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EL Garden

Information about this lot

Known Use: community green space
Address: 120 JEFFERSON STREET, Brooklyn, 11206
Area: 0.11 acres (5000 square feet)
Block and Lot: Brooklyn, block 3172, lot 12
More information about this lot at OASIS

Political Boundaries

City Council District 34 represented by Jennifer Gutierrez
Community District Brooklyn 4 ( / 718-628-8400 ), district manager: Celestina Leon
Find all elected officials for this lot at Who Represents Me? NYC

Why is this lot here?

We posted this lot because:

  • The lot is being used as a community green space.
  • Neighbors got access to it with the help of 596 Acres.
  • 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 Parks and Recreation (public)
Contact: GreenThumb Deputy Director Carlos Martinez ((212) 602-5329 /


This land is being stewarded by the following group:

We're a group of people interested in utilizing this lot for social good. We consist of a mix with different interests from community activism and mobilization to urban gardening and food advocacy.

All we know is this lot could be put to better use.

News feed

Dec. 29, 2015, 9:43 p.m.
paula at 596 acres said

Thanks to amazing organizing by gardeners and supporters, this community space was taken off the list of potential development sites and TRANSFERRED TO THE PARKS DEPARTMENT TODAY!

June 17, 2015, 8:51 p.m.
paula at 596 acres said

At tonight's Community Board 4 meeting, the board voted unanimously (with 1 abstention) to advise that the EL Garden lot be removed from HPD's Small Homes program (which would make it available to developers for purchase for $1). Hurray garden-solidarity!

Here's more context on the gardens at risk around the city:

May 28, 2015, 4:06 p.m.
Mary @ 596 Acres said

A wonderful update from Renée Peperone:
"Tuesday night I attended the land use committee meeting for CB4 Brooklyn and presented our case- in brief, they are supporting a letter to be written in support of the garden.
Bushwick’s next CB4 meeting is on June 17th. Our District Manager Nadine Whitted (who is a supporter of the garden and wrote the initial letter from CB4 advocating for the garden in July 2013) said the full board will vote on it next meeting (the board usually follows recommendations of the committees) and we should have a letter drafted soon after.
Although our District Manager is a strong supporter of gardens and green space we see this as an opportunity to do more locally progressive work around community and the environment. These conversations create a shift in thinking around neighborhoods, community spaces, community needs and green infrastructure. As you probably already know this is especially relevant since here in Bushwick we are also going through a Planning/Rezoning process so Open/Green Space will be addressed in theses efforts as well. My goal is to shift conversations from an either/or discussion to an AND. Bushwick deserves BOTH.
It was important that we went through the Land Use committee because of the Affordable Housing aspect. Housing is a real need to be respected although not at the expense of other real needs. But development is not only buildings its community, preserving the commons and existing green infrastructure (which gardens are)- another goal of mine is to broaden the conversation here. People from Parks Dept were there as well as City Planning and other city agencies attended so it was the right audience for us to bring this up to."

Jan. 16, 2015, 5:28 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 a rental housing program: 15-30 units of housing going to people making less than 165% of the Area Median Income (AMI); this means rents in these units could be more than $3,000. per month for a family of four.

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.

Sept. 30, 2014, 11:27 p.m.
Paula at 596 Acres said

Hey land stewards in district 34!

Your council member, Antonio Reynoso, will be saying nice things about your spaces at our event on Thursday evening. Please let me know if you'd like me to add you or other members of your group to the guest list. It would be great to see lots of your faces in the room. Here's what Antonio has agreed to speak about:


We'd love to have him attend and would really love to have him talk about the reclamations in his district: Grand Street Community Garden, Keap Fourth Community Garden, Evergreen Lots, and the brand-new 1278 Myrtle Community Garden. Three of these four former vacant lots are in the process of or have already been transferred to the Parks Department as permanently protected open space.


If you send me photos, we'll project those too!

Event info is here:

March 4, 2014, 10:31 a.m.
someone posted
March 4, 2014, 10:30 a.m.
Keri Kroboth said

Join us for a fundraiser for the garden at Tradesman on March 13th! Hope to see you there!

Dec. 16, 2013, 1:10 p.m.
someone posted
Dec. 5, 2013, 11:01 a.m.
Keri Kroboth said

Come join the first meeting of the Winter Planning Committee

Help us prep for Spring. We will be discussing the NEW Community Garden at 120 Jefferson St.

Express Yourself Barista Bar
82 Central Avenue (b/w Jefferson & Melrose) Bushwick
Saturday December 7th

Nov. 23, 2013, 6:47 p.m.
someone posted
First Clean Up Day Crew!
Nov. 12, 2013, 12:42 a.m.
Keri Kroboth said

Please join us for a clean up day/bake sale at 120 Jefferson on November 23rd from 11-2!

Oct. 11, 2013, 1:39 p.m.
Keri Kroboth said

Hi all! We just got official word, we have a Green Thumb license for 120 Jefferson!

HPD will be cutting the lock for us this Tuesday!

Aug. 31, 2013, 11:19 a.m.
Keri Kroboth said

Hi all! We are so excited! Contact if you want to get involved!

Aug. 30, 2013, 8:12 a.m.
Paula at 596 Acres said

Letter submitted.

