Two City Council committees approve East New York rezoning

The body is expected to vote on the controversial plan next week

Atlantic Avenue in East New York
Atlantic Avenue in East New York

Two City Council committees gave the green light for the controversial rezoning of East New York, which is part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s larger affordable housing plan.

The full body is expected to vote on the plan, which would rezone around 190 blocks in the Brooklyn neighborhood and nearby areas, next week.

If the council approves the plan, East New York will be the first of 15 neighborhoods that will be rezoned. It is expected to create more than 6,000 new apartments and 1.3 million square feet of retail, office space and community facilities in East New York, Cypress Hills and Ocean Hill.

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“Is it a perfect plan? No. But it is the best plan I was able to craft, a plan crafted for our community that will ensure East New York, Cypress Hills and Ocean Hill are in the best position to fight the wave of market pressures and gentrification crashing over Brooklyn,” Council member Rafael Espinal Jr. said in a statement, Crain’s reported.

The rezoning is not without its critics. New York Communities for Change called for lower income thresholds for the affordable housing, citing that more than a third of East New York residents make below $23,000 yearly. Espinal has been the target of protesters who demanded last week he return donations from real estate interests.

Crain’s reported that many of the East New York developments will receive city subsidies and have more affordable units. The neighborhood rezoning is tied to a new school, tenant protections and $500 million in capital projects, according to Crain’s. [Crain’s]Dusica Sue Malesevic