Sheepshead Bay residents are fuming over a proposed seven-story hotel slated for construction on a residential street, fearing the new building will turn into a extended stay homeless shelter.
“They are worried about their property values, worried about the city housing the homeless in the hotel, and it taking away limited curbside parking spaces on the road,” said Community Board 15 Chairwoman Theresa Scavo.
Queens-based builders with the Michael Kang Architect firm filed a permit on Dec. 2 with plans detailing a 72-room hotel building with three parking spaces at 2646 E. 18th St, and neighbors aren’t happy about the prospect of a seven-story structure towering over their two-story homes.
“I think it’s crazy honestly. It’s a total mistake for this area,” said Diane Soffian-Yulfo. “It’s the middle of a small, mini block. It’s not an avenue, nobody knows where Jerome Street in Brooklyn is.”
Former Community Board 15 chairman Maurice Kolodin suspects the proposed hotel’s developers are eyeing a contract with the city government to house the city’s homeless population — saying that he doesn’t see the viability of a third hotel in the southern Brooklyn neighborhood.
“Are these people looking to contract with the city for some type of program?” Kolodin asked. “People don’t just come to New York City and want to stay at a hotel in Sheepshead Bay.”
The site, between Jerome and Voorhies avenues, is situated a block over from the Sheepshead Bay subway station, which allows the property to be classified as transient — and therefore requires less parking spaces than properties with less access to public transportation.
But Scavo expects that the hotel’s would-be visitors will primarily be motorists, therefore further inundating the already-limited curbside parking on the residential block.
“You do have a lot of people traveling here by car,” she said. “A lot of snowbirds drive up here from Florida to come and visit their children.”
And while Scavo said she has heard from four or five of the property’s neighbors with concerns about the pending structure, the hotel is being built as of right — meaning it is not requesting any variances, or changes to the zoning code — and therefore does not require a public hearing for approval.
The project was initially disapproved by city building honchos on Jan. 17 due to an incomplete application — but the developers plan on resubmitting their request.
The architect and the property’s owner, Nehalkumar Gandhi, received approval from the city Department of Buildings on Jan. 29 to construct a four-story hotel with 81 rooms at 2327 Coney Island Ave. — also in Sheepshead Bay.