Proposed construction of a 23-story glass-enclosed tower next to the Prospect Park subway stop on the B and Q line brought out a determined group of picketers to Lincoln Road this weekend.
Members of the Concerned Residents of Greater Prospect Lefferts Gardens urged passersby to sign their petition opposing the 80-plus unit luxury condominium development even as heavy earth-moving equipment went to work behind the construction fence.
“We’re heading for some kind of clash,” Jan Clausen told this newspaper. “[Mayor] Bloomberg’s building mania caught us flat-footed, but people from different neighborhoods are starting to wake up.”
Opponents of the building set to rise on an L-shaped lot between Flatbush Avenue and Lincoln Road – just a half-block from Prospect Park – say that the towering new structure will not only encroach upon Brooklyn’s emerald oasis, but will also bring about a wave of skyrocketing rents that force out existing residents from the surrounding community.
“People Who Live In Glass Towers Should Not Look Down On Their Neighbors,” protest signs declared.
The new building is being built on two separate lots between Flatbush Avenue and Lincoln Road.
Ed Fanning has lived around the corner from the Prospect Park subway stop for the last 32 years. He argued that designs for the new glass tower will greatly impact construction of other buildings on the block in the future.
According to Fanning, the work being done on the site last weekend was improper.
“The Buildings Department says you can’t get a new building permit until they sign off the old building demolition,” he said.. “It’s not done, but they filed under professional certification to get a new building permit. They used some kind of sign-off on the Flatbush Avenue lot. Right now what they are doing is they’ve got a permit that they got basically illegally.”
Fanning also has safety concerns about the construction of a towering building that will require cranes and digging down deep next to an ancient subway retaining wall.
“That’s a little scary to me,” he said. “That wall is over a hundred years old. They say they’re going to have somebody on site the entire time. Obviously you can build a building. The question becomes am I going to feel safe in the subway station while you’re doing it?”
Critics of the new condominium project are working with City Councilmember Mathieu Eugene’s office to set up a meeting so they can address their concerns directly to developers.
©2008 Community Newspaper Group
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