GZA planners have been deeply involved in this Crown Heights neighborhood for 10+ years, providing planning services to optimize its revitalization. Zoning had outgrown historical uses, resulting in conforming but waning manufacturing uses, brownfields, non-confirming residential housing, and blighted land uses. The neighborhood’s ready access to a vital transportation corridor added great value to its potential.


As developer interest and stakeholder participation intensified regarding the neighborhood’s evolution, a politically charged environment threatened to complicate development approvals that could spur neighborhood revitalization.


Having previously worked with the local community board and multiple developers on other projects in the immediate Crown Heights/Atlantic Avenue neighborhood, GZA planners had established themselves as a trusting, mediating voice in the contentious political environment, facilitating community-based planning efforts. GZA planners helped build support between community board members, city planners, architects, and developers to negotiate M-Crown District criteria for density, affordable housing criteria, building heights, etc. by contributing unbiased environmental planning. The 1034 Atlantic Avenue project was successfully approved for two, 10-story mixed-use residential buildings that provide significantly more high-quality and affordable housing, a walkable environment, and commercial opportunities. Other rezoning/revitalization projects in the immediate neighborhood to which our planners have contributed include 1919 Pacific, 1010 Pacific, 1050 Pacific, Grand and Pacific, and 1209 Atlantic Avenue.


GZA’s innovative problem solving and direct involvement in the collaboration with community members, political entities, and regulators resulted in consensus and development of a successful, sustainable development benefitting the neighborhood as well as the developers. It has provided a roadmap for a neighborhood-wide plan.