New towers threaten sunlight to the Garden's Greenhouses
A proposed high-rise development at 960 Franklin Avenue (the spice factory site) would block sunlight and harm BBG’s unparalleled plant collections.
Real estate developers have filed plans to build a massive complex including two 39-story towers very close to Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Current zoning laws protect the Garden's access to sunlight by capping building height at this location at 75 feet (approximately seven stories); the plans submitted describe buildings over six times this limit.
The developers are seeking to rezone multiple lots at the site. These changes to zoning will have a lasting negative impact on Brooklyn Botanic Garden's conservatories, greenhouses, and nurseries—where plants for the entire Garden are propagated and grown—by causing the loss of as much as three hours of sunlight daily in spring, summer, and fall. The current zoning must remain in place to protect the Botanic Garden. Join us in signing a petition to city officials to oppose this rezoning and to protect the integrity and the beauty of the Garden!
What is the proposed project?
Two real estate developers, Continuum Company and Lincoln Equities, have filed plans to build a complex of two 39-story towers of over 420 feet each plus 40-foot bulkheads on the three-acre spice factory site at 960 Franklin Avenue, between Montgomery Street and Sullivan Place and very close to Brooklyn Botanic Garden. For context, the proposed towers would be over 100 feet taller than the existing Tivoli Towers on Crown Street.
How would shade from this project affect BBG’s plant collections?
Buildings of this size would have a lasting negative impact BBG’s conservatories, greenhouses, and nurseries by causing the loss of as much as three hours of sunlight daily in spring, summer, and fall. These greenhouses and nurseries are where plants for the entire Garden are propagated and grown. The development site is less than 300 feet from these structures and just 150 feet from the Garden.
Isn’t this area zoned for low-rise buildings?
Yes, zoning in the area where this project is proposed, bordering BBG near Washington Avenue, is now capped at 75 ft (approximately seven stories). This zoning was specifically established in 1991 to prevent shadows on BBG’s conservatories and greenhouses to protect its access to sunlight.
What is the Garden’s position on the project and rezoning?
The current zoning must remain unchanged.
I want to join the Garden in opposing this rezoning. How can I help?
Brooklyn Botanic Garden also encourages you to contact the chairs of the City Council's Committee on Land Use and the Council's Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises, the District 35 Council Member (the proposed project is in Council District 35), your own City Council Member, the Brooklyn Borough President, and the Mayor.
If you have further questions on how to help or wish to be added to our email list, please contact email@example.com.
Reader Comments: When It’s Green Space vs. Living Space (PDF) ›
The New York Times, March 24, 2019
Brooklyn Botanic Garden Resists Buildings That Would Cast Shade ›
The Wall Street Journal, March 11, 2019
Nearby Rezoning Proposal Casts Shadow on Brooklyn Botanic Garden ›
NY1, March 13, 2019
Crown Heights Spice Factory Development Pits Labor vs. Locals ›
Brooklyn Daily Eagle, March 13, 2019