Monday, January 7, 2008

360 Smith...Nothing but Questions!

Our Councilman's Office has been saying that Mr. Stein, the 360 Smith Street developer, has offered to meet with us and discuss the plans for the building...again...

In the interest of giving Mr. Stein the ability to cover all of our issues, we have TWICE submitted the same series of questions/concerns which were supplied by you, our readers, and CORD to Tom Gray, the Councilman's District Director.

We have been anxiously awaiting the response.

Sent: Wednesday, November 28, 2007 9:54 AM Re-Sent:Thursday, January 3, 2008 4:11 PM

Dear Tom
Please find two attachments.
These were prepared not long after the CGNA meeting which Bill Stein attended back in September.
At the time, the CGNA was interested in having him come back and answer some questions more specifically than he was able to do that evening.
CORD reached out to the neighborhood. We passed these on to the CGNA. The attached letter is self explanatory as are the questions.
Although we greatly appreciate Mr Stein's offer to sit with us at your office, rather than presenting these questions, some of which he may not be able to answer on the spot, to Mr Stein at a meeting, perhaps you would be willing to pass these on to him and have him get back to you with his responses.
The one question that is not included on this list is---
What did Councilman DeBlasio mean when he announced at the CGNA Landmarking Forum that Mr Stein had "already agreed to come down a floor"?
Hopefully, Mr Stein's responses will address that as well.
Thank you, CORD

The following is the cover letter presented with the questions:

Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn
October 11, 2007

Dear Mr. Stein,
Attached please find a list of questions from Carroll Gardens community members who reside in the area surrounding your project at 360 Smith Street.

As you are well aware, the very limited information that we have been able to garner regarding the proposed building’s specifics, has made many of the residents upset, uncomfortable, resentful and defensive.

The attached list is representative of not only their questions and concerns, but their feelings. CORD, The Coalition for Respectful Development, a neighborhood group, has made a promise to each person who wanted to contribute a question or relate a concern, that their queries would be expressed.

We deliberately did not edit any of the questions because of that promise.

We are extremely appreciative of the fact that you are willing to listen to us. We know very well that you are not obligated to do so. We hope that you will answer each and every question.

Perhaps, once answered, your new neighbors will find many of their concerns unfounded, fears allayed. Perhaps, once our feelings are expressed, you will find yourself willing to compromise on things you may have not previously considered. At the very least, once accurate, detailed information is received and exchanged, we will all have a clearer understanding of what to expect pre, during and post construction, its impact on our homes and daily lives.

We, at CORD, would like to thank you for taking the time to hear us. We look forward to your response. CORD

Dear Readers: There were 67 QUESTIONS submitted. Here is a tiny sample.

--What does the current approved plan look like? How does it differ from the drawing shown at the last CGNA meeting?

--Why is the “heavy metal” version of the building still on the Scarano website? What exactly is the building?

--What is the expected start date?

--What are the final finished roof heights for each level of the building on Second Place and Smith Street?

--How much of the Plaza will be eaten up by the structure?

--Will there be personnel on site specifically to maintain safety?

For the complete list go to the newsletter. Sign up here or on the link top right hand side of our blog.


With the "Protect Our Homes" petition, CORD was formed in May, 2007. This petition arose as an overwhelmingly negative response to the coming of the over-sized 360 Smith Street Development at the corner of Smith Street and Second Place (Aka Oliver House; aka 131 Second Place). This petition, which had well over three thousand signatures, led to a new zoning text amendment in summer of 2008.

To: Our Elected Officials, Community Leaders, The MTA:
(MAY, 2007)

We the undersigned Carroll Gardens homeowners and residents, are appalled by the "as of right" ruling which allows owners and developers to erect buildings in our neighborhood with no regard to the impact they will present to our quality of life and the value of our homes........