Skip to main content

Featured Post

Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park graphic: what's built/what's coming + FAQ (pinned post)

New historic street lights on (long-rising) Vanderbilt Avenue, thanks to $575K from BP Adams

PHNDC caption: Historic fixtures to be installed on 
Vanderbilt Avenue (left)  closely resemble lights  installed 
a century ago (right, near M.S. 340 at Sterling Place
A press release from the Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council Prospect Heights’ Vanderbilt Avenue to receive historic street lighting:
Today, the Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council (PHNDC) and the Office of Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams announced that Vanderbilt Avenue, the central boulevard of Brooklyn’s Prospect Heights neighborhood, will be enhanced with historic street lighting. Fifty historic M type fixtures will replace all existing lamps, traffic and pedestrian signals from Atlantic Avenue to Plaza Street.
...said Gib Veconi, chair of the Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council. “The historic reproduction fixtures to be installed closely replicate lampposts that appear in photographs of Vanderbilt Avenue from a century ago. They will provide strong visual continuity along a street that includes a large number of properties in New York City Landmark and National Register Historic districts, alongside 20th century commercial and residential buildings, as well as contemporary architecture at Pacific Park.”
“With these lights, Vanderbilt Avenue is continuing its transformation into one of Brooklyn’s prominent retail destinations,” said Ellen Fishman, president of the Vanderbilt Avenue Merchants District. “These new lights bring a major enhancement of the street’s visual appeal. They will benefit residents, visitors and especially the businesses on the avenue. We are extraordinarily grateful to the Borough President for his interest and efforts, which are making this fantastic upgrade possible.”
Note the context: Vanderbilt retail costs and rents have already gone up in anticipation of the slow-to-arrive Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park housing, and Vanderbilt has been identified as a hot retail strip for more than a decade, given media mentions in 2005, 20082010, and 2011.

So the new lights will benefit those landlords and merchants, including Greenland Forest City Partners, which is trying to rent space in new Pacific Park Brooklyn buildings at record high rates.

The cost was unmentioned in the PHNDC press release but reported by the Brooklyn Paper as $575,000 from Borough President Eric Adams, who, it should be noted, is an enthusiastic supporter of Pacific Park.

The press release states:
Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams said, “Vanderbilt Avenue is one of our borough’s most exciting commercial strips, and the new historic street lighting that our capital budget is funding will add true character and charm that translates into economic benefit. I am pleased to work with the Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council and the Vanderbilt Avenue Merchants District on this quality-of-life investment that will further illuminate the appeal of this corridor’s dining, nightlife, and shopping destinations.”
The Brooklyn Paper did its thing and produced The fixture’s in! Old-timey street lamps coming to historic Vanderbilt Ave. stretch:
“When people think about this part of Brooklyn, they think of the historic architecture and these lights will really help enhance that experience,” said Gib Veconi, who is the head of neighborhood group the Prospect Heights Development Council. “We’re trying to do things to make it a more exciting and attractive destination for people all over the city.”
...Veconi’s group has been pushing to get the traditional street lamps for five years, and Borough President Adams just produced the funds to make it happen by allotting $575,000 from taxpayer coffers for the fancy light fittings.
One commenter was approving, but another groused, "Gov can't find $$$$ for street safety or better roads but can dole out for this bull s--t."