developed. 
After conducting new tests on the cantilevered section between Atlantic
Ave and Sands Street the panel found it to have a lifespan of only 5 to 6
years. This makes repair or reconstruction more urgent than originally
anticipated. This newly discovered urgency outlined the rest of their
recommendations, allowing them to focus on the short term. The panel
rejected any temporary highway, on the promenade or through Brooklyn Bridge Park.
The report recommends the following:
The panel specifically rejected a transformative plan for the original
project area only (Atlantic to Sands) saying it would not be equitable to
the rest of the corridor.
The panel does not recommend completely removing the highway, saying they “believe we need a highway for cars and trucks to move, but it can
be done better.”
Repairing the BQE now to give it another 15-20 years, which is
estimated to cost approximately $1.5 billion.
Already in effect:
DOT has already started these repairs. 
NYPD is enforcing overweight truck use along the corridor and before the cantilever section.
 
Currently not in practice but recommended to start now:
Reducing the BQE from 6 to 4 lanes.
Traffic mitigation and reduction measures including removal of on/off
ramps. New ferry and bus service from Staten Island to downtown Brooklyn andManhattan.
 
While repairs are underway, study a comprehensive transformative plan for the entire BQE from the Verazzanno to the Kościuszko. Development of this corridor-wide plan will involve joint cooperation from New York State, “which controls the remaining 18 miles of the BQE, and the federal government will need to be fully engaged…Therefore, a joint working group of three levels of government should be immediately convened.”

Transform or tear down? The BQE reconstruction, explained

Here is an excellent summary of the BQE situation. Thanks to Roberto Gautier for finding it. It seems this “expert panel” that the Mayor put together reached a conclusion that the roadway should be fixed asap. Duh. – K. Klein

Built in the 1950s by storied city planner Robert Moses, the BQE carries some 150,000 vehicles per day. Now, 65 years later, a 1.5-mile span of the highway between Atlantic Avenue and Sands Street is crumbling, and city and state officials are mulling ways to repair the roadway. 

Complicating matters is the fact that the Brooklyn Heights Promenade is perched atop the BQE’s triple-cantilever section. The 1,825-foot esplanade, with sweeping views of Manhattan and the East River, is structurally connected to the roadway, so any changes that happen to the BQE inevitably extend to the promenade, which has become a sort of communal backyard for Brooklyn Heights. 

The chorus of community, preservationist, and urban planners’ concerns has coalesced in the form of an alternative proposal put forward by the Brooklyn Heights Association, a prominent voice in the neighborhood; a bold plan put forward by Comptroller Scott Stringer’s office, who suggests converting part of the triple cantilever into a truck-only road with another level transformed into a High Line-esque linear park; and a blockbuster vision put forward by famed architecture firm Bjarke Ingels Group that would transplant the expressway entirely and build over it with up to ten acres of new parkland. Read entire article here: https://ny.curbed.com/2019/3/12/18248873/brooklyn-heights-bqe-repair-dot

Michelle Williams Buys $10.8M Home in Brooklyn Heights—a Hot Neighborhood for Celebs

Actress Michelle Williams and her fiancé, director Thomas Kail, have picked up a townhome in Brooklyn Heights, an upscale neighborhood in Brooklyn, NY. The $10.8 million purchase is one of the most expensive in the area, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Williams, who recently received a Golden Globe for her performance in “Fosse/Verdon” (which Kail directed), is just the latest star to move into the neighborhood. But she is no stranger to the borough.

The “Brokeback Mountain” actress had previously purchased a mansion in Prospect Park in 2015, and sold a townhouse in neighboring Boerum Hill for $8.8 million in 2014, according to the Real Deal.

https://www.realtor.com/news/celebrity-real-estate/michelle-williams-buys-townhouse-in-brooklyn-heights/

BQE Panel to Announce Recommendations to BHA, Other Community Groups Thursday

The Brooklyn Heights Association has announced that the Mayor’s panel to study the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway has finished its report and recommendations, and will brief the BHA and other interested community groups this Thursday evening, January 30. This is not a public event. According to the BHA:

We look forward to learning firsthand what conclusions the Panel has come to after these many months and are hopeful that the report will offer thousands of people all along the BQE corridor a forward-looking and transformative vision. You will hear from us again soon after we’ve met with the Panel and have assessed the report.

