- CURBED - NYC’s community board term limits ballot measure, explained
- October 2018
Ben Carlos Thypin, a board member of nascent pro-development group Open New York, was more explicit in his support. Since community board members skew “older, whiter, and more housing-secure than their neighbors,” he said, they do not make decisions that are in the best interest for the communities as a whole, specifically excluding people of color, renters and newcomers to the city or neighborhoods.
- CURBED - The YIMBY movement comes to New York City - Sept 2018
Open New York, formerly More New York, began in earnest in 2017. Having grown tired of what they regard as the one-sided nature of land use politics in New York (a developer will propose a city-backed project, neighborhood groups vehemently oppose it), Open New York seeks to add a pro-development perspective to the anti-development chorus that often commandeers housing debates.
- CRAINS NEW YORK - New York City's affordability crisis, explained by a single Brooklyn project
- (op-ed) - Sept 2018
The City Council is scheduled to vote Sept. 17 on whether to approve 80 Flatbush, a large development proposed for Downtown Brooklyn. For me, the choice is stark: A yes will win my neighborhood more than 900 new homes (200 affordable!), two schools and office space at zero cost to the taxpayer. A no would deny us this greatly needed infrastructure.
- CURBED - Is America’s densest city ready to make room?
- Sept 2018
At its current rate of growth, Brooklyn is about to be more populous than the entire city of Chicago. Saying “we need more housing” is a given, but no one agrees on where, how high, and for whom. And New York has been later to that discussion than San Francisco, Seattle, and Los Angeles: While the city is building housing, technically, it is nowhere near enough to meet the needs of 144,000 new Kings County residents since 2010.
- THE VILLAGER - Inclusive growth, not political horse-trading - (op-ed) - August 2018
Two weeks ago, the City Council took a particularly tough vote to replace the shuttered P.C. Richard & Son on E. 14th St. with the Union Square Tech Hub, a space for nonprofits and start-up businesses to train working-class New Yorkers for jobs in the technology sector. It was a tough vote not because anyone on the Council is opposed to helping prepare New Yorkers for better-paying jobs, but because lobbyists representing wealthy nearby residents attempted to hijack the proceedings, and almost succeeded.
- CRAINS NEW YORK - Save the Tech Hub - (op-ed) - July 2018
John Montes took coding classes in the Bronx and was able to move from a minimum-wage job to a $50,000 career. So when the City Council held a hearing on the proposed Union Square Tech Hub, an incubator space for technology startups and nonprofits, the Lower East Side resident testified in support.
- NEW YORK ONE - May 2018
- POLITICO - HPD commissioner sees 'good news' in YIMBY activism(paywall) - May 2018
Department of Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer weighed in on burgeoning pro-development activism on Wednesday, saying there's "good news" in the Yes In My Backyard, or YIMBY, movements that have popped up in varying degrees in cities around the country.
- GOTHAM GAZETTE - To Make New York City More Affordable, End the Cap on Density - (op-ed) - May 2018
New York’s severe housing crisis can be traced to a simple fact—our city doesn’t have enough homes for the people who want to live here.
- THE BRIDGE - The Plan for 80 Flatbush Hits a Bump. What Happens Next?
- May 2018
This outcome wasn’t a surprise. Brooklyn Community Board 2 voted overwhelmingly last night to oppose the proposed rezoning of the 80 Flatbush development site, which would allow for a near tripling of the density on the block bordered by Flatbush and Third avenues and State and Schermerhorn streets.
Several representatives of Open New York (a reported 30 active members) made the not unreasonable argument that New York City needs more housing, that sites near transit can best absorb it, and that wealthier communities should accept their fair share, partly to reduce the pressure of gentrification deeper in Brooklyn.
- COMMERCIAL OBSERVER - Pro-Development Groups Push for Boerum Hill Towers, as Brooklyn Neighbors Fight Back - May 2018
A controversial multi-building development proposed for 80 Flatbush Avenue across from Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn is pitting a nascent group of pro-development activists against community groups and neighbors.
- BROOKLYN PAPER - What’s in a nabe? Proposed megadevelopment’s Boerum Hill location galvanizes debate
- May 2018
What’s in a nabe? Proposed megadevelopment’s Boerum Hill location galvanizes debate
Whose backyard is it anyway?
- POLITICO - Pro-development activists find voice in housing battles (paywall) - April 2018
A proposal for a massive downtown Brooklyn development that would include a huge high rise has been met with significant community opposition. That's pretty much expected.
But this familiar scenario has an unusual twist — the project, known as 80 Flatbush, also has a good deal of grass-roots support, and backers are making some headway....
- THE BRIDGE - Inside the Battle over the Megaproject at 80 Flatbush - April 2018
Opponents of the two-tower 80 Flatbush project call it “a Chrysler Building in Brownstone Brooklyn.” Its developers and supporters see it differently, believing that its size is a virtue, providing room for a wealth of facilities including two schools, office space and 200 units of affordable housing.