Downtown Brooklyn residents fear that landmark plan will stifle development

December 15, 2010 09:00AM

A city plan supported by local preservationists to create a Borough Hall Skyscraper Historic District for 20 buildings in downtown Brooklyn — most of which are old office towers — is being met with opposition by some property owners and business leaders, who fear it would increase costs and discourage development, according to the Daily News. “We have a remarkably unremarkable group of buildings here,” said Mark Tulip, a lawyer for the owner of one of the buildings, an office tower at 26 Court Street. “You are going to stifle economic growth.” The landmark designation would prevent buildings from being torn down and owners would be required to get special permission to make big alterations. “These are the kind of buildings that any downtown in the country would be proud to possess,” said Simeon Bankoff, executive director of the Historic Districts Council, noting that historic districts have thrived in places like Soho and along Madison Avenue. Co-op owners at 75 Livingston Street, one of the buildings included, are concerned that the plan would increase maintenance costs. If the city Landmarks Preservation Commission — which held a hearing on the plan yesterday — goes forward with the district, the residents hope their building will be excluded. [NYDN]