The Real Deal New York

Oh no he didn’t! Jimmy Van Bramer claims de Blasio “disrespected” him

Politicians clashed over 209-unit Sunnyside development
August 25, 2016 12:21PM

Rendering of 50-25 Barnett Avenue (inset from top: Jimmy Van Bramer and Bill de Blasio)

Rendering of 50-25 Barnett Avenue (inset from top: Jimmy Van Bramer and Bill de Blasio)

You don’t disrespect Council member Jimmy Van Bramer and get away with it, according to Council member Jimmy Van Bramer.

The person allegedly doing the disrespecting, in this case, is Mayor Bill de Blasio. The two politicians have clashed over a rezoning to allow Phipps Houses’ 209-unit affordable housing development at 50-25 Barnett Avenue in Sunnyside, which de Blasio supports but Van Bramer opposes.

Last week, de Blasio said he would have a “polite but firm” talk with Van Bramer, but never followed through. That rankled the council member. “The mayor can disagree with me but he can’t disrespect me,” Van Bramer said during an interview on the TV show “Inside City Hall,” adding that he didn’t understand why the mayor decided to “go there.”

Van Bramer claims to oppose the project because it would be 10 stories high and doesn’t have enough parking spaces. He also takes issue with the developer.

“First of all, the Phipps Corporation owns and operates a very large apartment complex across the street,” Van Bramer said during the interview. “And the tenants there have complained to me about long delays for repairs, disrespect from the ownership and incredible lack of maintenance at that facility. So what I would say to Phipps is that, ‘Until you get right with the 472 units that you currently own and operate, how can you expect me to approve others?’”

The rezoning requires the approval of the city council, which typically lets the local council member decide – in this case Van Bramer. [Politico]Konrad Putzier