5108-4th-avenue-110414

After a public outcry over plans to redevelop Sunset Park’s existing public library at 5108 4th Avenue with affordable housing on top, library officials Monday presented a revised plan. The new plan calls for a library of 20,000 square feet (vs. 17,000) and 49 affordable apartments (as opposed to 54), DNAinfo reported.

Nonprofit affordable housing developer Fifth Avenue Committee would buy the existing library and put up a new building in its place. The library would own the library portion of the building as a condo, while the Fifth Avenue Committee would own the rest of the building.

The existing one-story library is overcrowded at 12,200 square feet.

Some residents said the library should take up all of two floors, while others said again the development would threaten longtime residents. Some spoke in favor of a bigger library and affordable housing. For details on the affordable housing rents and income restrictions, click through to the DNAinfo story.

If the plan goes through, an interim library space will have to be found. The Fifth Avenue Committee will need to secure financing, followed by a year-long land use review process. Construction could start as early as 2016.

Sunset Park Library Redevelopment Plan Includes Less Affordable Housing [DNA]
Sunset Park Library Coverage [Brownstoner]
Photo by Kate Leonova for PropertyShark

6208-8th-avenue-100314

Sunset Park’s Community Board 10 voted against renewing permission to build an out-of-scale mixed-use development at 6208 8th Street at the corner of 62nd Street, Brooklyn Daily reported. The vote is only advisory and not binding, so the project could still get the green light from the city.

The site’s previous owner got permission from the city in 2007 to put up a mixed-use complex with an 11-story tower and a Home Depot, and now the new owner, a group of investors, wants to put up an even bigger development that would include four towers and a mall as large as three football fields, as already reported.

The site is currently classified as manufacturing, not residential.

Board Pans Sunset Park Mega-Development [Brooklyn Daily]
Gigantic Mixed-Use Development With Four Towers Planned for Sunset Park [Brownstoner]
Rendering by Raymond Chan Architect PC

bush terminal park

Bush Terminal Piers Park has finally opened on the Sunset Park waterfront, after more than a decade of planning and several delays during two years of construction. DNAinfo reported that the park officially opened its gates to the public Wednesday.

The eight-block-long green space runs from 43rd to 51st Streets but only has one entrance, at 43rd. The park has two multi-purpose soccer and baseball fields and a waterfront esplanade with tide ponds and restored wetlands, according to the Parks Department.

Until March 1, the park will be open from 8 am to 4 pm, and the summer hours will extend until 8 pm. The city spent years cleaning up the 11-acre stretch of waterfront, a former brownfield.

Bush Terminal Piers Park Opens to the Public on Sunset Park Waterfront [DNAinfo]
Image via NYC Parks

574 44th street sunset park 112014

We love these Sunset Park Finnish co-ops and this one looks pristine. We dig the long wall of windows that stretch across the living and dining rooms. This apartment seems to have most of its original teens-era details, including moldings, closet doors that have never been painted, and a few original light fixtures. Only thing is, most of the Finnish co-ops are tiny. This one looks roomier than most, with a living room, dining room, and two real bedrooms. The ask is $387,000 and the maintenance is $518. What do you think of it?

574 44th Street [Elliman] GMAP

5108-4th-avenue-110414

Community reaction to the Brooklyn Public Library’s plan to rebuild its Sunset Park branch to add affordable housing and a bigger library was strongly negative at the public meeting Monday, reported DNAinfo.

“It smells like gentrification,” said one of the more than 75 locals who attended. Even the executive director of the Sunset Park Business Improvement District didn’t like the plan.

As reported yesterday, the library would partner with nonprofit Fifth Avenue Committee to build a bigger library, which the library would own as a condo, as part of an eight-story affordable rental building. The structure of the deal is similar to other library and church development plans taking place in Brooklyn, but instead of for-profit development of mixed market rate and affordable housing, it would be 100 percent affordable.

Without commenting on the merits of the plan either way, we think the strongly negative reaction is telling of a shift in public perception of affordable housing. Rampant for-profit development of market rate housing with a small percentage of affordable housing may be tainting public perception of all affordable housing, and turning public opinion against development. Or maybe people just want their libraries to stay libraries. What do you think?

Sunset Park Locals Blast Plan to Add Affordable Units in Library Overhaul [DNA]
Photo by Kate Leonova for PropertyShark

5108-4th-avenue-110414

The Brooklyn Public Library is considering partnering with nonprofit Fifth Avenue Committee to replace its one-story Sunset Park branch library at 5108 4th Avenue with an eight-story building that will house a bigger library as well as affordable rental apartments. There would be 55 units, 54 of which would be affordable and one of which would be for the building super, DNAinfo reported.

All but 10 of the rentals would be priced at half the current market rates, according to an email DNAinfo received from the Fifth Avenue Committee. Studios would rent for $525 to $750 a month, and three-bedroom apartments would be priced at $796 to $1,249 a month. The remaining 10 units would be aimed at “moderate” income households and would range from $1,000 for a studio to $1,595 for a three bedroom.

The library would increase in size from 12,000 square feet to 17,000 square feet. The library would own its space as a condo; the rest of the building would be owned by the Fifth Avenue Committee. The project would cost about $25,000,000. (Presumably Fifth Avenue Committee would buy the property and finance the construction, minus the cost of the library condo, but the story didn’t go into those details.)

