Gerritsen Beach residents want to sink a plan for waterfront condos in Sheepshead Bay.
The proposal for three stories of condos on Knapp Street overlooking the Plumb Beach channel has upset residents, who said the area can’t handle an influx of new residents — and the resulting surge in traffic.
The realtors for 78,000-square-foot lot said the waterfront residence would include 18 units and the same number of parking spots — but locals doubt that would keep the residents’ cars from taking up more spaces on the street.
“You tell me — how many people have one car in a family?” said George Broadhead, president of the Gerritsen Beach Property Owners Association.
One resident said the neighborhood’s traffic problems are already evident from the long lines at stoplights along that street.
“Traffic — look how congested it is now,” said Bobby McDonald, who has lived in Gerritsen Beach for about 68 years. “You used to be able to get down Knapp Street no problem.”
Terra Commercial Realty Group — which is selling the property for $2.3 million — doesn’t have a developer lined up yet, and the plans have not been approved by the Department of Buildings, but the group’s head is confident the eventual buyer will proceed with the proposed condo because waterfront residential property is so scarce.
“Any developer is going to come in and probably change it up a little but that’s probably the play,” said Peter Matheos, the senior associate at Terra Commercial Realty Group. “There is not a lot of waterfront land available.”
Broadhead said the neighborhood has blocked developers from building objectionable projects on that land before.
About 10 years ago, developer Donald Lentnek tried to build a six-story apartment complex there, and Broadhead said locals fought that plan — and won.
Broadhead said Lentnek’s proposal, which wanted to build over the creek on pylons, would have had negative environmental impacts on the neighborhood. He said a few decades ago, developers even wanted to fill in areas of the creek with cement to expand the property, but locals shot that plan down by sending divers down to document the wildlife.
“They actually got divers to go under here and they found it was teeming with fish,” he said.
Broadhead said locals are sceptical of developers’ commitment to the ongoing livability of the neighborhood they build in.
“These guys are land developers,” he said. “They don’t care two bits about building on anything except a piece of property.”