The New Coney Island - Brooklyn's Times Square by the Sea

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Oceanview Ave - Brighton Beach

NY Yimby excerpt -

The days of the bungalows and wood-frame houses of Brighton Beach, in the blocks above the elevated line near the end of Brooklyn, are numbered. The neighborhood has the distinction of being one of only a handful of areas in New York City where the Department of City Planning still allows wholesale redevelopment of single-family homes, and as New York’s recovery takes hold in the outer reaches of the outer boroughs, builders are returning to Brighton Beach.

Over the weekend, a permit application was filed for a new five-story apartment building at 424 Oceanview Avenue, typical of new construction happening throughout Brighton Beach. The developer is combining two lots, with demolition permits filed last month for the two old wood-fame houses. (The filing is the second attempt at a building on the site, with a similar but slightly different permit application filed in 2010.)

The new building’s 16 units will be spread over 12,000 square feet of residential space, for an average apartment size of 750 square feet. The project will triple or quadruple the density of the old structures, bringing new supply to one of New York City’s most affordable growing neighborhoods. Even modest apartments in Brighton Beach are often built as condos, with new construction from the last cycle now generally selling in the $400s per square foot.

But despite the area’s production of a very rare commodity in New York – reasonably priced new market-rate housing – there were certain factions that were not pleased with the growth. In 2009, the Department of City Planning and the local community board – led, apparently, by some of the area’s dwindling population of American-born residents – initiated a process to rezone the neighborhood to restrict redevelopment of the bungalows and wood-frame houses.

Luckily, in a rare example of pro-growth immigrants successfully fending off a land use challenge from anti-development old timers, the Russian business community got the community board and Department of City Planning to back down on the rezoning. The blanket R6 designation remains today, allowing for fairly generous tenement-scale density, without height limits to constrain those who want to build thinner towers.

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