BSA Approves Controversial Sheepshead Bay Condo

The BSA has made a couple of decisions this week that aren’t exactly endearing them to neighborhood groups. First, they ruled in favor of allowing the Scarano’s infamous Finger Building to rise to its full glory of 17 stories (per Curbed), despite vehement neighborhood opposition. And now it has given the thumbs up to a six-story, 25-unit condo at 1610 Avenue S in Sheepshead Bay, an equally unpopular project. This photo, by the way, is from Google Streetview, so we don’t know how updated it is, but chances are it doesn’t look much different now: “The developer, Samuel Kahan, has not done major work on the building since spring 2006, a year and a half before the Buildings Department belatedly withdrew approval for it, prompting his appeal to the board,” reports the NY Times. Objections go beyond issues of size and scale: slabs of the foundation were found missing, paperwork lost or unfiled, safety tests unconfirmed. So why the BSA’s turnaround? Here’s what the BSA said: No comment.
Sheepshead Condo Project May Proceed [NY Times]

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  • Isn’t the point of the BSA to be an “appeals” court in cases where developers want to proceed with projects that do not meet current zoning guidelines? As such, I am wondering what Lisa/Brownstoner would propose that they do. Rubber stamp the advice of the Community Board? In such a case, what would be the point of having such a body?

    I would hope that the BSA considers each case on their merits, and is neither pro-developer, nor pro “community activist group” in its disposition. Therefore, I find the above article to be superfluous, as it does not examine the track record of the Board. Rather you just highlight a couple of cases, and with them imply that the BSA ignores the community.

    I was once involved in a case with the BSA. A private school was proposed for my neighborhood, and many of the folks in the neighborhood, myself included, felt it was totally out of scale with the area. The private school was sponsored by a politically well-connected group, and there was alot of acrimony between the two sides.

    In that case, I found the BSA to be fair. They required the school to scale back their design considerably, though they were stilled allowed to go beyond the allowable zoning envelope. Both sides didn’t get everything what they wanted – which is usually a sign of a win-win solution.

  • you seem to have a hard time understanding that they are recapping a ny times story, most of which is about neighborhood opposition and problems at the site. i don’t understand why you are always so angry–if you hate this site, why read it?

  • Longtimelistener;

    Angry? Where am I angry?

    I assume that Brownstoner allows his or her readers to comment so that they can offer their point-of-view. If it turns out that I am often critical of their take on things, so what? That does not imply that I “hate” this site or am angry. You’re reading whay too much into my posts. Moreover, I find, in my own work, that I learn the most from folks who offer thoughtful critical analysis. I don’t learn much from an “amen” corner. If that’s what you want for this site, I suggest that you go to one of the blogs for the true believers.

    Finally, I believe that Lisa did more than recap the Times story. The Times story was just about the condo in Sheepshead Bay. Lisa tied this article to the recent decision on the Williamsburg condo (the finger building) to draw a pattern about the BSA. The point of my criticism is that two data points are insufficient.

    Once again, if you object to critical comments of Borwnstoner’s stories, I suggest that you find a blog for true believers.

  • yep, seem angry. your point of view generally seems to try and drum up resentment against the posts. you’re right that the point of the comments is to, well, comment. i’ve just noticed the consistent tenor of yours and wonder what you get out of it.

  • Longtimelistener;

    Well,if that is how you feel, then just ignore my posts. I say my piece, and have no need to justify my view to you.

  • well, won’t get the answer to my query, then. might want to ask yourself that question.

  • 16th st and ave s isnt even sheepshead bay.
    its marine park/midwood.

  • East 16th & Avenue S is in Homecrest.

  • My guess is that the reason finger building went forward is due to political pressure on DOB from groups financed by the developer. That’s just a guess though. In my experience, the DOB is not about deciding each case on its merits, it’s about rubber stamping destructive development for developers. It’s also about the personal agendas of its own board members. Community input is never considered.

  • longtimelistener:

    You are clearly new to such forums. Because someone writes a critical piece does not mean one is angry. Your question regarding his anger is a newb misunderstanding that isn’t really worthy of a response.

    In this case, Benson wrote a very well reasoned (and written) response to the staff’s interpretation of this news story. If you disagree with it, why don’t you respond to the points he raised rather than your perceived interpretation of his emotions?

  • um, your name is polemicist. polemical is implied.