Planning hears application for mixed-use building in Boerum Hill

Rendering of 98 3rd Avenue. Image credit: NYC CPC.

On April 13, 2022, the Planning Commission held a public hearing for a proposed mixed-use residential and commercial building at 98 3rd Avenue in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn. The proposed rezoning area is bordered by Bergen Street to the north, Wyckoff Street to the south, 3rd Avenue to the east, and enters the block to the west for approximately 100 to 120 feet. The site of the proposed project is currently a Shell service station.

The proposed eight-story building will feature 29 units, seven of which will be affordable to Mandatory Inclusive Housing Option 1. A one-bedroom unit will be available at 40% of the area median income (AMI) at $823; four units will be 60% AMI, with three bedrooms offered at $1,271 and a studio offered at $1,190; and two units will be 80% AMI, with one bedroom at $1,719 and a two-bedroom at $2,055.

The building will have 3,970 square feet of retail space on the ground floor along Third Avenue. The residential entrance will be on Bergen Street. There will be a roof terrace for all tenants and additional terrace space on the seventh floor. Laundry room, bicycle and personal storage will be made available to tenants in the basement of the building, which will also house the mechanical space of the building.

To facilitate development, the applicants are requesting a rezoning to change the existing manufacturing district to a residential district with a commercial overlay. Historically, the area was primarily used for manufacturing. Over time, as manufacturing companies left the area, it became more residential; at present, the current industrial district is surrounded on all sides by residential neighborhoods. Although the currently proposed rezoning only applies to part of the block, according to the plaintiff’s representative, Eric Palatnik, the remaining part of the manufacturing district will be the subject of a future unrelated rezoning application.

Brooklyn Community Board 2 approved the application without conditions on February 9, 2022. Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso issued a favorable recommendation with conditions on March 24, including the inclusion of 40% units AMI, incorporating sustainability features such as passive house standards and on-site energy generation, coordinating with city agencies to install rain gardens and sidewalk extensions along Third Avenue and/or Bergen Street, to reach local businesses at risk of displacement, and retain Brooklyn-based contractors/suppliers and provide employment opportunities for local residents.

Many sustainable features will be incorporated into the building; the building will have vegetative green roof systems, photovoltaic panels, LED light fixtures, low-flow plumbing fixtures, and electric heating and cooling, among other features.

Planning Commission Chairman Dan Garodnick asked for clarification on comments made regarding the zoning status of the entire block on which the proposed rezoning sits. According to Palatnick, because the rest of the surrounding area is zoned for residential purposes, this manufacturing district in the middle translates to “a kind of desolate stretch” compared to the areas around it. Many properties on the block are owned by the City, and at this time the main proposed development on the block would be the building at 98 3rd Avenue. Mr Palatnick argued that it makes overall more sense that the whole block would eventually be rezoned to better match the surrounding residential areas.

No member of the public testified for this request.

The Planning Commission will vote on this request at a later date.

By: Veronique Rose (Veronica is a CityLaw Fellow and a graduate of New York Law School, Class of 2018.)

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