42 residential units approved after a two-story reduction

Existing wooden-floor building will be demolished. Stressing unique construction costs and structural weaknesses, BSA approved a variance for a new five-story, 42-unit residential building on Union Avenue and Withers Street in a manufacturing zone in Williamsburg. The 15,545 sq.ft. site currently contains a vacant two-story, wooden- floor manufacturing building that will be demolished for the new development. The original application sought approval for a seven-story, 60-unit development with 24 parking spaces, which would have been 62 ft. in height along the street.

The developer, pointing to a structural engineer’s study, argued that the existing structure was too weak to support the additional stories needed to make the building economically viable as either manufacturing or commercial, and that the site’s proximity to the subway line substantially increased construction costs due to requirements set by the New York City Transit Authority.

At the hearings, BSA agreed that the site’s proximity to the subway, in part, created a hardship, but cautioned the developer that the seven-story development did not relate to the neighborhood’s three and four-story buildings. After two reductions, BSA approved the design of a four-story 42 ft. building along the street with 21 parking spaces and a fifth floor penthouse reaching a total building height of 54 ft.

BSA: 525 Union Avenue (186-03-BZ) (November 23, 2004) (Jordan F. Most, Sheldon Lobel, P.C.). CITYADMIN

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