Friday, July 18, 2008

Cinder Blocked

400 15th Street Progress Report: Street wall shot. The red brick building on the far left is what remains of the Rojas Bakery, 404 15th Street, which currently has two living units over a commercial garage/bakery space. The side lot line windows of the two apartments are currently being bricked over. On the far right is 396 15th which was severely damaged during the construction of the new building's foundation and had to be extensively rebuilt. The front and side facades had to be removed and then replaced from the ground up. There are Stop Work Orders violations for both 396 and 404 in place currently.

One down, one to go. Side windows being cinder blocked over.

An old photo showing the the underpinning of 404 15th and the new poured foundation for 400 15th St. There is a single story extension in the rear of 404 that had to have its old brick wall completely removed and replaced with cinder block.

This older photo of the new building from the rear shows the building's enclosed parking garage which will be accessible from a ramp on 15th Street. There is a also a cellar space below this level that raises a few feet above grade.

The back yard space covering the parking garage below.

It looks as if this 2nd story rear yard area will be used as a private terrace for the future condo apartments. This is a only a guess, but it looks as if the rear facade will be setback to the point where the cinder block wall begins to rise along the shared side lot line.
Just Wondering
If you recall this developer won his financial hardship appeal before the Board of Standards and Appeals after the rest of the south Slope was down zoned to R6B. (400 remains grandfathered in under the old R6 zoning rules.) Does anyone know if they have some kind of variance allowing for this kind of total lot coverage? I am referring to the 18 +/- foot high cinder block wall built on the rear lot line of the adjoining 16th Street properties. Could it be that they are not building as tall as they could under R6 in exchange for more lot coverage? Are there any rear yard requirements? Does the 30' set back rule still apply for this type of enclosed parking facility?

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