Planned G’point building will overcrowd G train, schools, critics say

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A Greenpoint businessman wants to turn his pool hall into an eight-story apartment building — but neighbors say the still-sleepy area can’t accommodate the hundreds of new residents a development that size will attract.

Building owner Paul Pullo is trying to convince the city to change zoning rules so he can build a 140-unit complex with a 90-car parking lot and retail space at McGuinness Boulevard and Calyer Street.

The proposed apartments will cater to couples and young families — and bring much-needed below-market-rate housing to the gas station-and-warehouse-dotted area, he said.

But neighbors fear the planned building will crowd nearby streets, subway stations and schools.

Neighbor Joanna Nowakowski said PS 34 and the Greenpoint Avenue subway station might not be able to handle all those new residents.

“The G train is already only four cars long — and it’s normally full,” she said. “[The project] affects a lot of things.”

She added construction could crack century-old buildings behind the building and bring too much car traffic to surrounding streets.

Developers must now convince the Department of City Planning to change the manufacturing-zoned space to residential — a move that would put the lot in line with the rest of the block.

Pullo says he will work with neighbors to combat problems, should they arise, and that transportation won’t likely be one of them.

“There’s a bus stop nearby and we’ll have extra bike racks,” he said. “I don’t think it will be an issue.”

Reach reporter Natalie O'Neill at or by calling her at (718) 260-4505.
Updated 5:35 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Mike from Williamsburg says:
Adding capacity to other subway lines seems hard. Adding it to the G, if it proves necessary, doesn't seem any harder than making the G longer than 4 cars.

And if it doesn't go in Greenpoint, which subway line with all the extra capacity should it go near?
Sept. 21, 2012, 7:51 am
Crawford from Greenpoint says:
The G train currently isn't overcrowded. I fail to see how one new building would suddenly turn the G train into some sardine-can.

Even if every resident of the new building boarded the subway at the exact same time, it would have almost no effect on a single train, to say nothing of an entire daily schedule.

I think desperate NIMBYs need to come up with some slightly less pathetic excuses for complaining about every new development.
Sept. 21, 2012, 9:30 am
Joe from Greenpoint says:
Have to agree that if there is a problem with overcrowding on the G it seems like one of the few lines in the system there would be a relatively simple solution for - just add more cars.
Sept. 21, 2012, 9:59 am
Ian from 11211 says:
The best thing that could happen to the G train is a dramatic increase in demand. Increasing demand would justify running more trains more frequently.
Sept. 21, 2012, 12:54 pm
Max from Greenpoint says:
Trains are occasionally too full to board during morning commute hours, but that's about the only time this could be said to be a problem on the G. Even just one extra car would probably solve this problem.
Sept. 21, 2012, 1:20 pm
Isa from Greenpoint says:
It's not just this one development; the effect is cumulative, and it taxes city services and infrastructure. People wouldn't mind development if it were done right here in NYC, but it didn't happen in Williamsburg and they're coping with some harsh effects there. Greenpointers are bracing for the same, because Mayor Bloomberg is all about rollling out the red carpet for developers but not about adding infrastructure and services to accommodate the extra people and demand for electricity, sewage, transportation, fire services, etc.
Sept. 21, 2012, 8:34 pm
mike from GP says:
One thing's for sure - this city can't take 90 more cars. The planned parking lot is a silly, anti-urban idea.
Sept. 23, 2012, 10:21 pm
Brooklyn from GP says:
Do you take the G train during rush hour Crawford? Sometime you have to let one pass and wait 15-20 minutes (at least) for the next one. I don't think anyone has a problem with new apartments, the problem is how many we are looking at here.
Sept. 24, 2012, 11:52 am
Donna from Greenpoint says:
I have trouble believing that the apartments will be "below market rate".... The G train is a problem. It should have been increased long ago. That's fixable. The line about the bus stop and bike racks is hysterical!
Sept. 26, 2012, 9:32 pm
christina from greenpoint says:
Really? Below market rate housing? What developer wants a building full of tenants paying below market rate? What a load of malarkey!!! We saw how that worked out in The EDGE on Kent Avenue. 500 sq foot studios start at $3000!!
Sept. 28, 2012, 10:34 am
Jimmy from Greenpoint says:
There is plenty of unfinished development projects in Williamsburg. The Planning Dept should wait until all those project are finished before considering zoning change that will result in the introduction of more housing to a neighborhood with so few schools and supporting infra-structure.

BTW What about the RE Taxes? The developer will include affordable housing units so he can qualify for a tax abatement. The will cause the Dept of Finance to boost the taxes on all the surrounding properties to make up for the deferred real estate taxes. That is the only reason why there will be "some" below market rate rent units in this project.

I think it would be a mistake to allow a variance or zoning change
Sept. 28, 2012, 11:31 am
Danny from Greenpoint says:
There's enough of you looser a-holes here already.
Nov. 4, 2012, 3:27 pm

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