MTA unveiled plans to redevelop a waterfront transit warehouse in northern Brooklyn into a mixed-use tower that would contain up to 900 new apartments at 40 Quay Street, according to an announcement Wednesday night.
Developer Gotham got the green light from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority for the nearly $39 million deal to lease the plot of land in Greenpoint that currently houses New York City Transit’s laundry facility and erect a tall building called Monitor Point.
“The MTA is required by law to retrieve market value for the disposal of properties,” acting MTA chief Janno Lieber said in a statement on Oct. 20. continues to provide reliable service to all riders. ”
Gotham plans to build the 900-apartment building, a quarter of which will be for people with an average income of 60% of the population. federally designated area median income, or AMI, which works out to $64,440 for a family of three.
RiseBoro Community Partnership, a Brooklyn-based nonprofit, helps manage the income-restricted units.
The development will also provide a publicly accessible waterfront walkway to the East River and Bushwick Inlet, and a new home for a museum dedicated to the Civil War ship, the USS monitor, from which the project takes its name.
The steam-powered, ironclad vessel was built nearby in 1862, before sailing to fight for the Union in the American Civil War at the Battle of Hampton Roads, but sank in a storm off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, later that year killing 16 sailors. A street in Brooklyn, about two miles east of the Monitor Point site, is named after the Monitor.
Before Gotham can begin work on the tower, the private company will build a new purpose-built wash facility for NYCT to move to 208 Varick Ave. in East Williamsburg.
The developers will also attempt to repurpose the city’s nearly 2-acre parcel to build higher than currently allowed. For that, the proposal needs to work its way through the lengthy public review known as the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure, or ULURP.
Public access to the water and units below market price are requirements under city ordinances if city officials give the green light for the zoning change.
Monitor Point will also include a new home for NYCT’s Emergency Service Units, which are currently stationed at Greenpoint’s northern tip at 65 Commercial Street. By removing those emergency vehicles, the city can finally put an end to a Green space with 16 years delay called Box Street Park on that lot.
The deal could bring in nearly $39 million for the transportation company if the property is repurposed, $7.1 million if the city denies the repurposing and the developer builds as it should, according to MTA documents.
The funds would go toward MTA’s massive $54.8 billion capital plan for projects such as new station elevators and updating the subway’s signaling system.
As the project sailed through the MTA council vote on Wednesday, it has not found favor with locals since the agency first opened a bidding process for the property, including area, in 2019. Assembly Member Emily Gallagher and the community council, who opposed the redevelopment and instead pushed for a park for the public land.
Residents again spoke out ahead of the full board meeting, including a member of the local advocacy group Friends of Bushwick Inlet Park.
“We believe the deal is a betrayal of public confidence and we call on the MTA to withdraw from Gotham’s conditional designation for the redevelopment of 40 Quay in Greenpoint and to work with the community of Greenpoint-Williamsburg,” said Katherine Conkling Thompson, a co-chair of the group. “The deal you made with Gotham is just a drop in the ocean” [of the overall MTA capital budget].”
Gotham plans to begin environmental assessment and community outreach next year and will launch its ULURP application in 2024, before breaking ground by the end of that year, according to the project’s website.
Editor’s Note: A version of this story originally ran in amNY. click here to see the original story.