77 Commercial Street update: our fuckhead neighbor Stephen Levin voted to allow 30-40 story towers in Greenpoint

Stephen Levin, from his Twitter

Stephen Levin, from his Twitter

Councilman Levin announced in a press release today that he approved selling the “air rights” to developers instead of mandating a maximum height consistent with the neighborhood’s existing architecture. No word on whether the so-called affordable housing that is promised will be segregated. (Of course it will be.) From his press release:

“Greenpoint is my home and during this process and throughout my entire term in office I have listened carefully to my neighbors’ thoughts and concerns about the future of our neighborhood. I have heard from many Greenpointers expressing their opposition to the height and density of this project, but the open space and affordable housing needs of our community that have persisted for years also go without question. While this project allows for greater height, density is not added but simply moved over from next door.”

Goodbye quaint neighborhood, hello Dubai.


  1. Alternative headline: Levin voted to build more affordable housing in neighborhood desperately needing more affordable housing.

    • Haha, you really think that all of the promised affordable housing will actually happen, how sweet. It’s gonna be luxury condos.

    • Kara Olochenski says:

      More like “Spine-less Levin thinks Greenpointers in need of affordable housing can beat the odds and WIN a place to live!” Please..you need affordable housing, you might as well play NY Lotto daily. I think your odds are better! Lottery housing is no hope for anyone to hold on to. He sold our community down the polluted Newtown Creek! If he thinks this was a good move for his career, I think by the next election he will learn otherwise and he’ll see that the majority will remember that he he is not a man of his word…what a nice legacy.. So Levin..sure you “Listened to the community” and then you chose to ignore what you heard.

  2. Fuming on Franklin says:

    Mr. Levin: For shame. You chose to represent no one in this community. You sold us down the creek. You could have done the right thing. So sad. You gave these sociopathic developers a $5 hand job. You’ve done their dirty work. They got what they want and will forget you.

    • fuming on freeman says:

      here here! sold us down the creek he did! that’s why i did not vote for him, as it was clear he was a weasel. now, it takes the ruining of our once charming awesome greenpoint for us to remember to never let him in office again!!

  3. Fine by me. I don’t think he’s a fuck head at all, he has done some great things for our schools. Oh noes, progress! Guess what freewilliamsburg and EVERYONE who moved here in the past 15 years. This is what happens. We are running out of room. Take your privilege and shove it.

  4. Bobby Moses says:

    There’s no way out. Downzone the waterfront and watch rents and property prices skyrocket due to constricted supply or allow towers that usher in more development. One way you get more housing for people and the other way you don’t.

    And Dubai has several thousand towers, not two. Get real, Occupy Greenpointers.

    • jane jacobs says:

      Ha! Nice name, another one for Robert Moses! Wear your fascist badge with pride, huh. Downzoning is exactly what should have happened (like they’ve managed to do in parts of Queens), but because of their greed, it won’t. And rents and taxes are going to do nothing but skyrocket along with the monster skyscrapers. You’re an idiot if you think only two towers are coming to Gpoint. (2 at 77, 10 at GPL, and that’s just the beginning). Those two “developments” alone will bring a population increase of 15,000! Disgusting! Where is Jane Jacobs when we need her?!

  5. his vote, and the city council’s vote, is certainly disappointing. incredibly disappointing. but this headline and entire article is sensational for the sake of quick clicks. why not inform your readers of the incredibly complicated and tedious ULURP process. why not tell the community what they will get in return for this sellout–something is better than nothing, no? and lastly, why not remind readers that CM Levin is an elected official–and if people don’t like his votes, they can remove him from office–instead of just calling him names like an 8 year old.

    • quick clicks? you’re dumb.

      • Actually Heather is sharp. One of the few who has made a DIY EFFORT to make sense of all the legal mumbo jumbo that has been thrown our way by the developers. Unfortunately this is bigger than just the developers, if you can believe that. This is landscape/cityscape altering billions of dollars madness stemming from 2005 when abused and neglected land was with a stroke of legislative ink made extrodinarilly profitable for those who had abused and neglected it. Many of our local papers are not addressing this, nor are the politicians. Even local community groups are delusionally ushering these disproportionate projects through BECAUSE they are not for profits which have bottom lines to meet and lack true vision. All superficial attempts at checking off the Points of Agreement list, which btw most likely included an amount of housing that was not included in the 2005 FEIS. Example, what was once Neighbors Against Garbage, now NAGG has been sucking the dev’s cock as well as Bloomberg’s, making way for projects that will erase our neighborhood and produce tons and tons of trash a week that will go to someone else’s backyard. And so it turns out the results contradict the original good intentions of creating a healthy and affordable living environment. On top of that the buildings will be schlock architecturally speaking and poorly layout. And so it is however important not to underestimate the power and possibilities of quickclicks.

