A proposed 23-story tower that would sit adjacent to the Williamsburg Savings Bank Tower faced setbacks last week when Community Board 2’s Land Use Development Committee voted to reject the development.
The building planned for the vacant 130 Saint Felix St. site would reach 267-feet tall, just over half the height of its iconic neighbor, and would house 120 apartments and allow for the expansion of the Brooklyn Music School, Brooklyn Paper reports.
However, committee members aren’t sold on the need for such a large development.
“This doesn’t even belong here. This is massive, it impinges on the historic district,” committee members Ernest Augustus said at the virtual hearing held Wednesday.
The tower would provide two floors and basement space for Brooklyn Music School, whose leaders said was desperately in need of space, and 120 new apartments, of which 36 would be below-market rate.
Around 12 will be set aside for people earning between $58,653–116,348, depending on the size of the household, and the remaining 24 will go to people making 100% of the AMI, or about $83,790-$129,276, Brooklyn Paper reports.
Although the units are set lower than the median household income for the area, which in 2018 was $110,230, committee member Bill Flounoy said, “the affordable housing truly is not affordable for our Brooklyn district.”
Concerns about current infrastructure being able to support the huge building were also voiced, with a water main breakage from a smaller development cited as reason for concern.
Bryan Kelly, representing the developers Gotham Organization, said the developer would enter an agreement with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and both of their engineers would go into the tunnels to study the loads and review the design of the building, Brooklyn paper reports.
Resident Shauray Datta testified during the hour and a half public testimony at the start of the meeting, saying they had rented in the neighborhood for 11 years, and were excited about the project offering the opportunity of affordable home ownership.
“As an 11-year lifelong renter, that is something that is something I am really excited by but we’re not going to get any of that in the no-action option,” Datta said.
The development was approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission in 2020, after developers and architects with FXCollaborative cut the original height of the tower by 20 feet and moved the majority of the building 40 feet from Saint Felix Street.
But in order to build the 267-foot tall tower the developers have applied for a rezoning application, which subjects them to the Land Uniform Land Use Review Procedure.
The committee voted 9-3 to recommend the city reject the ULURP application. A vote by the full community board will be held before the proposal goes to Borough President Eric Adams for another advisory vote. Adams will hold a virtual hearing on the project on Wednesday, June 2, at 6:00pm.
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