Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Field Trip: Look 313 St. Marks Avenue! Prospect Heights.

313 St. Marks Avenue   S3 Architecture's rendering of future building.

This one's a little out of our usual South Slope stomping ground. 
A new development planned for the parking lot at 313 St Marks Avenue between Underhill and Washington in Brooklyn's Prospect Heights neighborhood.  
S3 Architecture is the firm of record.  This 50' tall four story 62,149 sq. ft. building will have 75 dwelling units with off street parking for 38 automobiles and 63 bicycles.  I have included the Schedule A for a break down of the total space.  

Why the field trip?  Actually I'm worried about the property next door.  Years ago in another life time I worked with Brooklyn based architect Brendan Coburn repurposing a little empty brick shell of a 1870's carriage house that was wedged in the rear yard of 305 St. Marks Avenue.  It was a great project.   My partner and I did the iron work.  Fine Homebuilding Magazine featured it in their 2002 Houses of the year edition. 
There is no basement. The building was built on a slab foundation.  I'm worried that this diminutive 100+ year old house will not survive intact.  New construction tends to undermine adjacent foundations.   That's been my personal experience.

A stronger voice in your neighborhood's development... 

Paranoid yes, I have had my eye on this site for a good number of years waiting for the shoe to drop.  Beware of buying homes near vacant underdeveloped property. That's my advice. You never know who or what could end up being your neighbor.  
So with that in mind let me introduce you to NYC Building's My Block, the know what thy neighbor is up to web site we visit frequently here at IMBY... An important voyeuristic tool best kept near like under our work station  in an old shoe box filled with rubber fists.  My Block lets you see what's scheduled to be demolished, altered, and maybe even as in this case, built up on your block.  It can let you know about proposed buildings and enlargements early on, even before the physical construction process has begun. 

By taking part in the Development Challenge Process you can keep developer's dreams from becoming a tad too tall, or a might bulky, or from encroaching on your rear yard private spaces.  It's your last chance to protect your light and air, but unfortunately not your sight.  There are no architectural public decency standards when it comes to artistic vision that I know of.  It may still even be of code to use adopted Russian babies as carbon monoxide detectors... I can't recall. It's not my expertise.  If you don't like the fluorescent green window box casings you can't complain to the DOB.  Basically it's beefs about arcane zoning rules that is of interest.  Peek at the zoning lot diagram if you like. It sure is a crazy quilt shaped space.

R6B zoned   1.98 FAR  60% lot coverage

Some more S3 Architecture interior renderings