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Trump tower booed at community meeting

Annoyed audience: Locals booed throughout the presentation of the proposed plans for the site.
Brooklyn Daily
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A developer wants to turn a sleepy shopping plaza in Brighton Beach into Brooklyn’s next hipster enclave — complete with a Trader Joe’s on the ground floor of a 40-story residential tower — but neighborhood seniors who have lived in the area for years say the last thing they need is the skinny-pants set moving in on their turf.

A spokesman for developer Rubin Schron was roundly and repeatedly booed by locals Wednesday night when he introduced a plan that had been making the rounds in the rumor mill for months, and when their greatest fears were realized — that the local stores they now depend on could be closed forever — they told him where he could take his plans.

“You want to make money?” said Vitaly Slobodskoy, one of the many residents of nearby Trump Village who turned out to hear about the plan. “Do it in Manhattan.”

But the spokesman, Dennis Hasher, insisted the plan would change the neighborhood for the better, bringing in better retail and younger residents that will transform the neighborhood in at way many couldn’t believe is possible.

“I never thought Williamsburg would be as popular as it is,” said Hasher. “It is our hope and our vision that this will be the same.”

The project does not have a start date yet, but shops in the center have already started closing. Kurt Cleaners, a dry cleaner, shuttered at the beginning of the month, and Walgreens is scheduled to close in February. Hasher said some of the shops will be relocating to 614 Sheepshead Bay Road, a bathhouse one block away from the current complex, though he would not say which businesses.

Hasher said the vision for the new retail space, which would have a mix of “upscale” and “neighborhood” stores, includes tentative plans for a Trader Joe’s and doctors’ offices.

The site used to host a manufactured gas plant — and is still contaminated with cyanide, mercury, manganese, selenium, and an array of other chemicals and pesticides — so the state Department of Environmental Conservation also attended the meeting to discuss the clean-up required before construction begins. The agency also invited the public to a follow up meeting on Jan. 28 where it would go into more detail.

Hasher said the influx of residents — which he assumes will be mostly single people without children — would add an “overall investment” of $450 million for the community, which would revamp the neighborhood.

But city Comptroller Scott Stringer said that building a high-end residential development on a toxic site could end badly for both the developer and its neighbors.

“It also raises serious fiscal concerns to me, because when you pop a 40-story building into a community and think that it is going to spur economic development and that is going to create jobs — that is going to create livability — that is usually not the case,” said Comptroller Scott Stringer. “We need community based planning. We need to have rational development.”

An elected official who grew up in the area said that local should not have to bear the burden of disastrous developers, who historically haven’t factored in the long-term consequences projects would have in the area.

“There is nothing wrong with the people of Coney Island,” said Treyger (D–Coney Island). “What is the problem has been poor planning and reckless development that has destroyed the neighborho­od.”

Trump Village Shopping Center Public Meeting featuring the Department of Environmental Conservation at Abraham Lincoln High School in Brighton Beach (2800 Ocean Parkway near West Avenue). Jan. 28 at 6 pm.

Reach reporter Vanessa Ogle at vogle@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–4507. Follow her attwitter.com/oglevanessa.
Posted 3:57 pm, January 23, 2015
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Reader feedback

Phyllis Pomerantz from Brightwater Towers...Brighton Beach says:
If we lose our Trump Village Shopping Center.....there goes the neighborhood! In our vast community we'll be losing all our daily shopping, including medications, banks, barbershop & beauty parlor, local chinese restaurant and pizzeria shops, post office, and our great local all-in-one store, D&D......Our entire daily life style will be OVER......as this shopping area is walkable from all the current community developments housing several thousand residents.

What will we do....not everyone has cars....the entire neighborhood, Brightwater Towers, Trump Condominium (made up of many buildings extending to Ocean Parkway, Warbasse extending to Ocean Parkway as well will be crying out for our local every day shopping....

Our neighborhood has rejuvenated itself to be family oriented with babies, young children and Senior Citizens. There is no way that young single people are moving to Coney Island, one hour and more, from Manhattan. Those people pay to live in DUMBO, Williamsburg and other up-in-coming neighborhoods closer to their jobs and social life which is in Manhattan - not Coney Island....

This builder needs to let us live our lives without interruption and move on elsewhere....where his construction ideas will be better utilized.......along with better financial possibilities for himself. He won't find that in the Trump Shopping Center in Brighton Beach!!

It would be appreciated that you forward this on to the property owner, his representatives and politicians in our local community in the hopes that they come to the realization that the property owner's intents will definitely fail....
Jan. 24, 2015, 4:03 pm
Tim from Coney Island says:
The only way to stop this is with a class action lawsuit by the community on environmental grounds. The politicians can not be trusted. Let's at least try to delay this and let the slow moving court process take over.
Jan. 24, 2015, 4:30 pm
Bruce from Coney Island says:
Its so interesting he brought up Williamsburg. Anyone try to drive around Williamsburg where they are building all that new housing? Its a traffic nightmare.

Just wait till it takes people to go west on Neptune from Ocean Pkwy to West 5th. One lane will take minutes.

The builders rep makes fun of the facts. People complain local public school PS 100 is over crowded, he says District 21 is at 89% capacity.
Jan. 26, 2015, 9:18 pm
Dexter from Coney Island says:
People with money never put into consideration of the small people that life's that they gonna uproot it's been happening in New York for a long time just Barclay center what they promise has never has been done yet
Feb. 20, 2015, 5:49 pm
David Greenberg from Coney Island says:
What a superb development, time for the new generation to come in. please bring Trader Joe's. Let's get the low-income residence outa here!
April 2, 8:42 pm

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