Levin on BPR: Decison on 80 Flatbush not FAR off

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Brooklyn Paper Radio

Councilman Stephen Levin took a deep dive into what will guide his crucial decision regarding the controversial plan to build the most-dense project outside of Manhattan on Flatbush Avenue on the latest episode of Brooklyn Paper Radio.

The Boerum Hill pol joined hosts Vince DiMiceli and Anthony Rotunno (along with intrepid reporter Julianne Cuba), who immediately asked him to break down the pluses and minuses of the so-called 80 Flatbush plan, which is presently weaving its way through the city’s mandatory Uniform Land Use Review Procedure — a process that needs to be approved by various agencies, Council, and the mayor before any zoning change can be made.

And although he was able to come up with more pros than cons, Levin refused when Rotunno asked him to write the headline for Friday’s edition of The Paper, which sadly will go to press before the vote takes place on Thursday morning.

“I really don’t know,” the councilman said. “I couldn’t say at this point.”

But that didn’t stop your battle-hardened journalists from using every trick in the book to try and pry an answer out of him during a podcast so important, its dialogue was live-blogged by editors at competing websites.

Cuba, for instance, put two and two together by explaining that, with Yom Kippur celebrations beginning, there really isn’t much time left for Levin to negotiate with anyone until at least sundown tomorrow, so he must know which way he is going to vote.

But Levin said he didn’t.

And DiMiceli used an old-school tactic and simply asked how he planed to vote, hoping to catch the two-term councilman off guard, but that didn’t work either.

Still, Levin’s silence did not stop your local scribes from predicting the outcome — a common practice in the newspaper industry — with Cuba forecasting that the project will be approved pretty much the way it is planned, DiMiceli thinking it will be a bit smaller, and Rotunno, well, for Rotunno’s prediction you’ll just have to listen to the show.

Brooklyn Paper Radio is recorded and podcast live on Tuesday afternoons — for your convenience — from our studio in America’s Downtown and can be found, as always, right here on, on iTunes, and of course, on Stitcher.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
Updated 5:46 pm, September 18, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Mike from Williamsburg says:
"But that didn’t stop your battle-hardened journalists from using every trick in the book to try and pry an answer out of him during a podcast so important, its dialogue was live-blogged by editors at competing websites." Hahaha
Sept. 18, 2018, 5:13 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Noticed this letter on yesterday's Daily News, and please don't shoot the messenger. An indefensible Brooklyn development Brooklyn: Your editorial on 80 Flatbush missed the mark completely, and shows a profound ignorance of the actual project (“Onward & upward, Brooklyn,” Sept. 10). Alloy Development spent more than $500,000 lobbying our local officials for this travesty of a project, and still the very diverse Brooklyn CB2 voted it down 32 to 1. All of our elected officials, plus the borough president, have come out against it. There is wide opposition to this project and describing it otherwise makes it seem like you swallowed the developer’s press release. One of the two towers is a 1,000-foot monolith the size of the Chrysler building, filled with luxury rentals that will send shadows as far as Fort Greene Park. Any notion of transitional zoning is obliterated if they receive their variance. The developers (and the mayor) somehow think that providing the community with an elementary school is going to really bring a huge benefit? Their solution for the beleaguered students at Khalil Gibran High School is to literally trap them in a huge construction site for the next eight years instead of moving the students out. (It’s a citywide school and could be located anywhere.) The “below-market-rate” housing is another joke, as even those apartments will be unaffordable for many Brooklynites. The community and elected officials have never said no to responsible development, but this is a vast overreach of greed under the guise of public good. Bravo to Council Member Steve Levin for pushing back and actually fighting for his constituents. More elected officials should try it sometime. Peter Salett
Sept. 19, 2018, 1:23 pm
blogger Bill from from Boerum Hill says:
For dog catcher supervisors in Flint, Michigan, I hear there is an opening for defrocked former NYC Councilman who was doubtful about "how dense" the Alloy scam for 80 Flatbush actually is. Let it not come to this, Steve. Don't betray your neighborhood and constituents.
Sept. 19, 2018, 1:51 pm
Mike from Williamsburg says:
Tal, you're the one who brought that garbage letter here, so why not shoot the messenger? Anyway, the solution to the problem of "transitional" zoning is to upzone Boerum Hill and Ft. Greene away from the 19th century density. The solution to "shadows" is to get mocked forever. The solution to the below-market-rate units being unaffordable to many Brooklynites is to (again) upzone the surrounding areas and replace the 19th century density with even more housing with even more units that are even more affordable than brownstones are.
Sept. 19, 2018, 2:35 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I kant reed or spel.
Sept. 19, 2018, 7:41 pm

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