For those of you who don’t know, Junior’s is a bakery near the Fulton Mall in downtown Brooklyn. My relatives swear by it, although I don’t quite grok their enthusiasm. Still, it’s pretty good.
And it’s closing, but not for good. Rather, they’re going to build a tall residential building! Yes, it will be a luxury development, but that’s all right: rich people will live there instead of bidding up lower-quality but well-located existing housing. Then the restaurant will reopen on the ground floor.
All good! Well, there’s a fly in the ointment, which is that the city, idiotically, puts in an as-right height cap in that area of 20 stories. Fortunately, in New York nearby properties can sell their unused air rights to allow for buildings to exceed the cap. J.P. Morgan owns a two-story landmarked building nearby and is willing to sell its rights. The end result? The building could go up to 50 floors, which is around the point where high-rises stop being economical and become pure prestige projects.
Only not to these pendejos, who are bad for Brooklyn and bad for America. Brooklyn Magazine is bad.
Gah. Don’t ask me, I tell people I’m from New Jersey these days.
Honestly, though, it isn’t the hipsters. It’s everyone. In 2005, Bloomberg downzoned the part of Brooklyn that Tony Manero would still find familiar. And that came after a 1978 downzoning that already made no sense, insuring only that “white flight” from the declining parts of the city would wind up in the suburbs. It is true that he allowed residential development in industrial areas, but his mayoralty can be blamed for allowing the current housing crisis to develop. Details here.
Still, the mayor was not approving changes in a vacuum. Consider my cousin Ray, who lives in Brooklyn and is not remotely hipsterish. He opposes tall buildings that you can’t possibly see from Midwood, let alone ones in Midwood.
And the madness continues.