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Beep approves Depot • Brooklyn Paper

Beep approves Depot

A plan to build a new Home Depot and 214 units of housing atop a vacant Bay Ridge railyard moved a step closer to reality after gaining the approval of Borough President Markowitz last week.

Markowitz gave his support to developer Andrew Kohen, who needs a rezoning so he can build the profitable residential units in the complex, which would consist of an 11-story residential and office building plus the 100,000-square-foot Home Depot.

Markowit’z approval did come with strings, however thin. He required that Kohen set aside 20 percent of the units as “affordable,” install a traffic light and crosswalk at 62nd Street and Eighth Avenue, and participate in a traffic study after the center opens. Kohen has already promised to do all of those things.

The borough president’s approval follows a recommendation by Community Board 10.

Opponents say Kohen is trying to build too much housing on the site, but the developer said housing is needed.

“Unless people stop having babies and looking for jobs, then we need development,” said Kohen.

The developer still faces a few more hurdles. The City Planning Commission has 60 days to vote on the rezoning application before it advances to the City Council, where it is backed by Councilman Vince Gentile (D–Bay Ridge).

“It will bolster the area, spruce up the surroundings and provide significant employment and housing,” Gentile said.

Even if City Planning rejects the proposal, the project would still go ahead if the Council and Mayor Bloomberg approve it as expected.

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