  6. The truth is Levin is in the pocket of developers. This is not progress. This is OVER-development. It’s so easy to use the words “affordable housing” and “open space” as talking points to placate people. The crumbs we’re getting in exchange for the height of this project is ridiculous. A robbery. The ratio of open space in Greenpoint will actually decrease in relation to the number of people it will bring because of this bullshit. And it’s not just two towers. This is the beginning of a swath of towers that are going to run along the entire Greenpoint waterfront to Williamsburg which will be over a dozen towers that brings more than 15,000 people, increasing the population by nearly 50%. Good luck squeezing on the G or L or 7 trains. Good luck trying to afford to live here. The number of residents that will be displaced by higher rents will easily equal the amount of “affordable” housing that will be built. It’s already started. This is irresponsible development. Period. And it reaffirms the new New York precedent that all new construction must be a tower. Even in small outer-borough communities. It’s purely about money, not affordable housing or open space. Levin had an opportunity to speak for the community and make at least a small dent. His statement on his decision was verbatim of what came out of the developers mouths at the hearings. It’s cringe-worthy. And after spending the past few years fighting this, 100’s of hours of research and time invested, taking time off of work to give testimony at every stage of this process, and being a 17 year resident of Greenpoint, I don’t find it childish at all to lash out. It’s out of love for this neighborhood, frustration with the process that deceives you into thinking that you can make a change from the local level and the secret closed door meetings that which all of the real decisions are made before being announced in public that leads to a headline like this. Steve Levin should be shamed. He was a paper tiger for the community. Not even a tiger. A squirrel. Being called a fuckhead is a hell of a lot less offensive than the negative impact his decision will bring to the community.

  7. Keith is absolutely right. Stephen Levin is worse than a sell-out. It seems clear now he was planning this all along, to be a Bloomberg hand-holder and developer enabler. He knows these are the folks with money and power, he’s no fool, he knows what side his bread is buttered on, and no doubt he has big ambitions for himself in politics after his tenure as a Council person. He’s a politician, and can play the game with the best of ’em. “Sutton” , you call this progress?! That’s what they also called what was happening in Germany WW2, it was for “progress”. Peoples lives have been, are being, and will continue to be destroyed here. There is no affordable housing for the truly poor. There is no sunset plan for folks who have been here all our lives and can no longer afford to stay. This will be a dangerous density/lack of infrastructure travesty, all in the name of greed. Levin lives on the other side of Greenpoint, so he guesses he doesn’t have to deal with it, but he’s so myopic, he doesn’t realize it will affect many surrounding neighborhoods, Williamsburg, parts of Queens, etc, will all be affected by these incredibly stupid Levin approved decisions. And “Sutton”, you say he’s done great things for our schools, that’s a joke. His latest great achievement for schools, is he sanctioned GPL to build a 600 plus student elementary school mere feet from a toxic superfund site. Great one! Why is no one talking about the very real ramifications of the toxic site where GPL will build and the toxic Newtown creek where 77 will build?! Meanwhile we suffer from environmental illness, lose babies, and Levin does his spin doctor thing, fulfilling his agenda. It really is shameful. Go visit the Tenement museum and you will hear how many people at one time used to live on a small street during it’s horrific tenement past, – this is going to be ten fold worse. But it’s OK because they are “luxury” towers. Some of you, like Heather, just don’t get it, do you. I bet you’re a good kid who always colored in the lines. The only ones that can be congratulated today are Free Williamsburg, for having the nuts to print such a truthful and cutting piece.

    • Some of you, like Heather, just don’t get it, do you. I bet you’re a good kid who always colored in the lines. — ha, that is fairly accurate.

  8. How unfortunate that Greenpoint, such a calm, isolated and diverse neighborhood will go the way of some hybrid version of hyped up Williamsburg and suburban corporate office park-like L.I.C., though with much less open space than either. The opposite should have happened. Why was NYC unable to recognise that this piece of land is unique and deserved to be treated so? Make no mistake… what has happened has nothing to do with progress. The Uniform Land Use Review Process has been reduced to a dog and pony show, as was the case in 2005 during the rezoning which was justified by a flawed and now out of date Environmental Impact Statement.


  10. dotsandrops says:

    Yeah, Levin knows who’s gonna pay his ticket to congress, so he has to be a good boy and do as he’s told. But truth be told, the writing was on the wall for anyone to read. From city hall to Albany, everyone is dipping hands in the gravy train as it passes along. The only way for Greenpoint not to be a total fucking disaster –as our fucking developers want and our fucking politicians provide– is always been the EPA.

  11. ayimbynewyorker says:

    Not only are these new towers appropriate for the East River waterfront in NEW YORK CITY; they are also necessary.

    NYC is growing in population, especially in areas near the core. It only makes sense to build very dense there and around mass transportation hubs. Greenpoint is conveniently located near the core. You can reach the largest employment area in NYC (Manhatttan CBD) within a reasonable time frame via bicycle or mass transit. It’s only natural for density to increase within these inner city neighborhoods.

    I also fail to realize how the status quo better served Greenpont? You know, decrepit industrial buildings. I prefer mixed use developments and new parks with waterfront access.

    Greenpoint will not be Midtown, not within our lifetimes anyway. Increased density is beneficial, the area can sustain it.

    • Right. “New York City is growing in population so it’s necessary to increase the population? You consider areas within Brooklyn and Queens “inner-city neighborhoods”? I can tell you’re a logical fellow. Wow. And for the record, some of these towers are being built not on the East River, but on a creek. I really don’t know what to say except this is obviously just another failed argument in favor of this development.

  12. Bobby Moses says:

    Market forces will dictate how the city looks and where its residents will live. Your presumptive Communist revolution will fizzle at de Blasio’s door. Even he knows which way the wind REALLY blows. Go Towers!

  13. conscience says:

    there’s a cold place for you, right next to stephen “lb” levin, where greed and selfishness are the norm. no peace for the wicked. i pity you.

  14. Funny, no one complains that the Polish people indigineous to Greenpoint not only sold their own kind out, but shamelessly with charging insane amounts of money for shitty apartments. That’s ok though.

  15. Density was added. It came from the to be next door park. Parks are not suppose to have air rights to sell (for cheap).

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