The Mall at Four Sparrow Marsh?

The twice re-scheduled public scope meeting for the proposed mall at Four Sparrow Marsh is tonight. The meeting is at 7pm in the Kings Plaza Community Room, 5100 Kings Plaza (intersection of Flatbush Avenue and Avenue U). All the delays have given me some time to look through the paperwork filed for the proposal, which calls the project, in a sleight of geographic hand, the “Four Sparrows Retail Center at Mill Basin.” Here are some excerpts:

“The project would include up to 820 total accessory parking spaces.”

“potentially affect land use, urban design, visual resources, traffic and noise, and may result in a significant adverse impact on the character of the site and surrounding neighborhood. Therefore, a detailed assessment of neighborhood character is warranted.”

“The potential for increased traffic, noise, dust, storm water runoff, and exposure of contaminated soils during construction may result in significant construction impacts on the adjacent wetlands and Four Sparrows Marsh natural area.”

On the environmental assessment statement, filled out by the developer’s lawyers, the line “Would this plan change or eliminate existing open space” is checked “no.” WTF? A lawyer’s definition of “open space,” evidently.

“due to the potential for significant adverse impacts to natural resources from the proposed development, a detailed assessment of the potential for impacts from natural resources will be performed.”

“it is anticipated that an overwhelming majority of the new workers and customers associated with the proposed retail development and the anticipated users of the new nature path would drive to the site.”
FSM is within the coastal zone and the Jamaica Bay watershed. It’s city land, but is “unmapped,” i.e. not officially anything. The “Forever Wild” designation turns out to be a bit of a place-holder. The proposed parking lot and stores are on the uplands next to Flatbush Avenue, not in the marsh per se. Nonetheless, those uplands provide a necessary buffer for the marsh.

This is purely anecdotal, but all the times I’ve ever passed the existing Toys R Us abutting the FSM land (props to the Q35 bus!), it has only looked busy on weekends. Kings Plaza, the largest shopping complex in the borough, is about a mile away.

For more information about FSM, see all my posts here.

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