City Wants to Spice Up Brooklyn’s Upper Fourth Avenue

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The neighborhood in 2021, as completely imagined in our heads and on Photoshop. Photo: D.J. Baskin and Mike Vilensky

If a new proposal passes at the City Planning Department, developers will be prohibited from building parking lots or "block-long stretches of opaque walls" on dozens of streets along Fourth Avenue between Atlantic Avenue and 24th Street in Brooklyn, which is currently a stretch that's heavy on auto body shops, around South Park Slope. In the proposal, the City demands that the area's new developments include retail shops, community facilities, coffeehouses, restaurants, and, like, nice offices, with "lobbies up to 25 feet wide." The neighborhood's current aesthetic is basically being bashed: The proposal calls it "unscenic," "blocky," and "lacking in an active pedestrian environment."

But it must really be true: Even the sharp City Room commenters admit that the stretch is aesthetically uninteresting, and they're advocating for trees to be planted. So if neighborhood residents support this plan, then we're all for it. But if in five years the W Atlantic Avenue goes up — filled with NYU students and day traders sipping "The Park Slope" (gin, bitters, splash of lemon, $18) — then prepare for the moans of, "Grr, the authentic character of that opaque wall was destroyed."

Planners Want to ‘Enliven’ Fourth Avenue in Brooklyn [City Room/NYT]
City Plans Special Commercial District for Fourth Ave. [Carroll Gardens/Patch]