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Up next, a 9 story building for 1350 Bedford (at Pacific) — Brooklynian

Up next, a 9 story building for 1350 Bedford (at Pacific)


A long-vacant lot at the corner of Bedford Avenue and Pacific Streets in Crown Heights is set to become a nine-story affordable rental building.

The developer filed plans with the city for a rezoning that would pave the way for a 94-unit development at 1350 Bedford Avenue. The project would rise next to a century-old, six-story apartment building where all 78 units are affordable, thanks to Section 8 subsidies. Across the street is the massive Bedford Atlantic Armory, a 19th century Renaissance Revival structure that began life as a National Guard training ground and is now used as a men’s homeless shelter.

If the rezoning goes forward, the new building will offer 48 units for households earning 80 percent of the Area Median Income or less, or $78,336 for a family of three. The other 46 units would go to families earning 130 percent AMI or less, which works out to $106,080 for a three-person household. In other words, it would be subject to Option 2 of the year-old Mandatory Inclusionary Housing program, which requires builders to set aside rent at least a quarter of their units at below-market rates. The developer also opted for the “deep affordability” set-aside, which means that 10 percent of the units will go to households making 40 percent AMI, or $31,080 for a household of three.

In exchange for including affordable housing, the builder hopes the city will upzone the development site from R6A to R7D. The building could get an extra floor area boost if the city agrees to the maximum density allowed under the inclusionary housing program, which is a floor area ratio (FAR) of 5.6. If the City Planning Commission and City Council greenlight the extra density, the project could reach up to 11 stories and hold 136 affordable units. In that case, all of the apartments would rent to families making less than 80 percent AMI.

Regardless of which project gets built, there will be a 23-car parking lot. The owner also hopes to snag a variance, which would cut down the city’s onerous parking requirements for market-rate units.

The developer is Essex Plaza Management Associates, which has owned this property since 1978. It also operates Essex Plaza, a large affordable housing complex in Newark.

The site’s current occupant was originally constructed in 1915 and designed by well-known Brooklyn architect Montrose Morris. The building started out as the Hotel Chatelaine, which is still emblazoned on the wall facing Pacific Street, and was sold to the Swedish Hospital in 1930. The hospital held onto the building until selling it to Essex Plaza in 1978, and at that point, the property entered the Section 8 program.

Present: image

Future: image


  • This building is large enough that it merits inclusion on the list of Big 18 developments in western Crown Heights.
  • interesting. is this a subtle indication that 'something' might 'happen' to the men's shelter across the street? i recognize this corner as one i would frequently avoid when walking to visit a friend who lived on nostrand
  • edited January 2017
    I suspect this means the residents will now be shoe'd from this corner, and nearby Herkimer Place will grow in popularity.
  • Press release from DCP:

    New York County (Brooklyn) - The New York City Planning Commission, as lead agency, has determined that the proposed 1350 Bedford Avenue Rezoning will not have a significant adverse environmental impact. The action involves a proposal by the Applicant, Bedford Arms, LLC for a zoning map amendment to rezone Brooklyn Block 1205, Lot 28 (project site), located at 1350 Bedford Avenue in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn Community District 8, New York, from an R6A district to an R7D district. In addition, the Applicant is requesting a zoning text amendment pursuant to New York City Zoning Resolution (ZR) Appendix F, Inclusionary Housing Designated Areas and Mandatory Inclusionary Housing Areas, to map a Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH) designated area coterminous with the proposed rezoning area. The proposed actions would facilitate a proposal by the applicant to construct a nine story, approximately 88,664 gross square foot residential building measuring 85 feet in height and containing 94 Use Group (UG) 2 affordable dwelling units, pursuant to the proposed MIH program, and 23 accessory parking spaces on a portion of the project site.

    In addition to seeking the proposed zoning map and text amendment actions, the applicant is also seeking a New York City Board of Standards and Appeals (NYC BSA) special permit pursuant to ZR section 73-433 (Reduction of existing parking spaces for income-restricted housing units) to waive to the parking requirements for 35 spaces accessory to an existing residential building on the project site. A coordinated environmental review is being conducted, with the NYC BSA acting as an involved agency.

