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

Dean Street Block Association considering expansion to "represent northern Prospect Heights" near Pacific Park

The Dean Street Block Association (DSBA), which represents residents on Dean Street between Sixth and Vanderbilt avenues, is considering expansion, forming "a single neighborhood organization to represent northern Prospect Heights." (Presumably, the name would change.)

Shadowing that, it seems, is response to the Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park project. DSBA members have absorbed significant project impacts, and have led efforts to monitor the project.

According to a post on the group's web site, a meeting Monday will address the possibility of including St. Marks, Carlton, and 6th Avenues, as well as Bergen, Dean and Pacific Streets. The meeting will be held at 7 pm at the Community Room at the Latin Evangelical Free Church, 506 Bergen Street.

"This is a special area with shared issues," the post states. "We have a history of working together successfully." The DSBA has held public meetings nearly every month since 2004.

"The area we are proposing has a history of working together productively, including most recently on problems with rodents, and thinking through a future for the HPD parking lots on Bergen and Dean," the DSBA added in response to my query. We believe that as our neighborhood changes, our experiences will be drawn even closer together."

The map seems to encompass the Dean Street frontage of the project site

"In a neighborhood, legitimate representation requires genuine consultation and participation," the post states. "We believe local civic organizations should be guided by their members, act transparently, and communicate openly and honestly. Please join us to discuss this idea as a way to more strongly advocate for our community and its shared issues and concerns."

Tension in the neighborhood

I suspect part of this effort also results from some recent tension between the DSBA and the Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council (PHNDC), originally a coalition of membership groups but which in late 2016 became an individual membership organization.

The DSBA left PHNDC in June 2014 after the latter was part of a settlement--with other BrooklynSpeaks member groups--regarding Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park, promising not to pursue a potential fair-housing lawsuit if the project's affordable housing faced a new 2025 deadline, among other requirements.

The DSBA said the settlement's creation of an advisory oversight board, the Atlantic Yards Community Development Corporation (AY CDC), left nearby residents too vulnerable. (The gubernatorially-controlled AY CDC has added some transparency, but has been mostly toothless.)

Members of the DSBA have also disagreed with PHNDC about such things as siting a public school at the B15 site, between Dean and Pacific streets east of Sixth Avenue.

PHNDC as of late 2014 included two block associations representing residents near or relatively near the project, the Carlton Avenue Association, and the St. Marks Avenue Block Association.

Otherwise, its member groups--and its most prominent leaders--represented those farther away, including Friends of Underhill Playground (at Underhill Avenue and Prospect Place), the Park Place/Underhill Avenue Block Association (Park Place between Vanderbilt Avenue and Washington Avenue, and Underhill Avenue between Prospect Place and Sterling Place), and the Sterling Place Block Association (representing residents from Washington to Underhill avenues), as well as the Prospect Heights Association (sponsor of the neighborhood house tour).