Park nope! Drivers brace for Union Street garage-to-apartment conversion

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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.

Updated 6:39 pm, July 23, 2014
Reach reporter Noah Hurowitz at or by calling (718) 260-4505. Follow him on Twitter @noahhurowitz
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Reasonable discourse

Komanoff from Tribeca says:
The 2-mile trip from Windsor Terrace to the Coop is pretty flat and mostly on protected cycle paths. An able-bodied adult can bike it in a quarter-of-an-hour or less. But the Coop member quoted in the story *drives* that route? . . . and is fretting that parking her car will now take even longer? Amazing.
July 18, 2014, 8:15 am
Alex from Park Slope says:
"The balconies would create an unacceptable amount of noise, according to the panel."

LOL. Yes, much more than the cars coming and going from the garage, I'm sure. These people. And lady from Windsor Terrace, take the damn bus. Anyone who thinks they're entitled to a street spot in north Slope is delusional.
July 18, 2014, 8:23 am
Adrian from Park Slope says:
You could not envisage an easier/nicer route for biking or walking than Windsor Terrace to the co-op. If you consider that too far for a grocery shop, there are a number of markets closer to Windsor Terrace one could use.

Given the number of alternative options, if you absolutely feel the need to make this journey by car, don't act all entitled about society's "obligation" to provide you easy parking
July 18, 2014, 8:35 am
Ken from Coop member says:
The ready availability of free or low-cost parking is one of the leading factors in the decision to drive or not to drive. Getting rid of that garage, where Coop members receive a discount, should end up reducing car traffic in the neighborhood.
July 18, 2014, 8:40 am
Joe from Park Slope says:
How does this paper always find the laziest, most selfish, free parking advocates is beyond me. I don't know anyone that thinks more parking (cars) in that neighborhood is a wise decision.
July 18, 2014, 8:46 am
Or from Yellow Hook says:
Only in NY could "Luxury" be defined as an apartment that does not include parking.

But then there are the Marxists who hate street parking, and the dreamers who think that not having parking will make for less cars.

Get on your bikes comrades! Your freedom to travel is revoked!
July 18, 2014, 9:03 am
Eric McClure from Park Slope Neighbors says:
Thanks, CB6, for wisely choosing to support the conversion of the 798 Union Street garage to housing. It's a much better use than car storage.
July 18, 2014, 9:19 am
Steve from Brooklyn says:
If the woman needs to drive, so be it. But take a car service and the parking worry disappears.
July 18, 2014, 9:39 am
Tim from PS says:
I live on this block and am VERY happy about a conversion to residential. We should not provide more parking in such a transit rich location. If you are affluent enough to live in North Slope AND own a car, find someplace else to park your car and realize how lucky you are.

It's actually a really cool building I'm interested to see how the units turn out.
July 18, 2014, 10:35 am
Tim from PS says:
If the co-op was so worried, they should have bought the building for peanuts in the 80's and made a garage for their snooty customers. God I hate that place. The people who go there are THE WORST! So entitled and disrespectful. Did I mention entitled???
July 18, 2014, 10:36 am
Mrs. from Canarsie says:
Some of the people on this board are totally delusional. Someone actually commented, why drive "take a car service". Not everyone has the disposable income to just hop in a cab everywhere that they go. The assumption that she lives in North Slope (wherever that is) equals affluence is a huge assumption that the facts presented in this article do not support.
July 18, 2014, 3:07 pm
ty from pps says:
Mrs. -- Delusional like you? How much does a car cost to operate (gas), maintain (repairs, oil), register and insure?

We're talking probably $75-100 /month minimum. How does this compare to a periodic $10 car service trip? (Don't forget to subtract the parking costs...)

OK. The woman from Windsor Terrace has to have her car for other reasons? Perhaps she delivers flowers for a living. OK. Fine. That doesn't mean she *needs* her car for a trip to the co-op. Bus one-way = $2.50. Car home = $9-10 incl tip. Subtract out the $4 for 2-hr parking or the $7 for 4-hr parking (the co-op discount rates).

You see, Mrs. The "delusional" among us can do simple math. If you think owning and using a car in NYC is somehow associated with the poor... I don't even know what to say.
July 18, 2014, 3:25 pm
jjm from c. hill says:
Aint gonna happen unless they throw in some "affordable" units.
July 18, 2014, 6:27 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I can't understand why the anti-car fanatics here have to resort to name calling and other personal attacks. You guys had your say, so let others have theirs'. This garage is heavily used, and closing it down will cause problems. How much luxury housing is needed anyway? As for retail, there is already a lot of that in the area already, so I don't see how placing it there will make any difference. On a side note, try looking for the causes for why there are those living in the city on needing cars to get around rather than the effects.
July 18, 2014, 7:08 pm
todd from Bay Ridge says:
"I can't understand why the anti-car fanatics here have to resort to name calling and other personal attacks."

Says the person who resorts to name calling in their first sentence.
July 19, 2014, 11:08 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
"Says the person who resorts to name calling in their first sentence."

I say that because your kind happens to have an anti-car bias, and your comments prove just that.

"And I love his little catch phrase, "Look for the causes for X instead of the effects." It's VERY CLEAR he has no idea what this means."

That is being said because the causes are known to state what really happened or is going on, while you will never get that from the effects, therefore ty has no idea what he means.
July 19, 2014, 5:18 pm
Mrs. from Canarsie says:
Hmmmm..$10 occasional cab ride would get you pretty far in 1996. Unfortunately, $10 in 2014 (on planet earth, NYC) doesn't get you much farther than you could pretty much walk yourself.

FYI--Maintenance and repairs are not something that is required on a monthly basis for a car.
July 20, 2014, 1:42 am
ty from pps says:
Just an FYI, I'm paying probably the lowest amount for car insurance... almost minimal coverage, spotless driving record and no theft/comprehensive for my 15 year old car. It's still $630 per year. That alone is $52.50 per month. Basically half the cost of a MetroCard (or the full cost for old folks).

get it?
July 20, 2014, 11:26 am
old tine brooklyn from slope says:
ty from pps says:

Yes, Old Time... I'm very proud of you. Your fraudulent behavior is really an example for us all.

Your welcome:)

What I do is perfectly legal

Ty why do you have this compulsion to insult people. You really look like a fool.

Mazel tov
July 20, 2014, 12:16 pm
Tyson White from UWS says:
So this woman who never pays for parking (free public space for private car storage) is concerned that she'll have to compete with others who've been paying for parking till now?

What about the thousands of families who don't own cars because there's nowhere to park because of you?
July 21, 2014, 9:58 am
just sayin' from bk says:
I don't have an anti-car bias, cars have an anti-human bias.
July 21, 2014, 10:52 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I don't have any problems with those that dislike cars, just those who make personal attacks or try to deny others from having one.
July 21, 2014, 7:35 pm
J from PS says:

Guess which real estate firm probably won't be seeing those condos.
Nov. 25, 2014, 12:56 pm

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