A developer’s bid to build a seven-story condo building over Hank’s Saloon in Boerum Hill was unanimously blocked last Wednesday by Community Board 2.
The proposed tower at the corner of Atlantic and Third avenues requires three zoning changes before it could be built — and all three were rejected in the board’s vote.
The city Board of Standards and Appeals will have the final say later this summer.
Current zoning allows for a four-story, 6,600-square-foot residential building — but developers Emily Fisher and Rolf Grimsted said they need more than double that square-footage to cover increased construction costs for their high-end “green” building.
At the June 11 meeting, concerned neighbors demanded that the board hold firm.
“The zoning regulations are in place to protect the ‘brownstone’ neighborhoods and these should be respected,” said Sue Wolfe, president of the Boerum Hill Association.
Grimsted spoke of “compromise.”
“We would like to … discuss ways in which a viable building can be built [that is] a benefit, not harm, to the neighborhood, but still profitable for the developer,” he said.
Formerly the popular American Indian ironworkers’ hangout, Doray Tavern, Hank’s Saloon is expected to remain on the ground floor even after tenants move in, Fisher and Grimsted said.
The proposed loft-style condominium would feature a brownish-yellow brick façade that match the surrounding Atlantic Avenue Special Zoning District.
Such special districts were created for a reason, testified Atlantic Avenue Betterment Association president Sandy Balboza.
“The [area] is under unprecedented pressure from all types of development,” Balboza said. “The limitations of height, bulk, setback, and use regulation were thoughtfully overlaid to protect our districts’ urban fabric, scale, and character while still encouraging development.”
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