Internationally celebrated architect Enrique Norten’s unpopular apartment building in Park Slope suffered another blow last week when a local community board panel shot down an appeal to build additional units at the Carroll Street site.
The developer claimed that the three extra townhouses are now necessary for him to turn a reasonable profit on the embattled project where Norten has already unveiled plans for a contemporary, 17-unit building — but Community Board 6’s Land Use Committee was not swayed by the request to alter zoning rules that limit the density of new construction.
“I don’t feel they proved anywhere near the minimum needed for a variance,” Committee Chairman Peter Fleming said last Thursday.
The committee took a firm stand because of other problems swirling around the project, such as allegations that earlier construction on the site between Fourth and Fifth avenues damaged nearby homes.
The developer found it tough to get any leeway because of Norten’s blueprints, too. The sleek façade of the proposed townhouses, as well as the white apartment building loaded with vertical lines, is repugnant to some in the classic brownstone neighborhood.
“What they’re doing is not in context with the neighborhood. That block is not in the least bit contemporary,” Fleming told The Brooklyn Paper.
A spokesman for Norten’s firm, Ten Arquitectos, said the starchitect is modifying the townhouses based on the meeting with community board.
Their inclusion would decrease the size of a front yard for the squat apartment building.
The full Community Board 6 will vote on the committee’s recommendation at its June 10 meeting.
Its vote is non-binding and will then be considered by the city’s Board of Standards and Appeals.
The bureau has proven to be more sympathetic to developers.
Norten, the sculptor of noted buildings in Mexico City and abroad, is also the master drafter behind a glass-wrapped, and similarly stalled, library and apartment building that would stand in the heart of the so-called BAM Cultural District in Fort Greene.
©2009 Community News Group
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