Brooklyn Building Permits Plummet 97% in July As 421A Tax Break Expired

The rate of Brooklyn’s housing permits went on a roller coaster ride this summer as builders hurried to begin construction before the lucrative 421-a tax break expired on June 15. Brooklyn gave out 8,499 construction permits in June — more than any other borough. But in July, that number was a meagre 246, reported Crain’s.

The 421-a program gives developers a tax break if at least 20 percent of their units were affordable housing. But as we wrote about last week, not all Brooklyn developers have held up their end of the 421-a bargain.

Builders could have cooled it in June — the law was extended through the end of the year, and a new version of the 421-a is in negotiations. If passed, it will likely require a higher percentage of affordable units and higher wages paid to workers on 421-a sites.


Greenpoint Development Site

Investor Joseph Brunner closed Tuesday on an $18,000,000 deal in Greenpoint, The Real Deal reported. The seven-building development site includes 1050-66 Manhattan Avenue and 154 Eagle Street, totaling 57,000 square feet of buildable space.

Brunner plans to develop the site into a mixed-use rental building, according to The Real Deal. If that’s the case, the current 57,000 square feet of buildable space could increase to 74,000 square feet if he participates in the city’s inclusionary housing program. (more…)


The now-shuttered Walgreens on Atlantic Avenue in Boerum Hill is likely to become a six-story, 29-unit condo building with stores on the ground floor. Architect Beyer Blinder Belle filed a new-bulding permit application Wednesday, NY YIMBY reported, that confirmed plans described by unnamed sources to The Real Deal in April.

The new-building application, filed under the address 505 Pacific Street, calls for a 71,742-square-foot building with 55,449 square feet of residential space and 16,293 of commercial. It will be 80 feet high.

There will be 12,725 square feet of underground parking for an unspecified number of cars as well as a fitness room for residents in a sub cellar. The cellar and ground floor will be given over to retail, as well as a lobby. (more…)

Melamed Architect Church Condo Conversion Bushwick Brooklyn

Renderings have been revealed for a former Romanian Pentecostal church being converted to condos just on the Brooklyn side of the Bushwick-Ridgewood border. Permits filed in December show that the developer, Home Zone Corp., is planning to add three stories to the existing one-story former church building at 198 Saint Nicholas Avenue and turn it into two buildings with three units each. (more…)


In March, Brownstoner revealed that David Cohen of Bushwick Realty Holding had purchased an entire block in Bushwick and was fixing up a long-derelict but attractive turn-of-the-last-century building on it. The developer was also revamping the former Menorah Home for the Aged and Infirm into a “nonprofit/philanthropic” with “sleeping accommodations” for 113 people.

Now YIMBY has more information about the development and what will happen to the rest of the block, which contains a large empty lot ripe for development. (more…)

Brooklyn Development Report

Roughly 22,000 new apartments are slated be built in Brooklyn between now and 2019, according to a CityRealty report (PDF) released Tuesday. The amount of construction in Brooklyn is predicted to more than double in the next two years — reaching a 10-year high in 2016, only to be topped again in 2017.

Could all these new apartments stem the rising tide of home prices? Jonathan Miller, housing analyst and President of Miller Samuel Real Estate Appraisers, told Brownstoner:

“The answer is yes and no. We have 5,800 new units coming on in 2017 — more than double the number this year — but the product being built is luxury. It’s skewed towards the higher end, and so it doesn’t solve the affordability problem for a large swath of the market — for studios and one-bedrooms. The new development doesn’t satiate the demand for typical rental apartments in Brooklyn.”



In just the last 10 years, the Brooklyn Navy Yard has become a hub for the next generation of Brooklyn manufacturing. With more than 300 businesses calling it home, the Navy Yard is at full capacity but continues to field daily inquiries from interested start-ups. Naturally, they’re expanding.

Brownstoner just checked in on the progress of three major construction projects in the Navy Yard — the Green Manufacturing Center, BLDG 77, and Dock 72. Poised to add even more space for Brooklyn business, these sites will bring an estimated 8,000 more workers to the Navy Yard over the next several years and solidify its status as a nexus of the new economy.



