Phipps Houses abandons rezoning application for controversial Sunnyside project

The project faced fierce opposition from residents and the district council member
September 19, 2016 05:20PM

Rendering of 50-25 Barnett Avenue (inset from top: Jimmy Van Bramer and Adam Weinstein)

Rendering of 50-25 Barnett Avenue (inset from top: Jimmy Van Bramer and Adam Weinstein)

Phipps Houses has withdrawn a rezoning application that would have paved the way for its controversial affordable housing development in Sunnyside.

The developer agreed to yank its request under Mandatory Inclusionary Housing to rezone two blocks of Barnett Avenue, which would have allowed Phipps TRData LogoTINY to build a 209-unit apartment building at 50-25 Barnett Avenue, Politico reported. The decision is another hefty blow to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s affordable housing initiative, following the City Council’s vote against an application in Inwood last month.

It’s likely that the Council would have also voted down Phipps’ rezoning application, since the area’s council member, Jimmy Van Bramer, opposed the project. The city council traditionally votes according to the area’s representative. Van Bramer had cited concerns about the building’s proposed height, saying that it was out of character with the neighborhood.

Last week, the City Council approved the MIH program at La Central, a 992-unit project planned for the Melrose section of the Bronx. The project is publicly funded and 100 percent affordable.

Real Estate Board of New York president John Banks last week said the pushback against the MIH program has caused anxiety for developers and stalled projects. [Politico] Kathryn Brenzel