City Planning Holds Public Hearing for Addition of Dialysis Center to Nursing Home in Sheepshead Bay

The Sheepshead Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. Image Credit: Google Maps.

The application will add square footage in the basement but not change the height of the building. On July 14, 2021, the City Planning Commission heard an application for an upgrade in residential rezoning to allow for the construction of a dialysis center and other changes at the Sheepshead Nursing and Rehabilitation Center at 2840 Knapp Street in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. 

The Sheepshead Nursing and Rehabilitation Center currently contains 200 beds and employs 300 people. The six-story building was constructed in 1969 and with permission from the Department of Buildings, the building’s floor area, height, parking provision and side yards were all non-compliant under the current zoning. The building’s floor area ratio of 2.71 is greater than the 2.0 floor area ratio allowed for community facilities in the current zoning. The application, which would increase the residential zoning to allow for a greater floor area ratio and bring the building into compliance, would not affect the exterior of the building, nor require a change in the building’s height. 

The rezoning would facilitate interior renovations to the Sheepshead Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. A dialysis center and a new 20-space parking area would be created in the basement and the mechanical systems in the basement would be relocated to the basement’s roof. A new staircase would also be added to the ground floor. The additions would add approximately 5,000 square feet to the building. 

Brooklyn Community Board 15 voted unanimously to approve the application on May 25, 2021.

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams approved the application with modifications, and wrote in support of the addition of a medical facility and as a project that adds jobs to the area. However, Borough President Adams shared a concern about the rezoning since the current zoning generally allows for three- to four- story buildings, but the proposed rezoning would allow for larger buildings with setbacks as-of-right. Borough President Adams was concerned that a potential taller tower in the future would not fit well with the lower zoned areas around the property, but believed that “given the extent the nursing home has already been developed, it is not economically reasonable to expect that it would eventually be demolished to construct a building of similar floor area.”

The application includes establishing a Mandatory Inclusionary Housing area, so even if a tower were to be constructed in the future, it would be required to include a certain percent of affordable units.

At the hearing, none of the commissioners had further questions for the applicant, Lipkaw Realty LLC. No one else testified at the hearing. City Planning will vote on the application at a later date. 

By: Veronica Rose (Veronica is the CityLaw fellow and a New York Law School graduate, Class of 2018.)

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