Developer Wants Rezoning in Order to Build 100 Percent Affordable Building in East New York

Rendering by Dattner Architects

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A developer is asking for a rezoning in order to build a 100 percent affordable building in East New York.

Plans that were presented to Community Board 5’s Land Use Committee on May 18 call for a nine-story mixed-use building, located at 749 Van Sinderen Avenue. The building will have approximately 119 units, all affordable. Retail will be on the ground floor.

Currently, the property is zoned for manufacturing (M1-1), which the developer wants to change to residential with a variety of commercial uses (C4-4L). The project has yet to be certified by the Department of City Planning, which would kick off the ULURP process.

Rendering by Dattner Architects

A representative for the developer, Cayuga Capital, told board members that there would be 28 studios, 51 one-bedrooms, 33 two-bedrooms and seven three-bedroom apartments in the building. Funding will come from HPD via their Extremely Low & Low-Income Affordability (ELLA) Program, with units set between 27 and 80 percent of the Area Median Income. An additional 17 units will be reserved for the formerly homeless. Rents will start at approximately $419 a month and top out at $2,273.

Currently, a one-story garage and warehouse stand on the site, which is next to the New Lots Avenue L train station. The developer said they will offer the current tenants of the building new locations in another local property, with similar rents.

Renderings of the building show a layered facade, with a darker brick skin partially wrapped around a lighter brick base. It appears that there is outdoor space located on the seventh floor and solar panels on the roof. Dattner Architects are behind the design.

The site in 2008. Photo by Kate Leonova for PropertyShark

Board members were generally positive about the project. “I’m energized by the presentation I just heard,” said Viola Plummer, chairperson for CB5’s Land Use Committee. Other board members pressed the developer to make commitments to reach out to local shelters to help with outreach and to hire locally for construction. Isaiah Thomas, a board member who said he grew up around the corner from the development, suggested a community center on the ground floor of the building.

The committee was unanimous in their praise, which some thought was unusual. “This is the first time the Land Use Committee has said something so nice,” a board member joked.

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