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Brooklyn block 1363, lot 7

Information about this lot

Address: 175 BUFFALO AVENUE, Brooklyn, 11213
Area: 0.04 acres (1800 square feet)
Block and Lot: Brooklyn, block 1363, lot 7
More information about this lot at OASIS

Political Boundaries

City Council District 41 represented by Alicka Ampry-Samuel
Community District Brooklyn 8 ( / 718-467-5574 ), district manager: Michelle George
Find all elected officials for this lot at Who Represents Me? NYC

Why is this lot here?

We think this lot is vacant because:

  • In MapPLUTO the city lists this lot's landuse as vacant.
  • In MapPLUTO the city lists this lot's building class as vacant.

Government Agency

New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (public)
Contact: Lin Zeng, Deputy Director (212.863.5327)

Housing Preservation and Development is not granting interim licenses now. The only way to have the community access this lot is by getting it transferred to another agency. Look below for Pathways that will guide you.

News feed

Jan. 19, 2016, 7 p.m.
paula at 596 acres said

HPD is not ready to turn this over the NYC Parks Department at this time:

From: "Goldberg, Arielle (HPD)"
Subject: RE: Checking in on 5 new garden applications
Date: January 19, 2016 at 6:34:14 PM GMT-5
To: "'Paula Z. Segal, 596 Acres'"
Cc: "Martinez, Carlos (Parks)"

Hi Paula,

Happy New Year to you as well!

[...] As I’m sure you are aware, three of the sites—the one in Brownsville (3775/150), the one near P.S. 335 (1356/6), and the one on Buffalo Ave (1363/7) are in the NIHOP and NCP RFQ and are therefore not available for use as community gardens.

Best regards,

Jan. 1, 2016, 6:36 p.m.
paula at 596 acres said

At an in-person meeting at City Hall on December 30, 2015, Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner Vicki Been committed to reviewing this application and considering transferring this property to the NYC Parks Department for stewardship by volunteers as a GreenThumb community garden.

She also announced that 34 gardens other gardens on HPD land were being transferred to NYC Parks. More details here: (15 of the gardens just transferred to become permanent Parks' gardens had been offered for sale to developers for $1 early in 2015 through the same program this lot is included in; a year of organizing paid off!)

Oct. 26, 2015, 5:08 p.m.
paula at 596 acres said

We just brought the garden application to the attention of this advocate:

Sarah Currie-Halpern | Senior Policy Advisor
NYC Mayor's Office of Sustainability
253 Broadway - 7th floor | New York, NY 10007
O: 212-676-3067 | M: 646-265-2654

She is planning to help move this along. Drop her a note and thank her!

June 12, 2015, 6:16 p.m.
Mary @ 596 Acres uploaded
Letter to HPD & Mayor di Blasio from CB8 Last night at Brooklyn Community Board 8's full board meeting they voted on whether to send a letter of support for the creation of this garden and a garden-to-be at 166 Bergen (corner of Rochester;, and to preserve the Imani II garden (Pacific Street at Schenectady Ave) to Housing Preservation and Mayor di Blasio . (All three spaces are at risk of being developed upon by supposedly "affordable" housing: The vote was overwhelmingly in favor! Hooray!
June 8, 2015, 3:37 p.m.
Mary @ 596 Acres uploaded
175 Buffalo Blank Petition Sheet I made Pastor Timothy some petition sheets that he can spread out amongst his congregation!
June 8, 2015, 1:10 p.m.
Mary @ 596 Acres said

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Mary Elizabeth Prall
Date: Mon, Jun 8, 2015 at 1:08 PM
Subject: Advocating for Two Future Community Gardens in Your District
To:, "", Kim Albert
Cc: "", "", 596 Acres

District Manager Michelle George, Parks Committee Chair Glinda Andrews, and Parks Committee Co-chair Kim Albert,

My name is Mary Elizabeth Prall and I work for 596 Acres, New York City's Community Land Access Advocacy Organization. For the past year I've been working with a neighbors in your district around a few different community garden projects. (I also visited your wonderful Parks Committee last summer to talk about our work and share the district-specific maps we made.)

For over three years our organization has been assisting Pastor Timothy Olatokun and Celestial Church of Christ (179 Buffalo Avenue) in gathering the materials needed to gain access to the vacant, Housing Preservation and Development-controlled lot next door the church at 175 Buffalo Avenue (Block 1363 Lot 7), which you wrote a letter of support for in August of 2012. In January of this year, after the church received a visit from GreenThumb to survey the site, the church was super close to gaining official access. (Attached is supporting documents for the project.)

