Friday, September 21, 2012

The Legend of Zeldin

Digging trenches.

Pouring the concrete foundation.

Groundbreaking  foundation work awakens $1.6 million Prospect Avenue sleeper. Looks like Mark Zeldin, South Slope landmarker, has acquired the stalled site 379 Prospect Avenue adding to his already extensive neighborhood portfolio.   Eleven buildings and counting .
Zoned R5B, filed plans call for 10 dwelling units and 7 off street accessory parking spaces on the vacant L shaped lot.   That's going to be a building with 14,465 buildable square feet, some 33' tall, three stories and cellar.
The building's lay-out will be 2 units on the ground or first floor, 4 units on the second and another 4 units on the third floor.  Look out for a 12' curb cut on Prospect Avenue with a pass through to accommodate parking in the rear yard of the building... My guess anyway.  Antoine Sayad of Moss and Sayad Architectects have agreed to self-certify this project...

L -shaped lot between WIndsor Place and Prospect Avenue in pink.  Notice the long white roofed wedge-shaped building on the right?  That's the recently completed, on the market condo 1638 8th Avenue... The Windsor Lake Building for my devoted readers.

Persona non grata.
Zeldin, has had his troubles developing several of his previous properties in the South Slope. In February 2006,  two construction workers were injured during demolition of a wall at 226-228- 230   16th Street, a multiple building Zeldin condominium project.  A Stop Work Order Violation was served by the Department of Buildings that same day in response to the accident.  Days later, the contractors were caught working at the site disregarding the SWO, and were served an additional violation for failure to comply.  They were fined $2000.
 The adjacent home owners of  232 16th St. have filed a lawsuit against Zeldin and  16th St. Development for extensive damages to their property, they claim,  resulting from unprotected demolition and excavation work while digging the foundation for 230 16th Street.

In 2007 Zeldin  was accused by neighbors of committing "demolition by neglect" after a vacant brick apartment building, 18-20 Jackson Place, collapsed on adjacent properties during a storm. The block was closed off until HPD could finish the demolition as ordered by the DOB.  Brownstoner captured the event and the disgruntled local commentary at the time.

Again in 2007 and 2008 Zeldin's team of contractors racked up various Stop Work Order Violations and fines while building another South Slope condo project, 390 14th Street.  A recent BIS search shows $7,500 in unpaid fines issued to Marie Grasso and MMG Demolition,  Zeldin's go-to-gal for breaking all things architectural.  There are, again, violations and fines for unsafe excavation on record here and here.

The legacy: Visual illiteracy

Zeldin's infamous portfolio of projects offer future architectural historians a visual record of the prolific, opportunistic property speculation that occurred during and after the 2005 panic driven frenzy to  down-zone our South Slope neighborhood.  Maybe, someday, a round table panel of developers/architects/real estate brokers could be subpoenaed and forced to examine their role in the gentrification of the Park Slope South neighborhood and how it has created a demand for a breed of nondesign-centric, low-end, high-priced developments.
In the mean time a picture as they say is worth a 1000 words.

394 12th Street
390 14th Street
272 19th Street
18-20 Jackson Place

245 16th Street

226-228-230 16th Street

370 12th Street

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That's funny, a lot of these buildings actually look a tad better than their neighboring 'souls of South Slope'... But I'm no critic, just a resident and observer..