Brooklyn’s building boom claimed another victim today, with this morning’s news that Forest City Ratner revealed plans to tear You down and replace You with a six-story luxury condo development. The plans, which were announced by a press release that included the above rendering, call for the building to have 80 apartments, with 30 percent of them set aside for affordable housing, a requirement the city attached to the sale of Your development rights to the Atlantic Yards developer. The plan to convert You to condos follows a string of Brooklyn landmarks closing or disappearing, and has fueled fears of housing advocates that more of You will soon become luxury developments in the near future.
The plans for the new development include space for retail on the first floor of the building, which will then be topped by residential apartment with studios, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units. A Forest City spokesperson joked that they were considering naming the building after You after construction is completed, but later clarified that naming rights would be sold to the highest bidder.
As of Friday morning, critics were lining up to blast Your planned conversion to a luxury development. Noting how You were once considered part of the problem of gentrification, Jeremiah Moss on Vanishing New York remarked “Sometimes we criticized You for being part of the wave that helped reshape the face of New York neighborhoods, forcing out diners and classic dive bars. Now we’re sad to see even You have fallen under the crush of luxury development. Sadly, this is just another instance of a politically connected developer changing the physical landscape of a New York City neighborhood on a whim. That they’re doing it with the blessing of City Hall makes it worse, but it’s hardly surprising.”
Your friends and family are decrying the deal, charging the Forest City was able to purchase Your development rights at a below-market rate in order for the de Blasio administration to reach their affordable housing goals. Arguing that You’ve been a neighborhood institution for a decade and that you should be spared the wrecking ball, a coalition of Your friends and neighbors vowed a legal fight to save You.
As of press time, You had not issued a statement on the proposed development. A spokesman for the de Blasio administration had no comment the circumstances surrounding the sale of Your development rights, merely releasing the following statement: “The contributions You, a neighborhood mainstay, made to Brooklyn will not be forgotten soon, and the decision to part with You was not made easily. However, we are proud to partner with a developer who will make sure that by this time next year, affordable housing for working New Yorkers will be blooming where You once stood. We look forward to working towards our goal of adding and preserving 200,000 affordable housing units in the next decade for New Yorkers.”
With speculation high as to what the ground level retail would be, a source speaking on condition of anonymity confirmed that speculators for years have known that You were the perfect location for a Subway.