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About the Plaza
NEWS | January 30, 2023
A Commercial Observer article by Rebecca Baird-Remba features an interview with Restoration President & CEO, Blondel Pinnock, discussing our plans for Innovation Campus.
From the Article:
“And, while new residential construction in Bed-Stuy might be slowing to a crawl, the redevelopment of Restoration Plaza would be the neighborhood’s largest new commercial project in decades. The Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation (BSRC) applied to the Department of City Planning in January for a rezoning that would allow a new three-tower commercial and retail project on the plaza, which has occupied Fulton Street between New York and Brooklyn avenues for nearly 60 years.
The 2-acre complex will be torn down to make way for three buildings — projected to be 16, 13 and four stories — to be built over the next five to 10 years. The 840,000-square-foot development would include space for local nonprofits, which occupy existing office space in the plaza, as well as new cultural and program spaces for BSRC. The community development corporation currently operates an art gallery, an amphitheater, a large public plaza and multiple retail spaces, as well as programs for workforce training, financial education and home ownership assistance.
Restoration Plaza’s new iteration will have all of that, plus more office and retail space. The largest retail tenant is a Super Foodtown, which will remain in place for the first half of construction. The first phase consists of the two smaller towers, and once that is complete the supermarket will move to the finished portion of the project. Applebee’s, a U.S. Post Office, and clothing store Nicholas have also been in the plaza for years. It’s not clear whether they’ll stay, but the new development is slated to have 190,000 square feet of retail.
“We’re talking to them about relocation plans,” said Blondel Pinnock, the president and CEO of the BSRC. “We would be able to relocate some of the office spaces we have to a building on New York Avenue.”
Pinnock said the full cost of the project is likely to range from $500 million to $700 million. The four-story “cultural building” — which will be BSRC’s offices — will be subsidized by $50 million in funding from the city. The rest of the project is not funded yet, but the nonprofit hopes to snag financing from city and state sources, as well as private investors like Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group, according to Pinnock.
She said she hopes to provide subsidized offices for nonprofits as well as subsidized storefronts for local businesses. Providing job training programs, and potentially space for a local college, are high priorities for BSRC, she explained.
“Restoration has been in the community since 1967,” said Pinnock. “What we know is when Restoration was started, it was started to stabilize and bring much-needed services into a community that was in desperate need. We know Brooklyn is in a much different scenario now than it was then. It’s one of the fastest-growing boroughs. Black and Latino residents have not benefited from the growth that has happened in the borough and in Bed-Stuy. We have to make sure we are meeting our community where it is from a racial equity standpoint. We have to make sure we are bridging the racial wealth gap.”
Read the Full Article Here.
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