After months of vocal protest from locals, it looks like the fancy re-zoning of the Rheingold Factory is moving forward, after the City Planning Commission unanimously approved a plan to turn the building into expensive new apartments.
According to DNAinfo, the massive re-zoning will create 977 apartments (24 percent of which are slated to be “affordable”), as well as space for retail and possibly even a school. Local opponents think the vote may have been rushed in order to get things underway while Bloomberg is still in office, and Community Board 4 member Nadine Whitted told the site, “I think they want to push this [rezoning] forward before the administration changes and don’t want anything to stop it.”
The Community Board came under fire last month for secretly voting to approve the plans, a move board members say was in response to new provisions for increased affordable housing numbers. Still, CB4 is now joining forces with neighbors to form the Northwest Bushwick Community Group to lobby for affordable housing in the neighborhood. Probably a case of too little too late (though a few affordable units in an expensive building are better than none), but if nothing else, we can take comfort in the news that some kind of brewing industry seems to be returning to the neighborhood.
Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.