Brooklyn’s tallest tower has some serious competition in the works. Ava DoBro topped out earlier this year at 595 feet, but a tower nearly twice its size may be brewing for a lot just a block from the residential high rise, Crain’s reports.

Developer Michael Stern — he of the 1,400-foot-tall (and we mean tall) tower rising at 111 West 57th Street on Manhattan’s Billionaires’ Row — just made a $90,000,000 deal with developer pal Joe Chetrit of Chetrit Group to purchase the former Dime Savings Bank of New York at 9 Dekalb Avenue. The building is lovely. But no one thinks that Stern and Chetrit are in it for the classical architecture.

Buying the building comes with 300,000 square feet of air rights which would enable the duo to build a 600,000 square foot tower on an adjacent site they co-own at 340 Flatbush Avenue Extension, according to Crain’s. The building could be the city’s first to rise taller than 1,000 feet outside of Manhattan.

Brownstoner took the above photo just this morning, and added CityRealty‘s rendering of the possible new construction to show how very towering the tower may be.


735 and 737 Bushwick Avennue

Tenants in two buildings on Bushwick Avenue are being evicted to make way for a renovation, according to a tipster. “Although they tried to fight it the tenants are getting evicted,” she told us. “Construction is set to start in a month.”

We checked into permits at 735 and 737 Bushwick Avenue, and sure enough, the owner is planning to add a fourth floor to each building and increase the number of units. (One will go from three to seven units, and the other from three to six.) The plans were filed this month but have not yet been approved.

This is one example of change taking place all up and down Bushwick Avenue and throughout the neighborhood. We have noted many townhouses being gut renovated, spruced up, enlarged with top-story additions, and even being demolished and replaced by larger apartment buildings over the last year or so.  (more…)


New renderings have been released showing Hidrock Realty’s plan to convert Park Slope’s Pavilion Theater, and the vacant restaurant space next to it, into condos. According to Leslie Albrecht of DNAinfo, who attended the Community Board 6 Landmarks and Land Use Committee meeting Thursday night, some residents said the design resembled a “penitentiary.”

Even worse, someone compared it to Washington, D.C.

But the news wasn’t all bad for Hidrock Realty. Despite widespread criticism of a perceived failure to integrate the building into the architectural styles of the surrounding neighborhood, the committee voted unanimously to approve the plans to build 24 condos on Bartel-Pritchard Square and restore the Pavilion Theater at 188 Prospect Park West, as long as certain changes were made. (more…)


Construction was poised to begin on a long-delayed and controversial building here at 444 Graham Avenue in Williamsburg one year ago, but a recent visit revealed the project is still stalled. The property is the former longtime home of Marino Marble & Tiles, a family business headed up by Domenico Marino.

Deciding to cash in on rising property values almost a decade ago, Marino moved the tile business to a more commercial area nearby and started working on plans to demo the existing two-story commercial building and put up a 14-story apartment building with popular local architect Philip Toscano, whose offices are just around the corner.

But neighbors opposed the idea of 14 stories in the mostly low-rise area, where most buildings are old wood frame row houses only two or three stories high. Then the plan was scuttled by a 2009 downzoning, as earlier stories in DNAinfo and Greenpoint Gazette detail. Marino changed architects and plans, demolished the old building on the site, and last July told DNAinfo all the permits were in place and work would start that month.

But that didn’t happen. (more…)


A developer’s plan to convert the Park Slope Pavilion movie theater into condos will be scrutinized at a hearing by the Community Board 6 Landmarks Committee Thursday, according to an announcement we received from community organization Park Slope Civic Council.

As we’ve reported, owner Hidrock Realty filed plans in April to create 24 condos, an underground parking garage, and some 8,000 square feet of retail space on the site of the long-running theater.

The development – which will include a new building constructed adjacent to the Pavilion, on a one-story site formerly occupied by a restaurant — will include a smaller art-house theater, according to Hidrock. (more…)