Recent proposals to the New York City Department of City Planning could facilitate the construction of a 1.4 million square foot, mixed-use project in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. If approved, the massive plan could yield one of the community’s largest-ever developments.
The assembled parcels, referred to simply as 960 Franklin Avenue, were purchased in a partnership by Bruce Eichner’s Continuum Company and Joel Bergstein’s Lincoln Equities. Further funding for the project would be sourced from a combination of state and federal programs for affordable housing developments in addition to privately acquired capital.
Located just East of the Brooklyn Botanical Garden and Prospect Park, the development would include the construction of two mixed-use buildings to be completed in two distinct phases.
The first phase would begin as early as January 2021 with anticipated completion by September of that same year. If approved, building one would rise 39 stories, or about 421 feet, at the southern end of the project site. The building would comprise 705,652 square feet and contain 810 residences. A total of 405 units would let as affordable homes.
The first building would also contain 9,641 square feet of retail area and 113 parking spaces.
The second phase could begin as early as October 2021 and wrap up by April 2024. This structure would also comprise 39 stories, but top-off slightly higher at 424 feet. The building would comprise 663,662 square feet and contain 768 units. Given the total number of proposed affordable units in the entire development, it can be assumed this phase would include 381 affordable homes.
The second phase would also include 11,542 square feet of retail, 9,678 square feet dedicated to a community facility, and 67 parking spaces.
In total, approximately 50% of residential area would let as affordable housing at tiered levels of income. That percentage amounts to about 790 units out of approximately 1,590 total residences.
The development would also introduce 50,258 square feet of open space divided between public and private residential use. Of that total area, about 18,000 square feet would be available to the public during daytime hours.
On March 12th, 2019, the development team is expected to present these proposals to the public, where members of the local community will be able to voice their opinions and concerns. If deemed appropriate, the developer would alter the proposals before submitting final plans to city agencies.
It remains to be seen how the city and community members will react to the new proposals. If approved by the Department of City Planning, full completion is expected by 2024.
Is this planned for that empty lot by Medgar Evers College? Something better than glass boxes would have been nice.
It’s next to the spice factory.
Draft Scope of Work for an Environmental Impact Statement
A lot of information within document pertaining to this project.
A developer has unveiled plans to build two 39-story residential towers in Crown Heights, confirming fears of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and its advocates who have warned the city that tall developments in the increasingly gentrifying neighborhood will cast damaging shadows across a beloved green space.
Earlier this month, Continuum Company and Lincoln Equities filed applications with the city Department of Planning for zoning amendments that would allow them to build a 1.4 million square feet development containing 1,578 units of housing, half of which would be affordable, at 960 Franklin Avenue. One tower would rise to 421 feet, while the other would top off at 424 feet.
In 2017, the developers paid around $75 million for the three-acre site, which is currently home to a warehouse. Continuum is helmed by Bruce Eichner, the builder behind the 777-feet-tall luxury condo tower Madison Square Park in the Flatiron district.
The deal immediately raised concerns in the community, which has over the decades fought to protect the area around the Brooklyn Botanic Garden from overdevelopment. Community activists have frequently cited a 1991 city rezoning, which limits buildings around the Botanical Gardens to 13 stories.
“The zoning in that area must remain unchanged,” said Elizabeth Reina-Longoria, the director of communications at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. “The position of that building is very close to our greenhouses and conservatory.”
The Garden and community activists have long been expecting the developers to roll out a mega-project. As early as 2017, Eichner had talked about building a complex of four buildings between 20 and 30 stories on the site.
Buildings on that particular block are currently not permitted to be greater than 80 feet, or seven stories in height, according to Reina-Longoria.
Alicia Boyd, one of the founders of Movement to Protect the People, a grassroots organization which has fought the spread of large developments in the neighborhood, called the project a “monster.”
“This is a neighborhood where we have an average of four-stories,” she said. “This is an unprecedented leap that this developer is taking.”
In June, Boyd’s group commissioned a shadow analysis that showed that a 441-foot building, slightly taller than what the developers have planned, would cast shadows on portions of the Botanic Garden for significant durations of time in the morning and afternoon.
As the city’s skyline grows taller, more attention is being paid to how much light is being lost to mammoth-sized buildings. In 2016, the New York Times’ Upshot blog mapped the shadows of thousands of buildings in New York City. Around Central Park, buildings like the Plaza, Ritz-Carlton and Hampshire House, can produce shadows several blocks long that can last the whole day.
this one has to go on my list of projects that probably won’t see the light of day. Scaled back, probably. This plan? Probably not. It gets points for its affordable component at least.
I think it’ll be a fight. Just like with Atlantic Yards (aka pacific park), it’ll be a bloody battle between developers and the shadow and acrophobia people.
As is with any development that will add a healthy amount of units, its always a battle to get to the shovel stage.
Live in this neighborhood. The community board meetings will be interesting. This is the most densely populated part of Brooklyn but still has space that should be used better for housing.
not surprising, already conflicting narratives being tossed around.
A spokeswoman for the builder, however, insisted that although it has yet to complete a full environmental-impact study of the project, early analysis shows that the development’s impact on the garden would be negligible, citing research conducted by Continuum’s own environmental experts.