A controversial new re-zoning project has passionate advocates and strong detractors. There are two pieces of land that are currently under discussion for rezoning. The land would go from being zoned for manufacturing to being zoned for residential condos – close to 70 condos would be built under the current proposal. The land is on 12th and 13th Avenue on the edge of Kensington and Borough Park, near Greenwood Cemetery.
One of the arguments that favors the project is that there is a desperate need of affordable housing in the Kensington area. Large families shoulder a difficult burden in finding and paying for apartments that comfortably fit their clans and these condos would be a boon for them. Not only that, but bringing young families into the neighborhood would add a vibrancy and youth to the area. The manufacturing areas of Kensington are not visually appealing and having additional residences there instead could also grow the commercial businesses in the area, such as restaurants and shops.
However there are also a chorus of voices speaking against the project in its current state. Some concerns are that smaller families very much need affordable units as well, so why are the condos being built all four or five bedroom? There is also land being utilized for parking, which some residents would prefer to see used for public green space for neighborhood kids. Politicians and residents alike have expressed concern that the condos would initially be affordable but would, once the restrictions expire, rocket upwards in price. And there is also the worry that taking away the land from manufacturing buildings will also take away jobs in that sector.
There are still a lot of questions and concerns when it comes to the project and whether it will benefit Kensington in the long term.