Rheingold Watch

Ensuring All Year Management, Yoel Goldman, Simon Dushinsky, Read Property Group, Rabsky Group, & Real Estate keep their promises

"No Affordable Housing, No Construction!"

In 2010 Read Properties filed a ULURP application to rezone the former Rheingold Brewery to permit the construction of residential apartments on the former industrial area. After tremendous community push-back, the developer got consent for the rezoning after agreeing to provide a number of community benefits, including 30% affordable housing.

In 2014, Read sold part of the land to Simon Dushinsky's Rabsky Group. Dushinsky has refused to honor any of the commitments to the community and has submitted plans that don't include any affordable housing.

In 2016 All Year Management purchased two portions of the Rheingold Site. It bought 123 Melrose Street from Princeton Holdings’ Joseph Tabak and Read Property Group’s Robert Wolf in November for $68.5 million. Then, in April, it picked up the adjacent 28 Stanwix Street from the same sellers, paying $72.2 million.

The Community Benefit Agreement:

Agreement Enforceability Mechanism Timeline Kept?
30% Affordable Housing Units, integrated throughout the building Pursuant to 4-21a After completion Not yet
Unit Mix: 20% Studios / 45% 1BR / 35% 2 & 3 BR Letter During Construction ?
Donation of Land to Non-profits Contract of sale Done yes
Marketing / pre-marketing of Affordable Units HPD/HUD guidelines + CUFFH contact Done yes
Community facilities Non-profits TBD no
Community Preference (50% of goes towards CD34) 4-21a condition After completion no
$150,000 / $50k/yr for 3 years to social services program Run by Los Sures & CUFFH After occupation of Affordable Housing no
Parking entrances agreement with CM34 & DOT TBD no
Offer for rent any used parking space to qualified community residents TBD no
Parking affordability: 50% discount Agreement between DOT & Read TBD no
$250k - "Tenant services" a.k.a anti-displacement program local partner (?) Money in escrow until May no
$300k for upgrades at PS120 & PS150 "funding is contingent upon the mitigation of the shortfall of seats by DOE & not the developer" "as per EIS" no
$60k for community gardens & healthy foods program "funding is contingent upon the mitigation of the shortfall of seats by DOE & not the developer" "as per EIS" no
9 community representatives "Community Construction Committee" (CCC) done yes
Construction Manager: responsible for monthly updates to a community representative (through CB4) ongoing NO
Complaint hotline as soon as Demolition or excavation starts no
Garbage pick-up & rodent extermination as soon as Demolition or excavation starts no
$75,000 job training program MOU + Letter with St. Nicks done yes
Retail business size on C2-4 limited to 20,000 sq ft (unless supermarket or fresh food store) current ?
marketing to local business TBD no
No hotel commitment on mademoiselle site for 15 years current so far
17,850 sq. ft. of privately owned land to be used as public open space EIS + letter upon completion of approximately 220 units no
Park enhancements (green noll park) specifics determined by Parks Dept. & Councilmember upon completion of approximately 220 units no
Green roof / urban farm on Mademoiselle No commitment: "subject to further review and contingent on financial feasibility no
Utilize green + energy efficient building and construction techniques No commitment: "subject to further review" no

What Happened?

Rheingold brewery closed in 1976. This industrial land was (potentially willingly) underutilized for years serving as loading docks and truck storage, as well as serving less formal industrial and commercial uses. The Mademoiselle building (Flushing & Evergreen) was built with public subsidies serving as a garment factory and local employer.

In 2010 Read Properties (owner & developer of the Rheingold site including the Mademoiselle building) filed a ULURP application with NYC City Planning Department. Through this ULURP process the landowner was asking for the Communities’ permission to change the zoning of this land and allow Read to build residential on industrial land. This zoning change would radically alter the community and provide enormous profit for the developer.

September 3, 2013 Bushwick Residents were invited by CM Reyna to attend a Town Hall meeting to inform the community about the ULURP (rezoning) application and proposed Residential Development at Rheingold. The attending Community response was clear and direct in it's articulation of local need and concern around the Read Properties proposal. Neighbors convened after the Town Hall and again voiced communal concern. A subsequent step in the Rheingold Rezoning ULURP process- a Planning Commission Public Hearing galvanized neighbors around calling for equitable land use in Bushwick. Most neighbors in attendance at these public events were unaware of the ULURP Rezoning process already underway at the Rheingold site.

North West Bushwick Community Group began in reaction to the Rheingold Rezoning in Bushwick in September, 2013. New and old residents came together to form a group that would advocate against the displacement of Bushwick's longtime working-class and low-income residents and for accountability from developers.

In December 2013 The New York City Council approved the rezoning of Rheingold and certified Read Properties’ ULURP application. The 9 blocks of formerly industrial land is now zoned for residential use with nearly 900 luxury apartments slated to built here over the next few years. This massive residential development will impact Bushwick’s long standing working-class & low-income communities and potentially serves to threaten local affordable housing stability.

In 2014, Reed sold part of the land to Simon Dushinsky's Rabsky Group. Dushinsky has refused to honor any of the commitments to the community and has submitted plans that don't include any affordable housing.

On July 30, 2015 North West Bushwick, the Rheigngold Construction Committee and many community partners held a Town Hall to discuss and condemn Dushinksy's Rabsky Group failure to keep their promises to the community. North West Bushwick Community Group explains their outrage:

"The Bushwick Community demands accountability from developers profiting in our community. The Rheingold rezoning was hard fought and Bushwick now has no choice but to speak up, rally and act together to demand accountability at Rheingold and from Simon Dushinsky. Every affordable apartment and every Community developed mitigation which was negotiated from the Rheingold rezoning are expected to be fulfilled on site regardless of who owns the property. The Bushwick Community gathered, rallied, and worked hard to develop a rezoning plan which would surpass the bare-minimum legal requirements for mitigation. Bushwick fully expects the standing agreements at Rheingold to be delivered. Our Community is suffering from a housing crisis and we cannot afford to let a developer take advantage of our vulnerabilities- we have people and families in our Community who desperately need this housing and funding to continue living their lives in a Community that has long been a proud and strong working-class Community; A Community that now shifts daily toward luxury for some and dispossession for the rest of us."

A group of community members slept overnight in front of the site in protest.

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