Since early 2014 I have also been working with Ms. Liesl Zitman, an educator at PS 335 Granville T. Wilson, to get access to the corner Housing Preservation and Development-controlled lot at 1662 Bergen at Rochester (Block 1356 Lot 6) to create an educational garden that is stewarded by parents and teachers of the school in conjunction with neighbors. This group has also earned the support of the community board (February 2015) and submitted a thorough application to GreenThumb (attached).

I am reaching out to you directly because HPD Deputy Director Daniel Hernandez informed us that no more interim use licenses will be issued for lots in HPD’s inventory. Since 2011, it has been standard practice for HPD to issue interim use licenses to community groups seeking to fill the holes in their neighborhoods with gardens and community spaces while the final dispositions for those sites are determined. This new policy is a sudden reversal of a practice that has been working well to transform vacant, City-owned lots into community resources. Even for lots that are included in the recent Request for Qualifications for developers to build small homes on, housing development is at least a year away. There is no guarantee that each included lot actually has a development team interested in building there. For those lots that teams expressed an interest in, HPD will not even announce which developers are qualified to build on these properties until sometime this summer, at which point negotiations will begin and likely result in closings by early or mid 2016. 175 Buffalo (Brooklyn Block 1363 Lot 7) and 1662 Bergen (Block 1356 Lot 6) are included in the list of sites that are eligible for financing through the New Infill Homeownership Opportunities Program (NIHOP).

We are wondering if your community board can write a letter of support directly to HPD asking that they make an exception and issue temporary licenses to Celestial Church of Christ and PS 335 for these spaces. If needed, I would be happy to draft a letter for your review.

Holding the land hostage while financing and other details for future development are negotiated does not make sense for our communities and certainly does not make sense for P.S. 335 and the congregation and neighbors of Celestial Church of Christ. Doing so will rob the community of a year of access to open space. A policy that encourages keeping public lots vacant is one that reduces opportunities for the neighborhoods that are most underserved by open space as it is.

Mary Elizabeth Prall
Organizer | 596 Acres' NYC Community Land Access Project
596 Acres, Inc.
540 President Street, 2E
Gowanus, Brooklyn NY 11215
718-316-6092 x 3

April 28, 2015, 1:58 p.m.
Mary @ 596 Acres uploaded
Notice to Vacate Letter to HPD In the spring of 2014 Rasheed Hislop, the deputy director of GreenThumb, requested that Pastor Timothy submit a letter addressed to HPD acknowledging that use of the lot would be temporary and the garden would cease if development was imminent.
April 28, 2015, 1:56 p.m.
Mary @ 596 Acres uploaded
Letter of Support for 175 Buffalo from Resident
April 28, 2015, 1:55 p.m.
Mary @ 596 Acres uploaded
Letter of Support for 175 Buffalo from 596 Acres
April 28, 2015, 1:55 p.m.
Mary @ 596 Acres uploaded
Letter of Support for 175 Buffalo from Brooklyn Community Board 8
April 28, 2015, 1:54 p.m.
Mary @ 596 Acres uploaded
Celestial Church of Christ Proposal for 175 Buffalo Here is the letter Pastor Timothy shared with GreenThumb initially in 2013.
April 28, 2015, 12:25 p.m.
Mary @ 596 Acres said

Isaak let me know via email that Pastor Timothy should reach out the Charlie Marcus, Director of Planning for HPD, directly. I'm crafting a letter to Mr. Marcus and putting all the documents from Pastor Timothy's GreenThumb proposal into a PDF and sending it his way.

March 19, 2015, 3:15 p.m.
Mary @ 596 Acres said

Pastor Timothy still hasn't heard back from Isak but he's going to call him again today!

Feb. 24, 2015, 3:38 p.m.
Mary @ 596 Acres said

I checked in with GreenThumb and got this response:

"Hi Mary,

Yes, I has a nice meeting with Pastor Timothy on 2.9.15. I took images of the site and wrote up a description and forwarded that to our Deputy Director of LRP. He is reviewing it and will get back to me shortly. I will keep you updated.


Isak Mendes
Outreach Coordinator

Feb. 3, 2015, 12:24 p.m.
Mary @ 596 Acres said

Email from GreenThumb:

"Hi all,

Pastor Timothy and I finally got a chance to speak and had a great conversation. I am copying Isak Mendes on this message – Isak is outreach coordinator for gardens in Brooklyn Community Board 8 and he will be able to meet with Pastor Timothy at the site to have a look.

-Isak, here is Pastor Timothy’s phone number: (718) 735-4347 – please reach out to him to schedule a site visit.

I will also be checking back with HPD just to confirm that this site is still available for interim use since it has been quite some time since the original confirmation was given (March 2014). I will definitely let you all know if anything changes.

