Wednesday, August 8, 2007

The Lot is Now Empty

Many people have been asking us:
What is currently taking place at 360 Smith Street?
While we do not have all the answers, a few things are certain and can be ascertained by inquiring at some of the sources listed in our right-hand sidebar (hint, hint).
The building development is a certainty.
The lot now is empty and the house at 125 Second Place has been vacated. Its new ownership is hardly a secret anymore, but it is "unknown" what is next for this lovely brownstone. The developer of 360 Smith street, Mr. Billy Stein, is "as of right" and Second Place is, unfortunately, seen as a "wide street" according to the current NYC zoning regulations which, together with the "community facility" (the adjacent, Hannah Senesh School) give the developer significantly more allowable square footage on which to build (FAR). While this interpretation of the zoning regulations may not reflect the spirit of the law, or the character/scale of the neighborhood, it is legal. No community review is necessary in this case as it is "as of right".

The building will be 70 feet high with a few setbacks, and will house from 44-46 units. Thus, the proposed building is much taller and far denser than anything currently on the block or in the general vicinity, and is sure to have an enormous impact on our neighborhood. The building plans, despite their approval by the DOB, have still not been made available to the general public despite normal protocol calling for the contrary. It is rumored that the current, approved plans at the DOB consist of much, if not all, of the original design concept (the Scarano "Heavy Metal" building: see on 5/24/2007 for the early pic). We know some changes are being made to the facade.
PS There is no news on that "upcoming" Bill deBlasio meting re: 360 Smith Street.


With the "Protect Our Homes" petition, CORD was formed in May, 2007. This petition arose as an overwhelmingly negative response to the coming of the over-sized 360 Smith Street Development at the corner of Smith Street and Second Place (Aka Oliver House; aka 131 Second Place). This petition, which had well over three thousand signatures, led to a new zoning text amendment in summer of 2008.

To: Our Elected Officials, Community Leaders, The MTA:
(MAY, 2007)

We the undersigned Carroll Gardens homeowners and residents, are appalled by the "as of right" ruling which allows owners and developers to erect buildings in our neighborhood with no regard to the impact they will present to our quality of life and the value of our homes........