    The project site has a lot area of 36,433 square feet and is located on a corner lot with frontage on Pacific Street to the north, Bedford Avenue to the east, and Dean Street to the south. Located directly east of the project site, on the eastern side of Bedford Avenue, is the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (NYC LPC), New York State Historic Preservation Office (NYSHPO) and National Register (NR) designated Crown Heights North Historic District. Located directly north of the project site, on the north side of Pacific Street, is the NYC LPC, NYSHPO, and NR designated 23rd Street Regiment Armory. The project site is currently developed with a six story, 82,655 gross square foot residential building containing 78 income-restricted dwelling units, a 35 space accessory parking lot accessed by a curb cut on Pacific Street, and a vacant 10,000 square foot area. The proposed project would be constructed on the portion of the lot occupied by the parking lot and vacant area, while the existing residential building would remain. The proposed 23 space accessory parking would be located to the west of the proposed building and accessed by the existing curb cut on Pacific Street.

    R6A zoning districts are medium density contextual residential districts that allow residential and community facility uses at an FAR of 3.0, or 3.6 mapped within an Inclusionary Housing designated area or an MIH area. Buildings in R6A districts can reach a maximum building height of 70 feet, or 75 feet with a qualifying ground floor of at least 13 feet. Accessory parking is required for 50% of the dwelling units in residential buildings.

    R7D zoning districts are greater density residential districts that promote new contextual development along transit corridors, and allow residential and community facility uses at an FAR of 4.2, and a maximum building height of 100 feet. When mapped within an MIH area, the maximum FAR is 5.6, and the maximum building height is 115 feet (eleven stories) for buildings with qualifying ground floors. Parking is required for 50% of all dwelling units affordable to families earning above 80% Area Median Income (AMI). Parking requirements may be waived pursuant to ZR section 73-433 (Reduction of existing parking spaces for income-restricted housing units) for income-restricted units already existing on a zoning lot, to facilitate the creation or preservation of affordable housing.

    At this time, the Applicant expects to provide 100% of the dwelling units for the proposed project as affordable, at an average of 80% AMI. According to the Applicant, at least 30% of the units would be made available to families earning incomes at or below 80% AMI, pursuant to MIH Option 2 as outlined in ZR section 23-154 (Inclusionary Housing). A total of 23 at-grade parking spaces would be provided for the proposed residential development, in compliance with ZR section 25-23 (Requirements where group parking facilities are provided), for the proposed new market-rate residential units. The proposed new building would have an FAR of 2.2, and with the existing built FAR of 1.88, the project site would have a total FAR of 4.08. The proposed NYC BSA special permit would allow the waiver of 35 existing accessory parking spaces.

    For the purpose of a presenting a conservative analysis, the Environmental Assessment Statement (EAS) prepared for the proposed project considers future development (the future With Action Scenario) that is larger than the Applicant's intended project. The EAS assumes that the proposed actions could facilitate the construction of an eleven-story, approximately 135,568 gross square foot residential building measuring 115 feet in height and containing 136 dwelling units (100% of which would be made affordable to families earning at or below 80% AMI) and 23 accessory parking spaces. The proposed With-Action Scenario development would be built to an FAR of 3.72, and with the existing built FAR of 1.88, the project site would have a total FAR of 5.6.

    Absent the proposed actions and under the existing R6A zoning district, the existing conditions at the project site are expected to remain.

    The analysis year for the proposed project is 2020.

    The proposed actions include an (E) designation on the development site (Block 1205, Lot 28) in order to preclude future hazardous materials, air quality and noise impacts. The (E) designation number is E-412.

  • There was a presentation of the rezoning proposal for this site at the February meeting of CB8, which included specifics on the unit allocations per income band for the new building. See pages 5-6 of the minutes from that meeting:

    The board unanimously supported the application. 

    I wonder if the development will make use of NYCHDC or NYSHCR tax exempt bonds and/or low income housing tax credits. The affordability they are offering appears to make them eligible for these programs.
  • It would not surprise me if this becomes supportive housing for formerly homeless and/or persons with mental illness.

    ...additional funding sources would then apply.
  • edited June 2017
    Zoning tweak in the works for this site.
  • Sad. Why start tweaking the excellent parking space requirement in place for large constructions considering the congestion that is obviously a problem in the area? foolish and short sighted!
  • As a building for low income tenants, most won't have cars.
  • More parking spaces leads to more cars which leads to more congestion. And it makes new housing more expensive to construct, which means less room to demand other concessions from developers like affordable units.