Looking like a scene plucked from the movie “Up,” a rendering shows a seven-story mixed-use building with 32 apartments will rise up around three sides of a diminutive fast food spot on the corner of Broadway and Halsey Street in Bushwick.
Two towering blank walls of the new complex at 1595 Broadway will, bizarrely, dominate the corner — unless and until the tiny Crown Fried Chicken, now shuttered, also becomes a mid-rise apartment building.
Developed by Bawbeh United of Williamsburg and designed by Diego B Aguilera Architects of Rego Park, Queens, the new building will replace a long-crumbling brick townhouse at 980 Halsey Street and a storefront church at 1595 Broadway, both recently demolished.
Workers have started digging the foundation, which caused an adjacent building to vibrate, according to two DOB complaints on March 22 and 26.
Developer Bawbeh bought the property, which was in lis pendens, in May 2017 for the notably low price of $500,000, according to public records. (The firm, whose owner is Martin Joseph of Metropolitan Realty Exemptions, according to DOB filings, appears to be unrelated to Bawabeh Brothers, a well-known Crown Heights-based firm that develops and holds commercial property throughout the borough.)
DOB filings indicate the apartments are likely to be rentals, given a size averaging out to about 600 square feet per unit. While dozens of other buildings nearby are low income, particularly along the noisy elevated train track this building faces, the balconies and outdoor spaces shown on the rendering are typical of market rate units.
There will be stores on the ground floor, attended parking for 16 cars and bikes underground and, on the second floor, a community facility and day care for children “above age 10-12” with an outdoor recreation space, the Schedule A reveals. No PTAC units will mar the facade, as the building will have central air with rooftop condensers.
Meanwhile, the Crown Fried Chicken site at 1591 Broadway may eventually become a four-story, eight-unit building, according to a permit application filed in 2017 but not yet approved. That site was purchased by another Williamsburg-based LLC, Broadway Halsey Lofts, in 2015 for $2 million.
The Crown Fried Chicken was known for its tasty slices and ice cream cones. The new development is part of a trend of dense housing springing up along Broadway in this area in recent years.
[Photos by Cate Corcoran]
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