Library officials held a public meeting Monday with Community Board 7 at the library to discuss the plan. What do you think of it?

525-a-Month Studios Proposed for Redevelopment of Sunset Park Library [DNA]
Photo by Kate Leonova for PropertyShark

5515-8th-avenue-102814

A rendering for a medical complex planned for 5515 8th Avenue in Sunset Park reveals a boxy, glassy building with stepped bands of gray and white stripes. With its alternating swathes of clear and opaque glass, it reminds us of a layered gelatin dessert — one that been digitally sliced and offset with computer graphics. But at least it’s not boring. The architect is Raymond Chan, who is prolific in Queens, especially Flushing.

The developer is Andy Wong of Golden 8th Avenue Realty Corp., according to New York YIMBY, which first published the rendering. Permits call for six stories with 13,000 square feet of retail and 42,500 square feet of medical office condos, There will also be an underground parking garage going down three levels with parking for 150 cars.

The building will replace a one-story commercial building and is slated to open in fall 2017, according to YIMBY. It is located six blocks down the avenue from the planned Sunset Park mega mall with four towers at 6208 8th Avenue. What do you think of the design?

Revealed: 5515 8th Avenue, Sunset Park Medical Office Building [NYY]
Rendering by Raymond Chan via NYY

Sunset Park 47th Street

This Saturday the Sunset Parks Landmarks Committee is hosting a party to raise money for its preservation work and for the tenant advocacy organization Neighbors Helping Neighbors. The $20 admission ticket will help both these worthy causes and it includes two drinks, light food, live music, a dance performance and prizes made in Industry City. The proceeds will be split equally between the groups.

In an email, Lynn Massimo, the committee’s project manager, said that both preservation and affordable housing are important to the future of the neighborhood. “Together we, the community groups and our electeds, must keep Sunset Park viable for a diverse population. That doesn’t have just one answer. It has multiple answers. Affordable housing, safe streets, cultural diversity, economic diversity, local jobs, and yes, preservation of historic rowhouses,” she said.

The event will be held at Irish Haven at 5721 4th Avenue at 58th Street this Saturday, October 18, from 7 to 10 pm. Tickets are only available at the door.

Photo by Sunset Park Landmarks Committee

6208-8th-avenue-100314

Developers are reviving a previously shelved plan to build a huge mixed-use development on the corner of 8th Avenue and 62nd Street in Sunset Park — and it’s going to be even bigger than before, said a story in Brooklyn Paper. A low-rise, three-story shopping mall will cover a site “about as big as three football fields,” the paper said.

Four towers will poke up above the mall, including a 10-story, 150-room hotel; two 15-story apartment towers with a total of 350 apartments; and a 17-story office tower.

The manufacturing-zoned site traded hands earlier this year for $51,500,000, and comes with an approved variance to allow a mixed-use building with square footage six times the size of the property in exchange for one-fifth of the apartments being affordable rentals. Other amenities include public green space and a pre-K.

The owner told Brooklyn Paper the development won’t strain nearby streets and transportation. Located at 6208 8th Avenue, the mall will be called Eighth Avenue Center. The scope of it makes us think of City Point in Downtown Brooklyn. What do you think of the plan?

Mega-Development Coming to Sunset Park [BK Paper] GMAP
The Sun Is Rising Again on a Controversial Mega-Development Planned for Sunset Park [NY Daily News]
Rendering by Raymond Chan Architect PC

448-450 48th St. SP, NS, PS 1

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Wood-framed row houses
Address: 448-450 48th Street
Cross Streets: 4th and 5th avenues
Neighborhood: Sunset Park
Year Built: 1890
Architectural Style: Originally Queen Anne
Architect: George Walkinshaw
Landmarked: No, but Sunset Park is on the National Register of Historic Places (1988). Landmarking is needed

The story: The earliest houses still standing in Sunset Park are no older than the early 1880s. This neighborhood was one of the last of Brooklyn’s brownstone neighborhoods to be developed. There’s only one or two of them left, tucked in the brownstone and limestone rows. In the 1890s, builders began putting up the first of the row house groups, and along with those brownstones were also built some rows of attached wood-framed houses. Today, we tend to associate wood-framed houses with earlier times, but many of them were built at the same time as the masonry homes. Wood was just another choice for building materials.

This pair of wooden houses was built in 1890, right at the beginning of serious development here, and represented another choice for buyers, and an opportunity for some interesting design. Unfortunately, that design is now gone. It wasn’t destroyed in the 1950s, or 1970s, but only a couple of years ago, twenty years after the bulk of the neighborhood had been placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988. (more…)

438 45th street sunset park 92014

It’s not often we see a Sunset Park house with details in move-in condition, so we got excited when we saw this listing for a brownstone at 438 45th Street. There are fireplaces, built-in cupboards, moldings, pocket doors and other original details.

The bad news is that it’s set up as three floor-through apartments so there’s no owner’s duplex. However, there is an extension in the rear of the garden floor and a clean-looking cellar, so the ground-floor unit is more spacious than the average railroad apartment. The house would also be easy enough to convert back to a two-family, which is what we suspect this originally was, going by the floor plan.

A door on the parlor floor unit might be advisable as well, for privacy. What do you think of it and the price of $1,160,000?

438 45th Street [Elliman] GMAP