The Real Deal New York

Brooklyn Botanic Garden fears being left in the shade by proposed condo towers

The organization is opposing zoning changes for 2 developments that they say would block light
March 16, 2019 11:00AM

The Brooklyn Botanic Garden says the towers would cast shade on specific parts of the garden for three hours a day, disrupting the workings of 21 greenhouses, nurseries and other growing spaces.

Shade might be good for wallflowers, but most plants need light.

The Brooklyn Botanic Garden is opposing zoning changes that would allow Bruce Eichner’s Continuum Company and Joel Bergstein’s Lincoln Equities to build two residential towers at 960 Franklin Street in Crown Heights, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The organization says the towers would cast shade on specific parts of the garden for three hours a day, disrupting the workings of 21 greenhouses, nurseries and other growing spaces, including the garden’s bonsai collection and desert pavilion.

“We’re worried that less light can lead to poorer plant health, greater problems with fungal diseases,” said Scot Medbury, president of the 52-acre Brooklyn Botanic Garden, told the Journal. Medbury said the garden could not relocate all the plants to new locations.

The proposed towers would rise 39 stories, or 420 feet high, and the site is about 150 meters from the garden. The current zoning rules cap building heights at 75 feet. The zoning change the developers want still needs to be approved by the City Council.

If approved, the two residential towers would be one of Crown Heights’ biggest developments, with a proposed 1,500 residential units, roughly 790 of which would be set aside as affordable. [WSJ] — Decca Muldowney