Brooklyn’s Industry City rezoning plans scrapped

A developer who wanted to turn an old Brooklyn industrial park into an office and retail hub scrapped the plans, blaming lack of political leadership.

“Sadly, in the context of one in five New Yorkers losing their jobs and the City’s fiscal crisis spiraling out of control, the leadership needed to approve this development failed to emerge. Therefore, we have decided to withdraw our application and proceed with as-of-right leasing options,” developer Andrew Kimball said in a late Tuesday statement.

The change in plans for the site, Industry City, came after months of opposition from community activists who said Kimball’s vision amounted to a ticking time bomb of gentrification in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.

Local Councilman Carlos Menchaca (D-Brooklyn) opposed the project, though it was later championed by a handful of his colleagues. Industry City needed approval to rezone 5.3 million square feet of warehouses so they could be used for offices and the like. The developer said the undertaking would create some 20,000 jobs.

But members of Brooklyn’s congressional delegation delivered the coup de grâce on Tuesday afternoon, writing Council members that the project “would further exacerbate real estate pressures, displacement, rising rents and forever shift the nature of the waterfront away from one of the few remaining manufacturing hubs to commercial tourism and service economy.”

Reps. Nydia Velázquez (D-N.Y) and Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) took a victory lap on Wednesday.

“This victory for Sunset Park was achieved because the community raised its collective voice to demand the right to shape the neighborhood’s growth,” they said in a statement. “Now that Industry City has withdrawn this plan, the work continues as we endeavor to deliver on real planning for our waterfront and the entire industrial business zone.”

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