Mayor’s New Plan Lets Crown Heights Developers Raise The Roof On New Projects
A demand for affordable housing has spawned a flurry of new developments in Crown Heights.
If you thought raising the roof was the domain of rappers and rock stars, it turns out politicians and developers can get in on the act too. Mayor de Blasio’s Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH) program, which seeks to rezone certain neighborhoods to add affordable housing, can claim two major sites in Crown Heights, Brooklyn as staunch advocates. Cornell Realty, a developer for two locations off Franklin Avenue, wants to alter their plans from the currently allowable seven stories to 16—building more than 500 apartments in the two projects combined.
According to The Real Deal, in 2014, Cornell Realty, which is headed by Shifra Hagar, bought the Sea Crest Linen site at Franklin Avenue for $14.5 million, and another site—used by the laundry company—at 931 Carroll Street for $2.5 million.
Previously, permits had been filed to build a seven-story building on the Carroll Street lot—no building permits have been filed on the Crown Street lot.
The developer is taking advantage of a series of City initiatives. As well as the affordable housing components—105 of 390 apartments at 40 Crown Street and 35 out of 128 units at 931 Carroll Street will be affordable—the proposal also includes over 15,000 square feet of commercial space. Part of the latter includes a ground-floor supermarket, which takes advantage of the FRESH Food Program: An additional floor can be built if space is leased to a grocery plus tax breaks.
Crown Heights is currently in a development flurry. New York Yimby reported that permits to replace a Key Foods at 805 Washington Avenue on the corner of Lincoln Place, close to the Brooklyn Museum, with a nine story apartment building were recently filed. The plans call for a 37-unit apartment building which would maintain a grocery store on the ground level, again making using of the FRESH initiative.
Close to Cornell Realty’s two proposed developments in Western Crown Heights, construction recently wrapped on a 165-Unit Residential Project at 267 Rogers Avenue, developed by Heights Advisors and designed by Think! Architecture and Design.
Other developments among many in the area include a 5-story, 16-unit development at 701 Prospect Place, between Bedford and Rogers Avenues and a 6-story, 6-unit boutique condo building at 786 Park Place, between Rogers and Nostrand Avenue, on a currently vacant lot.
In the Crown Heights North (Historic District II,) plans have been approved for a new 19-unit apartment building at 906 Prospect Place.
The recent activity towards tree-lined brownstone rich Crown Heights, which boasts the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, The Brooklyn Museum, bustling thoroughfares like Franklin and Washington Avenues, as well as a slew of subway lines, is driven because much of Manhattan is out of reach of many buyers.
“The net effect of the 2013-2014 high-end condominium market boom in Manhattan, has created a surge in the niche townhouse market where the purchase of a multi-million dollar plus renovation is the name of the game,” Douglas Elliman broker Doug Bowen told Agorafy recently. For those that can’t afford a townhouse, a condo is the next best thing.
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