Recent controversy surrounding the Bridge Herkimer Street Development, a building that will provide residences for mentally ill patients on Herkimer and New York Avenue, raised questions by the Herking Alagantic block association about their right to be included in the planning process.
Area residents worry about the growing number of buildings that house high-need populations on the blocks and its impact on the block’s overall quality of life.
However, the Bridge Herkimer Street Project’s CEO, Dr. Peter Beitchman, points out that since the building will serve as a mixed-use facility that will integrate people with special needs and people in need of affordable housing, it will help serve the community in two important ways.
Beitchman adds that the mixed-use model is thriving in other buildings in Bed Stuy, where building services, such as 24-hour front desk coverage, support staff to provide assistance for residents with special needs, and social and recreational spaces are included in the amenities.
Additionally, it’s important to note that the population these buildings serve hail from the very communities where they are built. It seems to be a win-win situation.
Or is it? When choosing housing, residents weigh a variety of options, whether it is costs, location to public transportation or the types of businesses that are in the proximity of where they live. To have that option taken away or not be included in the process, for some, is problematic.
What do you think? Do you feel the mixed-use nature of the building is something you are more likely to throw your support behind, or would it not sway your feelings either way? Take our poll and tell us what you think in the comments.