brooklyn's 80 flatbush will rise after settlement reached iin lawsuit

By Caroline Spivack Sep 16, 2019, 2:47pm EDT

Alloy Development After months of legal sparring, the developer behind a planned mixed-use project due to rise at 80 Flatbush Avenue has settled a lawsuit brought by neighbors seeking to stymie the project.

Alloy Development and members of the 400 & 500 State Street Block Association have reached a settlement that puts the homeowner’s Manhattan Supreme Court case to bed, allowing the project to press forward. The decision came almost exactly a year after the City Council approved plans for the development—which will have two towers, topping out at 840 and 510 feet—to rise, according to a September 13 letter to Supreme Court Judge Melissa A. Crane from David Paget, an attorney who represented Alloy during the case.

“We write on behalf of all parties ... to advise the Court that Petitioners and Respondent 80 Flatbush Avenue LLC have reached a settlement that fully resolves the dispute,” wrote Paget. “All parties have agreed to discontinue the above-referenced action.”

In a community benefits agreement obtained by Curbed, Alloy agreed to several stipulations, including conducting real-time air quality monitoring for construction dust throughout the project crafting and implementing noise minimization measures during work and sharing foundation plans and reports on geotechnical test performed at the site once the Department of Buildings issues permits for the project, among other arrangements, the agreement shows.

“We’re pleased to honor our commitment to establish a Community Benefits Agreement with our neighbors,” an Alloy spokesperson confirmed to Curbed.

“Demolition on site is underway, we look forward to starting vertical construction next spring, and to ultimately following through on our promise to deliver 200 units of permanently affordable housing and two new public schools in Downtown Brooklyn.”

Alloy plans to erect the development on the edge of Downtown Brooklyn and Boerum Hill, on a site bounded by Flatbush and Third avenues, and State and Schermerhorn streets. It will have 900 apartments, 200 of which would be permanently affordable, along with office and retail space. The project initially called for one of the two new towers to rise to a staggering 986 feet, with the other structure reaching a comparatively modest 560 feet.

But after fierce pushback and much back-and-forth, the City Council approved a plan that kept most of the buildings’ density, along with the 200 affordable units, while scaling back the height.

With the plans approved, the project seemed poised to move forward unimpeded. Then, in July, the block association filed its lawsuit against the City Council, the City Planning Commission, the New York City Educational Construction Fund, and Alloy Development, arguing that the courts must annul the upzoning that allows the building to rise.

The suit called the zoning change “unlawful and constitutionally impermissible.” The new settlement entirely resolves the dispute, according to Alloy. Under the agreement, a full-time project manager will be on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week during construction, and a dedicated hotline will be available for neighbors to notify the 80 Flatbush team of any construction issues that arise.

The builders will meet monthly with the 400 & 500 State Street Block Association during the project design process to “solicit input and update residents on material choices for the State Street facade,” according to the community benefits agreement. When reached for comment the 400 & 500 State Street Block Association declined to delve into the arrangement, but stressed the group’s eagerness to work with the developer as the project progresses.

“We are looking forward to creating a positive working relationship with the developer moving forward,” Alan Seales with the block association told Curbed in a statement.