Munitions warehouse to be residential complex

Variance will permit 43-unit luxury apartment complex. Ira Weinstein, the owner of 2184 Mill Avenue, a 99,340-square-foot lot located on the northwest side of Strickland Avenue in an R3-1 district of Mill Basin, Brooklyn, sought a variance to convert a four-story, 100-year old munitions factory, currently used as a warehouse and retail showroom, into a five-story, 67,000-square-foot multiple dwelling with 45 luxury residential units, doctors’ offices, and a ground-floor restaurant.

Weinstein argued that commercial and manufacturing uses were infeasible due to the varying floor levels and poor circulation in the building and that demolishing the building to create as-of-right single and two-family homes would be too expensive due to chemical contamination from the former munitions factory. Community Board 18, State Senator Carl Kruger, Assemblyman Frank Seddio, Council Member Lewis Fidler, and the Mill Island Civic Association opposed the variance, claiming the proposed multi-unit dwelling was out of character with the surrounding one and two-family homes and Weinstein understated the cost to convert the building and the estimated profit from the as-of-right scenarios. Weinstein responded that the costs for removal of asbestos, lead or other contaminants in order to convert the building to conforming uses were accurate and pointed out that multiple dwellings were permitted on Strickland Avenue, directly across from the site.

BSA determined hardship existed due to the cost of demolition, but questioned Weinstein’s $10.3 million site valuation, his double-counting of real estate taxes and water/sewer costs, and the feasibility studies’ valuations. In response, Weinstein submitted a more conservative feasibility study and reduced the site’s estimated value to $6.3 million.

BSA granted a variance for a reduced 43-unit, 60,939-square-foot building with 45 parking spaces and a doctor’s office on the first floor. BSA found that a conservative estimate of $1.2 million in demolition costs coupled with the higher cost of new construction rendered an as-of- right development infeasible.

BSA: 2184 Mill Avenue (190-04-BZ) (June 14, 2005) (Agusta & Ross, for Weinstein). CITYADMIN


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