Some Park Slope car owners could soon find themselves circling the block looking for a spot if a developer convinces the city to let it turn a parking garage on Union Street into a luxury apartment complex.
Lewis Meltzer, owner of the garage between Seventh and Sixth avenues, five doors down from the Park Slope Food Coop, is seeking approval for a plan to turn the 261-spot carpark into a six-story residential building with ground-floor retail. Slopers we polled say losing the spots will intensify already-stiff competition for on-street parking.
“It’s already very difficult to find parking here,” said Dari Litchman as she hurried from her car to her work shift at the cooperative. “This will make it a lot more difficult.”
Litchman lives in Windsor Terrace, but as a coop member who works in the neighborhood, she said she often finds herself struggling to find a spot. She has never used the garage, but the drivers who do will no doubt flood the neighborhood if it closes, she said.
Meltzer filed an application for the zoning variance in January and the local community board recommended it with several stipulations, among them, including affordable housing and nixing the balconies included in the original bid.
The balconies would create an unacceptable amount of noise, according to the panel.
“Obviously if I were a neighbor sharing a backyard, I might be more concerned about the rear of the building than about the parking,” said Community Board 6 district manager Craig Hammerman.
The approval came over the protest of neighbors who packed a land use committee meeting in June to rail against the conversion.
Meltzer bought the property in 1982 for $650,000, property records show. The lot was zoned for manufacturing when Meltzer purchased it and required a zoning variance to operate as a parking garage. He has appeared before Community Board 6 every 10 years since then to get its blessing for renewing the variance, and the plan to build apartments didn’t come as much of a surprise, Hammerman said.
“Since the ’80s the owner has indicated he intends to convert the building to residential,” he said. “He’s just getting around to it now.”
Meltzer did not respond to a request for comment.
©2014 Community News Group
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