Tell CM Carlos Menchaca and NYC City Council to vote No to TOTEM's luxury tower

Tell CM Carlos Menchaca and NYC City Council to vote No to TOTEM's luxury tower

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District 38 Brooklyn Residents started this petition to Carlos Menchaca and

Dear Councilman Menchaca, 


We’re asking you to vote to protect Sunset Park and say NO to developer Totem’s plan that would replace working-class land at 737 4th Ave. with 14 floors of mostly Park Slope-style apartments, 75 percent of which will be unaffordable to the surrounding neighborhood. 


Sunset Park’s essential workers and families need 100% affordable housing, and we cannot settle for anything less. 737 4th ave will be the start of more and more high rise luxury developments along 4th avenue in sunset park. In the midst of a pandemic, eviction crisis and with many properties up for sale, Sunset Park cannot afford to allow this rezoning to open the floodgates of luxury development. 


We need a courageous City Council Member willing to fight for the city and state funding needed to create 100% affordable housing, similar to the homes being built right now at 51st and 61st Street along 4th Avenue in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. 


We respect the community members and non-profits who have engaged with the project’s developer, and believe they are acting with the public interest at heart. But we do not see why we should accept the proposal TOTEM is offering, rather than fighting for the public financing needed to make this development affordable for all


Additionally, the following questions have not been answered: 

  • Why must this project cost $100 million, and why would it cost up to $20 million to increase affordability to 50 percent, as claimed by TOTEM?  
  • How do TOTEM’s projected profit margins impact rents in the building? Could we produce more affordable units using some of the federal funding just passed by Congress, or by redirecting city funds pledged to other projects - such as the $97 million the city added to the proposed budget of the Made in NY Campus (without public discussion)?
  • We are also concerned that members of the wider public were apparently not brought into the 737 4th Ave. conversation until August, 2020, just a few weeks before TOTEM filed its rezoning application. Engagement before public ULURP hearings was almost entirely closed door, private meetings  Councilman Menchaca, you recently told the City Council that the 737 deal represents, “the best example yet of what development must become in terms of community control and accountability.” Why should we believe this model of engagement has won our community the best deal possible and is a model for the future?
  • Why weren’t the significant environmental concerns about this site  fully recognized & addressed in the EAS, CEQRA, ULURP processes?

We therefore ask you to protect Sunset Park by fighting to include full funding for 100% affordable housing in the City’s upcoming capital budget, and to vote NO on the proposed rezoning of 737 4th Avenue.

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