Thank you,
Rasheed Hislop | Deputy Director
GreenThumb Program
New York City Parks & Recreation
49 Chambers Street | Room 1020 | New York, NY 10007

212.788.1960 phone | 347.263.4177 cell | 212.788.8052 fax"

Feb. 3, 2015, 12:17 p.m.
Mary @ 596 Acres said

Pastor Timothy and Rasheed from GreenThumb are arranging a day for Rasheed to visit the lot next week and chat about the future garden!!

Jan. 16, 2015, 4:51 p.m.
Paula at 596 Acres said

This site was included in a list of sites that developers are being asked to apply to build housing on by the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development. (see

The list was published on January 14, 2015 and developers' responses are due on February 20, 2015. The fact that this site was included DOES NOT necessarily mean that housing will be developed here, but it does me that HPD is encouraging housing development and is not likely to consider other uses for the time being. If no one applies for this site, it may again be available in March!

The list and RFQ are products of HPD, under the direction of the Mayor's office. Development is not certain - this is simply a request for developers to apply to become qualified to build in these sites.

This site has been slated for the "homeownership"' program:
1-4 unit homeownership OR
up to 14 unit coop program

with a preference given to developers who propose to have 1/3 of the units going to people making 80-90% of the Area Median Income (AMI; about average income for New Yorkers) and the rest being market-rate or affordable to those making more.

This article sums things up pretty well (and has the voices of folks from across the 596 Acres network):

You can let your City Council member, the mayor's office and HPD know if you have feedback about the program or the selection of this site.

June 5, 2014, 5:01 p.m.
Mary @ 596 Acres said

The church has submitted their letter to GreenThumb that is addressed to Housing Preservation and Development that states that understand that they might have to remove their future garden if HPD decides to develop on the property.

We are waiting to hear from GreenThumb about the next steps to take!

April 8, 2014, 11:39 a.m.
Mary @ 596 Acres said

Here is an email we received from Rasheed:

"Hi Pastor Olatokun,

I have received word from HPD that Block 1363 Lot 7 are available for interim use as a community garden. Lots 90, 91 and 92 are not available, however.

HPD has requested a letter from your group acknowledging that this is an interim garden and that your group agrees ro vacate the site when HPD is ready to develop it.

Once we get this letter we should be able to proceed with conducting a site visit and reviewing your proposal.

Please let me know if you have any questions about the next steps."

April 2, 2014, 12:09 p.m.
Mary @ 596 Acres said

This group's information and letters of support have all been passed on the GreenThumb. Rasheed Hislop (an Outreach Coordinator, emailed Charlie Marcus at Housing Preservation and Development again about this space just to confirm. Next he'll help the group register as a GreenThumb garden!

March 6, 2014, 11:18 a.m.
Mary @ 596 Acres said

PS. Feel free to call or email me if anyone needs help!

718-316-6095 extension 4

March 6, 2014, 11:17 a.m.
Mary @ 596 Acres said

I just spoke to Julie at Community Board 8 and with Pastor Timothy of the church. Julie says that the letter of support that the Parks, Arts & Culture Committee gave Pastor Timothy is all that's needed! They fully support this project and this group DOES NOT NEED TO PRESENT AT THE BOARD AGAIN! Hooray! This group is super close to getting their license.

Since the church last submitted their application info, there have been some changes in the GreenThumb office. All the previous application info needs to be resent to:

The application materials to be resent include:

-The letter from the Community Board
-A mission or vision statement that lists benefits to the community
-List of community members interested in the project (at least 10 names, addresses, phone numbers, emails)
-Sketch or rendering of project of partners/sponsors/endorsers (including churches, school, local business, city agencies, etc)

Dec. 5, 2013, 9:06 a.m.
Paula at 596 Acres said

How did it go?

Nov. 27, 2013, 5:29 p.m.
Meredith said


I just saw this and think this is great! i would love to get involved if there is anyway possible. There are other areas in the crown heights neighborhood that I am also researching for a community garden. I hope the meeting went well!

Nov. 12, 2013, 11:53 p.m.
Mary at 596 Acres said

I spoke with Pastor Timothy of Celestial Church of Christ on the phone today. He plans on meeting with CB8 this coming Thursday in hopes that they can give their approval!

Oct. 9, 2013, 11:19 p.m.
someone posted
New signs today! These say what the next step is: get support from the community board :)
May 24, 2013, 11:07 a.m.
Paula at 596 Acres said

Pastor Timofy and everyone:

Have you presented to the community board yet? June is coming -- let's see how we can get you on the land as soon as possible!

Dec. 6, 2012, 5:10 p.m.
Lucy at 596 Acres said

We put some new signs on the Prospect Place side of this lot today!

Sept. 24, 2012, 4:01 p.m.
Paula at 596 Acres said

Housing Preservation and Development conditionally approved the application today! Hurray! The group can start planing for spring!

