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NYC Council OKs Brooklyn development plan at former Pfizer site

A fiercely fought Brooklyn development plan that stirred up charges of racism and anti-Semitism got final approval Tuesday.

The plan for eight buildings with 1,146 new apartments for land in Williamsburg formerly occupied by drug giant Pfizer passed the City Council by a vote of 37-7.

Opponents charged the apartments, a quarter of which will have rent limits, would go mostly to the neighborhood’s Hasidic Jewish residents, freezing out blacks and Latinos. Project supporters countered with accusations of anti-Semitism.

“It was a complicated rezoning, but at the end of the day I believe it serves the interests of all communities in north Brooklyn,” said Councilman Steve Levin (D-Brooklyn), who represents the district.

Pol accuses critics of Brooklyn development of anti-Semitism

He said the plan would bring “hundreds of units of affordable housing, open space, good paying jobs and community involvement.”

But as he spoke, protesters chanted “housing yes, segregation no” and unfurled a banner reading, “Pfizer rezoning = segregation.”

The site is part of an area known as Broadway Triangle on the border of Williamsburg and Bedford-Stuyvesant, which has a fraught history. A court halted a 2009 city plan to develop the area after opponents sued charging it was racially discriminatory.

The latest plan is likely to spur litigation as well.

Groups bid $10M to buy vacant Pfizer property

Councilman Antonio Reynoso, who represents the district next door, was a leading opponent of the proposal.

“Today is a sad day for north Brooklyn and for those who want to create a New York City that is free from segregation,” he said. “The rezoning will only contribute to a long history of segregation in the Broadway Triangle.”

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