Developer seeks rezoning to build 10 stories of apartments overlooking McCarren Park

The site in 2013.
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A developer is seeking a rezoning in order to build a 10-story mixed-use building near the northern end of McCarren Park in Greenpoint.

If approved, the proposed building — 840 Lorimer St. — will wrap around and hover over a diner that was once the home of the beloved Park Luncheonette.

Plans call for 74 apartments, 19 of which will be income-restricted and rent regulated under the mayor’s Mandatory Inclusionary Housing program, according to a project description filed with the Department of City Planning in February. Additionally, there will be 30 parking spaces for cars split between the cellar and the ground floor, as well as office and retail space.

The proposed development looking northeast at Lorimer Street and Driggs Avenue.DCP

Currently, the area is zoned MX-8, which was set during the 2005 Greenpoint-Williamsburg rezoning. The developer is seeking a C4-5D zoning district, which would allow for greater Floor Area Ratio and expanded uses for retail and office space beyond the ground floor.

Zucker Enterprises is the longtime owner of the property. Interestingly, the applicant on rezoning documents is listed as Shabsi Parnes, who is possibly a well-known Jewish musician famous for his skills as a “one-man-band.” 

Looking southeast at Lorimer Street.DCP

Zucker has operated a featherbed factory on the property for many years. Zucker and the restaurant next door, located at the corner of Driggs and Lorimer, have a tense history.

According to a story in DNAinfo published in 2013, customers at the diner, for many years occupied by Park Luncheonette and now known as Bernie’s, complained about “feathers flying in customers’ food from the feather factory,” a problem that had existed for nearly 35 years.

Looking northwest at Driggs Avenue and Manhattan Avenue.DCP

“It used to be literally like snow over there all the time,” a member of Community Board 1 told the publication about the feathers. Thankfully, that does not seem to still be the case.

This story first appeared on Brownstoner.com.