New life for Kensington lot - Brooklyn Paper

New life for Kensington lot

A new seven story development will bring a long-dead Kensington lot to life, adding 73-apartments to a block that includes the famous Kensington Stables.

The development on Caton Place will be led by The Hudson Companies, an outfit that gained notoriety for live-blogging the construction of another development it completed in Gowanus in 2010. It bought the Kensington lot for $2,850,000 in 2011.

The developer will work with borough architects Kiss + Cathcart on the project, which will break ground in March or April and will take 18-20 months to complete.

The development will add life to a lot that formerly housed a chalkboard factory but has been an eyesore for years, and local leaders have long spotlighted as a stalled site.

Councilman Brad Lander said he supported the project, even though all 73-units would be market-rate.

“That is a disappointment of mine on the project,” said Lander. “I wish we had it here and I’m sorry that we don’t.”

Lander said the developers had contacted the city at his behest to see if it could work out a deal with the Department of Housing, Preservation and Development to subsidise some affordable units, but no avail.

“I will say they engaged in a serious effort,” he said. “The city…basically said it can’t provide the level of subsidy that would be needed to make 20 percent of those units affordable in a way that works.”

But not everyone is looking forward to the new (human) foot traffic in the area.

“This little space the city called underdeveloped is kind of nice for horses,” said Walker Blankinship, the owner of Kensington Stables. “It’s going to be a lot more traffic of people, horses being in the way, and potentially people complaining about the smell…but [the developers] sound pretty nice.”

The Hudson Companies will not be live-blogging the construction, Vice President Alison Novak said.

Reach reporter Eli Rosenberg at erosenberg@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-2531. And follow him at twitter.com/emrosenberg.

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