After years of legal haggling, the developer of 160 Imlay Street in Red Hook can proceed with his plan to convert the huge warehouse into a mixed-use building with residential and retail. An appellate panel recently upheld the variance given to Bruce Batkin way back in 2003 to convert the warehouse; for the past four years, that variance has been challenged in court by a Red Hook coalition that opposed the project on the grounds that it would kill the neighborhood’s industrial character. An article in the Brooklyn Eagle quotes the appellate majority decision as saying that Imlay will suffer great prejudice if the variance is vacated. In a press release (see copy on jump), the developer says his team is “reviewing all…options for proceeding with this exciting project.” Reached by phone on Friday, Batkin gave the impression he was ready to pick up where he’d left off, despite the less-than-perfect market and financing environment.
Case Dismissed Against Red Hook Residential Development [Brooklyn Eagle]
160 Imlay Street: A Sacrificial Lamb? [Brownstoner] GMAP
LONG-DELAYED DEVELOPMENT OF 160 IMLAY STREET ON RED HOOK WATERFRONT GETS GREEN LIGHT TO PROCEED
COURT UPHOLDS CITY VARIANCE FIRST ISSUED IN 2003
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE MARCH 24, 2008
An appellate panel in Brooklyn last week upheld the city’s 2003 action in granting a variance to a proposed commercial-residential development in a long-vacant warehouse at 160 Imlay Street near the new cruise ship port on the Red Hook waterfront.
We are grateful that at long last a court has upheld the action taken more than four years ago by the Board of Standards and Appeals and we are reviewing all our options for proceeding with this exciting project, said Bruce Batkin, the principal developer in a group that won the variance to develop the 97-year-old storage facility.
In December 2003, the city’s Board of Standards and Appeals voted to allow the developer to convert the vacant six-story industrial building into a combination residential-commercial complex. Plans called for creating 144 apartments on the top four floors, with the bottom two floors dedicated to commercial uses, potentially including artists’ studios.
Opponents brought a lawsuit challenging the B.S.A. ruling, which led to four years of litigation, including an earlier appeal in which the state’s highest court remanded it to the lower court for a new hearing. The Appellate Division’s ruling last week upholds the BSA ruling.