Tension flares at city hearing over future of Albee Square

BROOKLYN - Controversy surrounding the future of a downtown Brooklyn mall reached its height Tuesday as community activists lashed out at a city hearing.The activist group Families United for Racial and Economic Equality (FUREE) protested the city?s plan to tear down the Gallery at Fulton Street, or Albee Square Mall. The group voiced its disapproval of the New York City Economic Development Corporation?s (EDC) approval of a $3 million tax break for the company that bought the land for $125 million. EDC says the tax break was a necessary incentive to ensure the location?s redevelopment.EDC officials say the current mall is not only half empty, but it is deteriorating. They say the pending plan for a new mall includes 1,000 apartments and office space, which they say is a smart economic decision for the borough. Some storeowners at the current mall say their business is doing fine and are angry there are no guarantees their store will be re-built.

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