Democratic City Council nominee Steve Levin is looking for a home for his new district office, and Boerum Hill appears to be the front-runner.
Since he won the seven-way Democratic primary for the 33rd Council District on September 15, Levin has been meeting with dozens of community groups from Greenpoint to Park Slope to listen to their concerns and formulate a political agenda when he moves into City Hall later this year (Levin has an opponent on the Conservative Party line, but is widely favored to win handily).
In between meeting with constituents and helping transition Assemblymember Vito Lopez’s district office, where he worked as chief of staff, Levin has been perusing commercial real estate listings in downtown Brooklyn for a suitable office location.
“I’m thinking somewhere in Boerum Hill that is wheelchair accessible, that has a storefront office where people can come into easily,” said Levin.
At a Boerum Hill Association meeting on October 6, Levin indicated he would not take over the lease of David Yassky’s Court Street office (114 Court Street). Though the office is centrally located in downtown Brooklyn, Levin said he preferred his office would be situated in the southern center of the district, located closer to a G train stop and on ground level.
“It’s not that big,” said Yassky scheduler Brian Switzer, who briefly got off the phone with this reporter to measure the office’s square footage, which is 800 square feet (20 feet by 40 feet).
Levin, who lives in Greenpoint, noted that he was looking to spend less than $6,000 per month on commercial space, his allocated budget from the City Council, and found prices on Atlantic Avenue too high.
Boerum Hill Association President Howard Kolins encouraged him instead to look more closely at Schermerhorn Street which currently has lots of open storefronts and new buildings coming on line soon.
“$6,000 a month and under is not a lot of money for this area, per square footage.I’m not sure how much space he needs,” said Kolins.“If he winds up in Boerum Hill, that would be great.We would be thrilled.”
If previous political real estate transactions are examined, it may take a while for Levin to find an office.State Senator Daniel Squadron (D-Williamsburg, Brooklyn Heights) was elected in November 2008 and he is still looking for a permanent location for his Brooklyn District office.Currently, Squadron is using space on the second floor of the cavernous Borough Hall (209 Joralemon Street).
Fortunately for Levin, patience is one of his self-described virtues, as he spoke broadly about his deliberation process to BHA members.
“I might take some time to come up with a concrete position on something,” said Levin.“If I am not immediately agreeing on an issue, don’t take it as a slight or being unsympathetic.I like to hear all sides of an issue and be fully informed before coming to a decision.”
©2009 Community News Group
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