The Hebron Legal Defense Fund Continues

 
We are planning to challenge the decision by the Landmarks Preservation Commission (“LPC”) to approve the project at 959 Sterling Place. Crown Heights North Association Inc  and Friends of 920 Park  have retained one of New York's best preservation law firms, Hiller, P.C., to represent us.  Founding and managing principal Michael Hiller is a veteran land-use, zoning and preservation attorney who has a winning case record against the LPC. Mr. Hiller is also the recipient of the Historic Districts Council's Grassroots Preservation Award  for 2017 in recognition of his achievements on behalf of community groups, neighborhoods, environmental organizations and preservationists. 

The effort will cost us much more than what we have already raised, but this landmark is worth it.  All of your tax-deductible contribution will go toward defending our neighborhood from 959 Sterling Place.  No donation is too small.  Thanks in advance for your contribution to this cause that means so much to us.
 
Save Brooklyn’s Historic Green Space Today

LPC has approved the first phase of construction for a massive apartment complex on the grounds of the landmarked Hebron School at 920 Park Place, despite widespread opposition from the community, local lawmakers and many Hebron church congregants. Community members have decried the plans as an assault on the neighborhood’s historic character, a dangerous accelerator of gentrification, and an attack on the neighborhood’s tiny amount of green space. Spanning more than half a block, the new complex would become the longest residential building in the Historic District and essentially swallow the adjacent landmarked building due to its wildly inappropriate height, scale and design.

Construction Needs to Stop Before it Starts

LPC approved the developer’s request to build phase 1, “constructing the curb cut and excavation and installation of the foundation for the new building,” on December 9, 2021. As of December 15, 2021 four new building permits were approved by the Department of Buildings which can be seen here. These were filed under a different address than the 959 Sterling Place address presented to the LPC, which we assume was an intentional move to fly under the community’s radar. Fences and excavators showed up two days before Christmas to start digging. We need to file a cease and desist to stop digging up our green space immediately. Any major construction for a new foundation will be used by the developer as a sunken cost argument to continue.

Environmental Justice

The proposed building threatens the community with a severe deterioration of quality of life. Hebron’s campus maintains open, green space critical to a neighborhood categorized as being under environmental risk by the NYCDOHMH . The LPC sees no issue with eliminating 38,000 square feet of open space in order to privatize a public view that has existed since 1911. The negative impacts of rising heat island effects and decreased air quality loom over a historically disenfranchised and under-invested community. 

Cultural Erasure

The Hebron School is widely considered the architectural crown jewel of the neighborhood. Construction of the oldest part of the complex dates back to 1889. The then-called “Home for the Aged'' was born out of a sense of charity and social consciousness. It is the neighborhood’s finest example of a Romanesque Revival institutional building, and one of just a handful of historic institutional buildings with their grounds largely intact remaining in all of New York City.  Today it is the only remaining 19th century institutional building in the district.

The Affordable Housing Lie

LPC approved the subdivision of the landmarked grounds owned by the Northeastern Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists, which resulted in the creation of a separate block and lot number for Hope Street Capital’s development of a 7-story, 147-unit high-end rental building with dormitory style apartments. 

Despite the developer’s claims, the units offered will be far from affordable for families in Crown Heights. Hope Street Capital plans to participate in what’s called the Affordable New York Housing Program. In exchange for a big tax break that lasts decades, Hope Street must cap the rents on up to 30 percent of the units in the building for 35 years. But Affordable New York is an upper-middle class subsidy. An individual earning up to $103,480 qualified for an apartment through the program in 2020, and a landlord could charge as much as $2,700 a month for a one-bedroom unit.

Please help us protect the Crown Heights North community.  

Your donation will be made to a 501c3 organization and will be tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.

Thank you.  
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Organizer

Fior Ortiz-Joyner 
Organizer
Brooklyn, NY
Crown Heights North Association Inc 
Registered nonprofit
Donations are typically 100% tax deductible in the US.