The condition is that they make a presentation to the Community Board 8 about their project. They will need to get on the agenda for an upcoming CB8 meeting and can do that by contacting the community board directly (info below). For a great example, watch this video:

In the meantime, it would be great for you guys to start planing how the space will be governed, controlled, paid for and designed. These steps might be a good place to start:

Brooklyn 8 Community District Information
Chairperson: Mr. Robert Mattews
District Manager: Ms. Mitchelle George
Address: 1291 St. Marks Avenue, Brooklyn, NY, 11213
Phone: 718-467-5574 Email:

Sept. 13, 2012, 5:07 p.m.
Paula at 596 Acres said

This group just submitted it's GreenThumb application! It included a proposal, and letters of support from Community Board 8, 596 Acres and one of the co-founders of 462 Halsey Community Garden (who is mentoring the group!). Neat!

Aug. 22, 2012, 3:07 p.m.
Paula at 596 Acres said

Community Board 8 has written a letter in support of a community food production and green space project on this site! The group is getting its application to be licensed through Green Thumb together. Get in touch and get involved!

Aug. 9, 2012, 4:33 p.m.
eric (596 acres) said

Merged these four lots.

Aug. 5, 2012, 5:56 p.m.
Paula at 596 Acres said

Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), the agency that has control of the land, will be able to give the group a lot of clarity about what plans are for the space once they have a completed Green Thumb application. HPD doesn't SELL land usually -- it gives it to developers for the development of "affordable" housing. They don't seem to have any plans for development here now.

It makes sense to get something started -- that is the only possible route to protection for a future community space. There has to be a community space first for any advocacy organization, land trust or city agency to think about making such a space permanent.

Has anyone in the group reached out the community board to ask for support? The group will need a letter.

Aug. 5, 2012, 4:37 p.m.
Shatia Jackson said

The meeting was held with Pastor Timothy, church members and myself. They want to transform the lot into a garden and want to start the process of obtaining a lease with HPD through Greenthumb. Members have real concerns about the space being reclaimed by the city in the future after their hard work is put in. I agreed to send an email with information on as many resources as I can muster in the realm of fundraising and grants to get them started once they have permission and research will be done on how to keep developers from buying the land in the future.

Aug. 2, 2012, 12:51 p.m.
Shatia said

The meeting will be Sunday at 2pm at 173 Buffalo. See you there!

July 30, 2012, 3:23 p.m.
Paula at 596 Acres said

Twenty people from the neighborhood met last week to lay the groundwork for this effort. Neat! Another meeting is in the works for this coming weekend. Shatia from will be joining the group to share her experience and provide some guidance.

July 30, 2012, 1:31 a.m.
Paula at 596 Acres said

I looked for you guys today but didn't find you. Do we need to reschedule?

July 25, 2012, 3:58 p.m.
Paula at 596 Acres said

There will be a meeting to form the initial group and start the GreenThumb process this Sunday< July 29, at 3pm at this site. Come join us!

July 25, 2012, 3:58 p.m.
Paula at 596 Acres said

There will be a meeting to form the initial group and start the GreenThumb process this Sunday< July 29, at 3pm at this site. Come join us!

July 13, 2012, 2:29 p.m.
Paula at 596 Acres said


From: Paula Z. Segal, Lead Facilitator, 596 Acres []
Sent: Thursday, July 12, 2012 3:40 PM
To: Hammer, Jack (HPD)
Subject: Question about Brooklyn block 1363, lot 7

Mr. Hammer,

A community group based next door to Brooklyn block 1363, lot 7 reached out to you earlier today and I am writing to follow up. They are interested in starting a community space on this lot and are wondering if an interim agreement with a community group would be complimentary with HPD's long-term plans for this site.

Thank you so much for your prompt response.


Paula Z. Segal
596 Acres


From: "Hammer, Jack (HPD)"
Subject: RE: Question about Brooklyn block 1363, lot 7
Date: July 13, 2012 12:40:48 PM EDT
To: "'Paula Z. Segal, Lead Facilitator, 596 Acres'"


We don't object to the group approaching the Office of Green Thumb for their review.

Jack Hammer


  • The names of 2 Primary gardeners + (at least) a list of ten volunteers (full contact info);

  • A letter from the Community Board in support of the project and group;

  • A name for the proposed garden/group being formed to look after the garden; and

  • A letter of 596 Acres describing the community

July 12, 2012, 11:44 a.m.
Paula at 596 Acres said

We put a sign on this lot yesterday and chatted with the neighbors.

Feb. 24, 2012, 4:15 p.m.
Oksana said

This lot is owned by HPD. Visit to check for any open Requests for Proposals (RFPs) for this lot.