Aug. 28, 2013, 10:09 a.m.
Paula at 596 Acres said


From: "Chouloute, Roland (Parks)"
Subject: Re: 120 Jefferson Street, Bushwick
Date: August 28, 2013 10:00:31 AM EDT
To: "Paula Z. Segal, Lead Facilitator, 596 Acres"
Cc: Keri Kroboth, Your Vacant Public Land

We have great news to share. The site is available and we can approve admission as soon as we can get a letter from the group confirming to have been told that access is temporarily granted until HPD is ready to develop the site. Will send you all our application and registration packet once the letter is written. Good luck tonight

Roland Chouloute | Deputy Director. NYC Parks GreenThumb.
212.788.8075 | f: 212.788.8052 |

Aug. 17, 2013, 12:28 a.m.
Paula at 596 Acres said

Roland at GreenThumb is going to bring the Evergreen Lots' proposal to the attention of folks at Housing Preservation and Development (again). This is good news! Fingers crossed!

We looked at the proposal together today and were both so impressed at all the folks super local to this lot who are ready to take on its stewardship.

July 19, 2013, 12:41 p.m.
Paula at 596 Acres said

Feel free to copy us on your communications with Parks/GreenThumb. We might be able to speed things along.

July 16, 2013, 12:39 p.m.
Keri Kroboth said

Just spoke with Roland at Green Thumb, they received our proposal but are currently not processing any applications. He did not know when they will start processing again. We will keep calling to follow up.

July 9, 2013, 12:16 a.m.
someone posted
July 9, 2013, 12:15 a.m.
someone posted
July 9, 2013, 12:14 a.m.
someone posted
July 9, 2013, 12:13 a.m.
someone posted
July 8, 2013, 10:29 a.m.
Keri Kroboth said

Great Claudia, thanks! I will email you.

July 8, 2013, 10:27 a.m.
Claudia said

Id love to sign the petition if additional signatures are still possible.

July 8, 2013, 10:24 a.m.
Keri Kroboth said

Also, if you would like to get involved or support this garden you can email us at

July 8, 2013, 10:20 a.m.
Keri Kroboth said

Hi all! We put a proposal together along with 30+ signatures from local residents and business owners in support of a community garden at 120 Jefferson. And we have just received a letter of support from Community Board 4! We will be submitting our proposal to Green Thumb today and will keep you all updated.

May 24, 2013, 2:01 p.m.
Rose M. said

Awesome to hear such positive news! I am the Brooklyn Organizing Fellow by the way :) I would love to know the details of your meeting. Hopefully I can attend as well.


May 24, 2013, 1:08 p.m.
Keri Kroboth said

Everyone is picking up the phone today! Just spoke to Roland Chouloute at Green Thumb. He broke down the process for me.
1-email Roland a brief proposal and list of volunteers
2-Green Thumb contacts HPD to clear and lets us know if they approve and for how long HPD is willing to allow us to use the land.
3-if HPD approves they help us present to the community board to get letter of support
4-we send letter from the community board to Green Thumb and then they can give us a Green Thumb license

Would love to hear from all who are interested in this lot, post here or feel free to email me at

We will plan an organizing meeting soon!

May 24, 2013, 12:25 p.m.
Keri Kroboth said

I just spoke to Luis Alvarez at HPD, he said there is no development planned for this lot and recommended applying for a green thumb license.

May 24, 2013, 11:28 a.m.
Keri Kroboth said

Wondering the same. Had sent an email to HPD to see if the status changed but haven't heard back, will try to call again today.

May 24, 2013, 11:25 a.m.
Paula at 596 Acres said

This property is still owned by the City. Has the construction project been cancelled?

Jan. 8, 2013, 5:20 p.m.
Keri Kroboth said

Just heard back from HPD. He said construction is planned, he did not know for when but his supervisor said no to an intrim project.

Jan. 7, 2013, 12:12 p.m.
Keri Kroboth said

Awesome! Thanks!

Still waiting a call back from the HPD. Have been calling back now and then but only get voicemail.

Jan. 6, 2013, 2:44 a.m.
Paula at 596 Acres said

I put some signs on this lot today (English & Spanish).

Jan. 3, 2013, 12:33 p.m.
Keri Kroboth said

Good to know. She didn't elaborate on a time frame but knowing that I will definitely call back and ask more specifically. Thanks! Will keep you updated.

Jan. 2, 2013, 2:26 p.m.
Paula at 596 Acres said

Did she know a sense of the timeframe? If it's speculative (i.e. doesn't have financing yet & isn't in the next 2-3 years) this is a good target for an interim garden. All the HPD lots theoretically have construction plans attached to them. That is part of the theory of their acquisition by HPD. But the plans are sometimes on hold for a decade or more.

Jan. 2, 2013, 2:23 p.m.
Keri Kroboth said

Hi! Yes. Housing Preservation and Development said there are construction plans for this site but the woman I spoke to said she did not know specifically what the plans are.

Jan. 2, 2013, 2:17 p.m.
Paula at 596 Acres said

Seems like there's a lot of momentum around this space. Has anyone called Housing Preservation and Development to find out their plans?

May 7, 2012, 11:53 a.m.
Paula at 596 Acres said

We made a chart of the steps that you might take -- -- let us know if you have any questions at this point. A phonecall to HPD to determine the real current status of the property would be a good place to start -- -- as well as getting your people together. We'll try to get a sign up on your fence this week, but you should feel free to put yo your own signs as well.

March 1, 2012, 10:25 p.m.
Oksana said

This lot is owned by HPD. Visit to view any open Request for Proposals (RFPs) for the lot.

Feb. 20, 2012, 9:20 a.m.
someone posted