City officials abruptly ended a public hearing Wednesday night on Rabsky Group’s proposed redevelopment of the former Pfizer site in Williamsburg amid a raucous protest from area residents.
The developer is planning to build more than 1,100 apartments on two full blocks at the Broadway Triangle, a site where Bedford-Stuyvesant, Bushwick and Williamsburg converge. Rabsky representatives were slated to present the plans to the city and community at a school auditorium in Williamsburg. But, after 15 minutes, the meeting became too chaotic and was called off by Department of City Planning officials, Gothamist reported.
As soon as the meeting began, a protestor stepped onto a speaker’s podium and declared the project is “not for us, and we’re going to shut it down.” People then began to chant “shut it down” and “si se puede,” while they marched and blew whistles, according to the website.
Council member Antonio Reynoso said opponents of the project would stay until 10 o’clock at night to shut the meeting down and “pitch tents if they have to.”
The Williamsburg-based development firm is seeking a rezoning of the manufacturing site at 249 and 344 Wallabout Street for residential use. According to plans filed by the developer last late last month, the firm would build more than 1 million square feet of apartments at the site. Plans have called for 1,147 apartments, 64,800 square feet of retail and 407 parking spaces. There will be 287 affordable housing units.
The firm, led by Simon Dushinsky and Isaac Rabinowitz, is one of the most active developers in Brooklyn. The developers are notoriously private and representatives rarely speak to the press. [Gothamist] — Miriam Hall