We will share with you the BHA’s report on the briefing, and the Panel’s conclusions and recommendations, as soon as they are available. -Brooklyn Heights Blog

CPN Attorney Explains HPD Class Action Lawsuit

As discussed at the open meeting January 8, a class action lawsuit was issued against HPD in which Cadman Plaza North was named. A link to the lawsuit is here: https://www.classaction.org/media/astacio-et-al-v-city-of-new-york-et-al.pdf The communication from our attorney is below:

On December 5, 2019, a class action lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court of the Eastern District of New York alleging that the Mitchell-Lama program has failed to be administered in a fair and consistent manner. The only defendants named are The City of New York, the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (“HPD”) and Louise Carroll, the Commissioner of HPD. This memo addresses the general allegations of the complaint and describes some examples of alleged misconduct.

The Complaint at Large:

The plaintiffs allege that they (i) were placed on waiting lists at various Mitchell-Lama housing developments, (ii) paid non-refundable application fees, (iii) were never contacted about the availability of an apartment, and (iv) were unjustly removed from waiting lists without notice or explanation. The complaint further alleges that HPD failed to monitor and supervise these waiting lists and refers to a report produced by the Division of State Government Accountability (Report 2014-N-3) entitled “The Mitchell- Lama Program: Awarding Housing Units and Maintaining Waiting Lists” in support of such allegations. The class (meaning people who may join in this action) compromises of: all persons who any time after January 1, 2009 were placed on a waiting list and were subsequently removed from the waiting list without proper notice.

The complaint only alleges one count for relief: violation of due process, that is that each plaintiff acquired a property interest in their place on the waiting list and right to an apartment once they (the plaintiff) reached the top of the list, but were deprived of this property interest without sufficient notice or an opportunity to be heard and that they were thus deprived of a property interest without due process. We believe HPD and the other named defendants will dispute the allegations.

Plaintiff Adrian Salas and his alleged experience with the “Cadman Towers” Waiting List:

The Report 2014-N-3 dated July 2015 focused on three developments, one of which was named as Cadman Towers (a 421-unit Mitchell-Lama located in Brooklyn) but the Complaint interchangeably uses Cadman Towers and Cadman Plaza North. However, Plaintiff Mr. Salas’s claims appear to relate to the waiting list at Cadman Plaza North. KLL confirmed that Mr. Salas’s name appears at Number 291 on CPN’s third one- bedroom waitlist (from the October 23, 2009 lottery) with a notation indicating that his application fee was not received. Mr. Salas alleges that he submitted an application for a 1-bedroom apartment at Cadman Towers in 2009, paid the application fee and that the notation was inaccurate and he should remain on the waiting list as an eligible applicant. Management advises they have not reached this list, so even if Mr. Salas is correct, he has not yet suffered any loss or consequence. The Complaint, either intentionally or mistakenly intertwines Cadman Towers and Cadman Plaza North. There are also allegations relating to two apartments of other improprieties relating to occupants’ qualifications in relation to income.

The Complaint focuses upon HPD’s alleged failure to (i) ensure that applicants are offered apartments in the order in which they were placed on the waiting lists, (ii) assure that applicants receive notification prior to being removed from waiting lists, and (iii) assure that applicants are not improperly removed from waiting lists. We thought it prudent to advise the Board of the allegations raised. Cadman Plaza North is just one of 17 city-supervised Mitchell-Lama developments discussed in the Complaint. Cadman Plaza North is not a defendant. There is no need for Cadman Plaza North to take any action in relating to this complaint. We will continue to monitor the proceeding and recommend that CPN continue (as it has been) to investigate complaints of non-primary residence, follow the process for succession rights applications, and offer apartments pursuant to the applicable waiting lists.

If you have any questions regarding the above, please let us know. Thank you.

Kagan Lubic Lepper Finkelstein & Gold, LLP

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BQE Panel Nearing Conclusion of Study

In a communication from Carlo A. Scissura, Esq., Chair of the BQE Expert Panel, dated January 7, the following information was conveyed to interested parties:

As the BQE Project Expert Panel begins to conclude our work, I wanted to provide a quick update: The Panel has been hard at work on its final report and recommendations and we will ensure that elected officials, community groups and stakeholders have an opportunity to be briefed on the report in the coming weeks. Thank you your continued involvement, and I look forward to staying in touch as our work concludes. As always, if you have questions please email me anytime at [email protected]

Additional information and opportunity to sign up for future communications can be found here: https://www.bqe-i278.com/en

Teresa’s Closing?

In September we noted, thanks to an alert reader, that Teresa’s restaurant was listed on a real estate site as for lease. We now have it on unofficial, but we think reliable, authority that next Sunday, January 5, will be Teresa’a last day. At least I was able to get my tripe soup, kielbasa, sauerkraut and kasha with gravy, washed down with Zyweic Porter, fix on Friday. I’ll have to have at least one more.

The Chip Shop, and now Teresa’s, gone. It seems every place I love is doomed to die (the record goes back to Capulet’s on Montague, for those who can remember it). Sic transit gloria mundi. -Brooklyn Heights Blog