Since its inception, the AALDC has advocated for responsible development that supports the businesses and communities on the Avenue. It has promoted preserving the historic and cultural character of the Avenue, while at the same time moving forward with developing its untapped potential. The following are some of the areas in which we have been involved.
Atlantic Yards / Pacific Park
The AALDC was a founding member of BrooklynSpeaks. In 2006 BrooklynSpeaks was established by a consortium of community organizations to voice community concerns about the development of the Atlantic Yards (now Pacific Park). Announced in 2003, the project has yet to be finished and issues continue concerning construction impacts, modifications to the project plan in favor of real estate developers, and unmet promises (covering the rail yard, adequate and actually affordable housing, public open space, etc). Please visit both the BrooklynSpeaks website to learn more about the BrooklynSpeaks Crossroads initiative and Norman Oder’s Atlantic Yards report to be kept abreast of current news related to the project.
Brooklyn Bridge Park
The AALDC was a founding member of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Community Advisory Council (CAC). The CAC was established in 2010 to provide direct community input to the managers of the Park, the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation. After the General Project Plan was approved in 2006, most of the community discussions revolved around the extent of residential housing needed to support ongoing BBP operations. The AALDC supported keeping development to a minimum to allow for more park space, as well as maintaining or improving views from and access to the Park. Now the housing and most of the projects in the park are complete. However, the CAC continues to provide input on daily operations as well as any revisions to park or its finishing touches.
Brooklyn Detention Center
The Brooklyn Detention Center sits on an entire block in the middle of the section of Atlantic Avenue that the AALDC is involved in. The building has been there since the 1950s. Due to the need to close Rikers Island, the City announced in 2017 the intention to replace it with a network of borough-based jails. In August 2018, the city released a Draft Scope of Work, outlining their plan for the new jail, which would tear down the existing 162,000 sq ft. facility and replace it with a building eight times as large (1.4 million sq ft.). This was contrary to the feedback that had been given by the AALDC and other community members to keep the increase in building density to a minimum while also closing Rikers. Demolition on the site has begun. According to Brownstoner, two design-build construction companies have been selected to submit their bids with construction expected to begin in late 2022 or early 2023.
BQE Cantilever Reconstruction
The westward diverting at Atlantic Avenue of the 1950s construction of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (BQE) led to the building of the cantilever that created the Brooklyn Heights Promenade. That cantilever is in need of repair. A plan has yet to be created that results in minimal disruption to traffic and the surrounding neighborhoods, while at the same time taking advantage of the opportunity to rethink the approach to vehicular traffic in our city. THe intersection of the BQE with Atlantic Avenue and the surrounding neighborhoods is both a current threat to pedestrian health and safety and a vestige of a time when highways were a greater priority than open space, community continuity and the environment.
Over the years, the AALDC has sought to expand the historic preservation of the surrounding residential neighborhoods to the Avenue in order to preserve the unique character of the area for the benefit of residents and business. In 2002, The AALDC developed a master plan for the Avenue that was filed with the Department of Buildings to establish a vision for the entire avenue and guidelines for new construction (include upload/link here). More recently, in 2018, the AALDC supported the expansion of the Boerum Hill Historic District to include storefronts on Atlantic Avenue.
Atlantic Avenue was also recognized by the Historic Districts Council as a 6tocelebrate recipient. More information about specific, significant buildings can be found on their website.