Gotham Organization secures approval for St. Felix Street project in Fort Greene

Gotham Organization President Joel Picket with the proposed development at 130 St. Felix Street (Grid Properties, Rendering via FXCollaborative)

Gotham Organization got the green light from city council on Thursday for a controversial plan to develop a 23-story mixed-use building in Fort Greene.

The developer would raise the building to 130, rue Saint-Félix. The project, comprising more than 120 residential units, including 36 condos below the market, would also include an expanded Brooklyn Music School.

Most of the mixed-income developments in recent years have been rentals, but the affordable property model of the St. Felix Street development has not been enough to influence residents, including those in an adjacent apartment building. 529 feet, who could lose their parking spots or have their perspective altered by the 267-foot-high project.

Council approval – which came despite the advisory opinion of the Community Council 2 Land Use Committee against rezoning in May – supported the project by 41 to 1 votes. Seven council members were absent, including Laurie. Cumbo, who represents Fort Greene and should have approved the plan, as council custom grants the local member a veto over zoning changes.

Cumbo and Gotham Organization did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The development would replace an open-air parking lot, incongruously located just steps from the Atlantic Terminal, Brooklyn’s largest transit hub. Will Thomas, expected director of Open New York, a pro-housing organization run by volunteers, said his group supports the project because it will create mixed-income housing in a sought-after, transit-oriented neighborhood.

“It is a smart and desperately needed investment,” he said.

For project supporters like Shaurav Datta, 39, of downtown Brooklyn, this is the type of development that would have allowed his friends – young families – to stay in the city rather than move to places like Texas or Tennessee, where housing is significantly cheaper.

“I was particularly excited about this project because it is truly unique in that it provided affordable homeownership opportunities in a part of Brooklyn that is simply out of reach for so many people,” he said. -he declares.

But Preserve BAM’s Historic District, a group of residents of the Brooklyn Academy of Music Historic District, which includes the project site, argues that the new structure would change the character of the neighborhood, which consists mostly of 30- to 40-foot buildings. The group sued the city’s Monuments Preservation Commission, alleging that its decision to approve Gotham’s plan was influenced by “political and social issues.”

The group includes residents of One Hanson Place, the condominium project located in the iconic Williamsburgh Savings Bank building, 529 feet tall, just south of the proposed site. Michael Gruen, lawyer representing the group, said the historic district was designated to preserve views of the bank’s iconic building from afar.

“If this is built, it will largely cut off the view of the lower half of the bank building and almost completely erase the north wall of the bank building,” Gruen said. “It’s going to make a huge difference. “

Coinciding with the city council vote on Thursday, the state’s Supreme Court ruled to dismiss the group’s petition. Gruen said the group was considering appealing.

“No final decision has been made,” said Gruen. “But the decision is, in my opinion, very questionable.”

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