With price pressures mounting in Flatbush, market-rate rental buildings with more than a few units are penciling out in East Flatbush, for what appears to be the first time in generations. In November, we saw a filing for an eight-unit project on Lenox Road just past Albany, and now comes a filing for a much larger building at 3415 Farragut Road.
There, two blocks east of New York Avenue, developer Yaakov Blatter is planning to erect a six-story, 40-unit residential building. It will be designed by Julien Flander, an architect popular in the Hasidic sections of Brooklyn. With a total residential floor area of almost 27,000 square feet, the units will average 670 square feet, and the building will have a 20-car garage, as required by the unrelenting zoning code.
3415 Farragut Road will rise in place of a poorly kept Victorian on an enormous, oddly shaped lot. The site sits northeast of Brooklyn College and the Junction, and a short block south of Flatbush Gardens, a sort of mini-Stuy Town built as Vanderveer Estates. (The land sale to the developer has not yet closed, but with Department of Buildings approvals taking up to a year or longer, it apparently pays to start early.)
In wealthy, western parts of Flatbush – Prospect Lefferts Gardens, Prospect Park South, Ditmas Park – there is little growth. But over here on the the blocks farther to the east, on the far side of the 2/5 and B/Q trains, the land use regulations are much looser. Some blocks, especially in the northern part, are built out to the zoning envelope (and beyond) with large prewar buildings, but as you travel south, the neighborhood also has an enormous supply of sparsely built single-family detached and semi-detached homes to serve as development sites. These areas can accommodate apartment buildings of half a dozen stories or more, with no height limits for larger assemblages, once demand warrants it.
Unfortunately, with controversy over development in Flatbush mounting and the 421-a abatement for market-rate buildings in jeopardy, local politicians are beginning to feel pressure to limit density (in the unfortunate catch-22 that actually makes prices rise even faster, and the mismatch between what the market demands and what is actually built is the ultimate reason everything is becoming so expensive).
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