Historic Dumbo Buildings to Become Residential

Plan calls for partial demolition and conversion of three buildings into residential units. Ironworks LLC proposed to convert three vacant buildings located along Old Fulton Street in Dumbo into residential units. Built in the early 1800s, the adjacent four-story brick buildings sit within the Fulton Ferry Historic District, less than 75 feet from the Brooklyn Bridge. Due to their manufacturing zoning, conversion to residential use triggered the need for a variance from BSA.

Ironworks’ plan called for the demolition of the rear of all three buildings above the first story, the internal connection of the buildings, and the addition of a fifth story. The final project would contain 15 dwelling units in one 22,948- square-foot structure with 5,237 sq.ft. of commercial and retail space in the cellar and ground floors.

At BSA, Ironworks argued that the lots’ small sizes, their odd depths, which ranged from 60 to 106 feet, and the existing buildings’ configurations made manufacturing uses infeasible. Ironworks submitted evidence showing that the buildings originally contained retail and residential uses. Although later owners used the buildings for storage, a permitted use in a manufacturing district, Ironworks argued that the buildings could not accommodate modern loading docks needed for freight delivery.

BSA granted the variance, agreeing that the buildings created a hardship. BSA determined that the size of the final building and the number of additional dwelling units would not alter the character of Dumbo, noting that Old Fulton Street contained several buildings which have remained residential since their construction in the early 1800s.

BSA: 11-15 Old Fulton Street (136-06- BZ) (May 8, 2007). CITYADMIN

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