Brooklyn Merchants Fight for Parking Over Affordable Housing

A group of profoundly confused Brooklyn merchants have convinced themselves that a nearby empty lot is better used for motor vehicle storage than affordable housing for 152 families. Oh, and by the way, the affordable housing plan includes an even larger parking lot beneath the building. The Daily News reports:

A group of Williamsburg merchants is battling a city plan to develop a parking lot that for more than a decade has helped attract customers to the thriving commercial strip. But the city and the developer - which is set to buy the city lot for $1 - said the plans for 152 units of affordable housing at McKenna Court also would benefit the merchants.

The lengthy city land-review process, which will determine whether the project will be approved, continued on Monday with a hearing before the borough president...

The merchants said that many more spaces would be needed for the new tenants. But the developer said past experiences have shown that few, if any, of the new tenants would have cars. Without a transportation study - which the community board has now requested - the merchants remained convinced that their businesses would suffer.

Convenient parking is crucial to good business, said Betty Cooney, executive director of the Graham Avenue Business Improvement District, which represents 180 businesses. "We need those amenities to keep our customer base," she said.