Subcommittee Considering Entirely Affordable Project in Crown Heights

Sketch of new building adjacent to smaller existing Section 8 building. Image credit: Bedford Arms LLC

Zoning Subcommittee heard proposal on new Brooklyn nine-story affordable building. On May 30, 2017, the City Council’s Zoning Subcommittee heard testimony on an application by Bedford Arms, LLC, to develop a nine-story building with 48 income-restricted dwelling units and 46 government assisted units in Brooklyn’s Crown Heights neighborhood. Stuart Beckerman, of Slater & Beckerman P.C., presented the project to the subcommittee. The applicant sought to up-zone the development site and to designate the site as a Mandatory Inclusionary Housing Area.

The development site is a corner lot located on the west side of Bedford Avenue and its intersection with Dean Street to the south and Pacific Street to the north. The site is currently occupied by a six-story Section 8 residential building containing 78 income-restricted dwelling units and one superintendent’s unit. All units are for households with income below 50 percent of the area median income. In 2010, the owner renewed its contract with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, requiring Section 8 units to be maintained until 2030.

The proposed development would maintain the existing residential building and construct a new nine-story building on the portion of the development site that is currently a parking lot and vacant area. The applicant sought to up-zone the site from an R6A zoning district to an R7D zoning district. R6A districts allow for a maximum 70 feet high building with 3.0 FAR, or 3.6 FAR when designated with MIH, while R7D zoning districts allow for a maximum building height of 100 feet with 4.2 FAR.

The new nine-story building would contain 94 affordable residential units. Forty-eight of those units would be for households earning 80 percent of the area median income. The remaining 46 would be available for households earning below 130 percent of the area median income. The applicant also sought a parking space waiver and plans for a total of 23 accessory parking spaces to be provided for the development.

On February 16, 2017, Brooklyn Community Board 8 voted 24-0 to recommend approval of the application with no conditions. On March 20, 2017, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams recommended approval of the project with conditions. The Borough President recommended that the City Council seek an appropriate legal mechanism to limit the height of the building to 85 feet, that the applicant provide to the City Council in writing a letter of intent to retain a community-based non-profit to administer the affordable lottery, and that HPD commit to encouraging the applicant to use Brooklyn-based contractors and subcontractors in the development.

The matter was laid over consideration by the subcommittee.

CC: 1350 Bedford Avenue Rezoning, Brooklyn (LU 0651-2017; 0652-2017) (May 30, 2017).

By: Jonathon Sizemore (Jonathon is the CityLaw Fellow and a New York Law School Graduate, Class of 2016).

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.