Locals hate Third Street condo’s humongous bulkhead

condo park slope
Locals say the huge bulkhead on a Third Street development is an eyesore, but the developer says it was necessary to stay up to code.
Photo by Ben Verde

Talk about bulking up!

Park Slopers absolutely hate a new luxury condo development that features a massive three-story rooftop bulkhead, and claim builders mislead the community about the building’s unsightly addition. 

“They just kept going higher and higher,” said Third Street resident Sarah Unruh. “They were deceptive the whole time.” 

The five-story building at 497 Third St. near Seventh Avenue stands only one residential floor above the four-story edifices surrounding it, but the structure’s rooftop elevator bank and mechanical room protrudes well beyond its living quarters, making the building’s actual height roughly double its neighbor’s.

The eyesore has not gone unnoticed among locals.

“It’s kind of obnoxious,” said local community board member Eric McClure. “By and large, the front facades tend to be consistent. So, for them to build out beyond, and block light, and block views — that’s not a very neighborly approach.” 

Ahead of construction, developer Kaito Management presented renderings to to the community that intentionally downplayed the height of the bulkheads, according to one Park Sloper, who accused the builder’s of pulling a fast one on locals. 

 

Locals have complained to the city, but the condominium and its garish bulkhead fall within the scope of the area’s zoning restrictions, leaving officials powerless to obstruct the development, according to Unruh.

“It’s really scary,” she said. “If they can do that, what’s going to keep the next guy from just tearing down their brownstone?” 

One sloper took it upon themselves to correct the posted renderings.
Photo by Ben Verde

A rep for the developer claimed they were actually adhering to the city’s regulations, which require stretcher access in the event of first responders using the elevator, when they erected the massive bulkhead. 

“The rendering in reference was drafted in advance and completed prior to our plans being changed with larger bulkhead,” Stephen Baker said. “The building complies by all codes and approvals would have been granted regardless of neighborhood disapproval, as of right.” 

The Department of Buildings confirmed the section of buildings code that requires buildings five or more stories tall to have at least one elevator big enough to accommodate a stretcher. 

The lot where the Condo now sits hosted a boarded up brownstone that sat vacant for decades, according to locals.

The deed was transferred to The Homage on Third LLC in 2016, property records show. 

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