BSA Approves Mixed-Use Building in Historic District

Jordan Most testifies before the Board of Standards and Appeals. Image credit: BSA

Jordan Most testifies before the Board of Standards and Appeals. Image credit: BSA

The building will replace a gas station and auto repair shop.  On September 18, 2015 the Board of Standards and Appeals approved a request by Henry Atlantic Partners LLC for a variance to construct a four-story mixed use building at 112 Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn’s Cobble Hill Historic District.  The building will offer 6,000 square-feet of ground floor retail space with 2,100 square-feet of accessory space in the cellar and 16,500 square-feet of residential floor area in the remaining three floors.  The site is currently occupied by a gas station and repair shop.’

On October 9, 2014 the Department of Buildings denied Henry Atlantic’s request for a construction permit because the site’s residential zoning prohibited commercial use.  On October 16, 2014 Henry Atlantic requested a variance to allow construction.  The Board held a public hearing on April 21, 2015 with subsequent hearings on June 23 and September 1.  In the hearing, Jordan Most of Sheldon Lobel PC testified on behalf of the applicant that constructing a development in conformance with regulations could not yield a reasonable return because the site was environmentally contaminated after years of use as a gas station and auto repair and necessary cleanup work escalates the project’s construction costs.  Mr. Most also argued many properties along Atlantic Avenue have ground floor retail, are overbuilt out of compliance with local zoning, or both and to build their project in conformance would put them at a relative disadvantage.

On September 18, 2015 the Board voted 4-0 to approve the variance request.  In its decision, the Board recognized the Historic District is defined by brownstone buildings and a lack of curb cuts, encouraging pedestrian travel and a building with ground-floor retail would enhance the neighborhood’s appeal.  The Board also recognized replacing a legal non-conforming gas station with a residential/commercial mixed-use building would bring the site into greater compliance with area zoning and that the Landmarks Preservation Commission had issued a Certificate of Appropriateness for the proposed building.

BSA: 112 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn (258-14-BZ) (Sep. 18, 2015) (Sheldon Lobel, P.C. for Henry Atlantic Partners LLC, owner).

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