Owner allowed to finish commercial conversion

Owner made substantial progress on rear addition and commercial conversion prior to Sunset Park rezoning. In June 2009, the owner of a four-story residential building at 517 53rd Street in Sunset Park, Brooklyn obtained an alteration permit to build a 1,768 sq.ft. addition to the rear of the first floor and cellar in order to convert the two floors to commercial use. Nearly four months later, the City Council approved a rezoning in Sunset Park that rezoned the owner’s site from C4-3 to R6B. 6 CityLand 135 (Oct. 15, 2009). The new district did not permit commercial uses, and the proposed addition would violate rear yard and lot coverage requirements. Since the owner had not completed the enlargement at the time of the rezoning, the alteration permit automatically lapsed. The owner applied to BSA to complete the project.

At BSA, the owner claimed to have substantially completed the work, including 100 percent of demolition work, 100 percent of the underpinnings for the existing foundation, and 73 percent of the plumbing and sewer work. The owner submitted evidence that it had expended nearly 60 percent of the enlargement’s $170,000 budget prior to the rezoning. The owner stated that if required to comply with the residential zoning, it would need to restore the cellar and the first floor apartments, which would cost an additional $95,000 and the loss of the money already spent.

BSA granted the owner a two-year extension to complete work. Noting the $101,049 already expended that would be lost by the owner, BSA determined that the owner would suffer a serious loss if required to comply with the current zoning.

BSA: 517 53rd Street, Brooklyn (57-10- A) (May 25, 2010) (Eric Palatnik, for owner). CITYADMIN

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