Renderings of Crown Heights Spice Factory Development Show Pair of 39-Story Towers

Rendering via NY YIMBY

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Those who were afraid that the redevelopment of the old spice factory, originally Consumer’s Park Brewery, at 960 Franklin Avenue in south Crown Heights, would overwhelm the surrounding area had their fears confirmed late last week.

Newly released renderings from developer Continuum show the proposed development, including two 39-story towers. They are light sketches, with fairly generic looking buildings, so it’s hard to tell much about the design except to say that parts of the two planned buildings look like they will have entire glass facades. The towers will stand on lower bases.

If all goes according to the developer’s plan, construction on the first phase of the planned project will start in January 2021, with the second phase beginning around October 2021, according to the draft scope of work published by City Planning. About 790 units out of the 1,590 total residences will be affordable.

brooklyn development crown heights consumers brewery 960 franklin avenue

Photo by Susan De Vries

But all this is still up in the air. For the redevelopment to happen, the developer is seeking a rezoning of the site under the Mandatory Inclusionary Housing Program. If approved, it will stand next to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

The official public approval process, ULURP, which takes about a year, has not yet started. There will be a public scoping meeting for the environmental impact statement on March 12, where residents will be able to voice their opinion, and most likely concern, on the planned development. A year ago, Community Board 9’s ULURP Committee were unanimous about their displeasure for the project, despite a stated desire for more affordable housing in the neighborhood.

Rendering via NY YIMBY

Originally the Consumer’s Park Brewing Company and more recently a spice factory, the site has a rich history, architectural significance, and was important to the history and development of this part of Brooklyn, as Brownstoner columnist Suzanne Spellen has written. If the developer does not win public approval for the rezoning, the buildings can be no more than 70 feet tall — versus 431 feet tall — and contain about 581 apartments instead of 1,590, according to City Planning.

As for affordability, without a rezoning, any affordable units would likely fall under New York’s 421a program, which allows rents set at 130 percent of Area Median Income.

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