City to demolish Brooklyn’s low-income Prospect Plaza apartments

February 08, 2010 08:57AM

Seven years after relocating 1,200 low-income tenants at Brooklyn’s Prospect Plaza at 1776 Prospect Place near Crown Heights in order to renovate the decaying housing complex, the city has announced plans to demolish the four buildings in the fall, pending approval by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The New York City Housing Authority, which had promised to rehabilitate the apartments and bring tenants back afterward, applied for a demolition permit in November, saying at the time that it did not plan to use it. Now, the city is saying the cost of renovations is too much to bear: the 368 units there have been neglected and weather-beaten, and would cost roughly $381,700 each to upgrade, according to Ilene Popkin, assistant deputy general manager for development at NYCHA. Former tenants, meanwhile, are crying foul. Milton Bolton, president of the Prospect Plaza Tenants Association, said he suspects the city would rather utilize the valuable piece of land for more profitable real estate development. “Land is the most important thing in New York. This is big enough for another Atlantic Yards right here [at the housing complex site],” Bolton said.