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Old Posted Jan 22, 2015, 2:10 PM
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Coney Island locals are mobilizing to battle plans to raze a strip mall and replace it with a massive 40-story tower
The proposed tower, slated to include 544 apartments atop three floors of commercial businesses, would be nearly 20 stories higher than the nearby Trump Village complexes

January 20, 2015

Angry neighbors are gearing up to do battle with the developer that’s planning a 40-story tower in Coney Island.

“We have to fight this,” longtime resident Barbara Sherman said. “It will destroy our whole quality of life here.”

She lives across the street from a Neptune Ave. strip mall now slated to be demolished and replaced with a skyscraper that’s nearly 20 stories higher than the surrounding housing complexes of Trump Villages -- among the tallest in south Brooklyn.

The project would consolidate a cluster of parcels nestled next to the Neptune Ave. F train station, and would include 544 apartments atop three floors of commercial businesses, building plans first reported by YIMBY show.

Billionaire real estate investor Rubin Schron’s Cammeby International has already begun laying the groundwork, informing merchants throughout the Trump Villages shopping center that their leases won’t be renewed.

The developers will reveal more about the plan and city environmental officials will discuss the site’s remediation on Wednesday at a special public meeting convened by Councilman Chaim Deutsch at 7 p.m. at Lincoln High School.

“I think it was only the right thing to let the community and elected officials know,” said Deutsch (D-Brooklyn), noting his concerns about traffic, displaced businesses and contamination on a site that he said was once a gas manufacturing plant.

Neighbors along Neptune depend on two pharmacies in the retail strip, where they also do their banking, post letters and parcels, take clothes to be laundered and eat in restaurants. It’s all within walking distance of the nearby co-op complexes.

Merchants in the doomed strip mall said Cammeby representatives promised to find them new homes in the vacant Royal Palms spa, about a block away.

“They’re trying not to hurt anybody,” said one merchant who declined to give his name.

“They’re offering people money to buy them out” of existing leases.

A spokeswoman confirmed that the firm is planning to revamp the former bathhouse to accommodate the businesses along with the residents who depend on them.

“The building is just one block from the existing shopping center and will enable tenants to continue to meet the needs of the neighborhood’s residents,” spokeswoman Christa Segalini said in a statement.

Some residents remain worried, though.

“They should drop dead,” said one senior, who said her name was Ce.

“Where are we going to go?”

Several tenants in a Coney Island strip mall expect to relocate to the vacant Royal Palace building after the mall is razed for development of a 40-story tower.

A notice in the front window of a dry cleaners in a Neptune Ave. strip mall warns patrons of an impending closing.

Proposed apartment building concerns residents

January 21, 2015

Hundreds of residents packed a town hall meeting in Coney Island where leaders spoke to discuss a potential new 40-story apartment building.

Residents voiced their concerns at the Lincoln High Auditorium on Wednesday over the project at 532 Neptune Ave.

Most of the buildings in the area don't stretch higher than 23 stories. But that's only the beginning of community concerns.

The site is potentially highly contaminated because it used to be a gas plant. According to health and environmental officials, the development of the land could cause major health issues in the surround area.

The Department of Environmental Conservation will inspect the site, but residents and politicians like New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer still adamantly oppose the project.

"After all this community has gone through, the answer is not to simply come up here and build a 40-story building on what may be a toxic site," Stringer says.

The developers were also able to speak at the meeting. They focused on the positive economic impact that the project would have. But, that was greeted with many jeers, boos and even laughter from the crowd.
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