CB1 shoots down plans to develop 15-story building in Mott Haven

The site of the 15-story building at 180 E. 132nd St. in Mott Haven, which Community Board 1 is contesting the development of.
Photo courtesy Adrian Childress

Fearing the continued redevelopment and gentrification of Mott Haven, Community Board 1 voted down support for a large-scale new development proposal near the borough’s waterfront.

On Sept. 30, the board rejected a letter of support for an application that is seeking variances regarding the height, frontage and the need to rezone the property for mixed-use and manufacturing. Residents of the area expressed concerns about the lack of affordable housing in the plan and the height of the proposed building, which is slated for 180 E. 132nd St.

Earlier this month, the Land Use Committee unanimously voted down the proposal as well.

While a representative for the applicant did not attend the Sept. 30 meeting, Board Chair Arline Parks said, “[the applicant] gave a us a lot of answers that were uncertain, which is why we voted as we did.” Richard Lobel, an attorney representing the applicant, also did not provide the board with estimates of how much the units would cost.

The applicant proposes to construct one 15-story residential building with two connected segments, with approximately 176,965 square feet of floor area, 224 units and a height of 157 feet. The maximum permitted building height is 120 feet under current zoning regulations, which raised concerns from committee members who simply don’t want a building of that size in their neighborhood.

Under the proposal, the units would be set at market rate, but board members seemed clear in who they believe the project is catering to — young professionals working in nearby Manhattan.

The proposed first floor would contain residential lobbies, mechanical space, a gym, indoor pool, outdoor landscaped yard, as well as a glass-enclosed walkway between the two building segments. The second through 15th floors of the development would each contain eight dwelling units, with a total of 56 studio units, 56 studio-plus-office units, 56 one-bedroom units and 56 one-bedroom-plus-office units.

The second floor would feature units opening into amenity space that contain private terraces. The proposed cellar would contain vehicular parking for 128 cars and would utilize double stackers, as well as 123 parking spots for bicycles.

Additionally, the property, which is the home of a former rail yard, does not connect to a street, so a variance is needed with the applicant also proposing to construct a vehicular and pedestrian access. The property would also require remedial investigations in connection with the state Department of Environmental Conservation Brownfield Cleanup Program, which has indicated significant subsurface contamination that requires remediation before construction can begin — including the excavation of 15 feet of soil for the entire length of the site.

The applications are scheduled for initial public hearings on either Nov. 15 or 16 before the NYC Board of Standards and Appeals.

Reach Jason Cohen at jcohen@schnepsmedia.com or (718) 260-4598. For more coverage, follow us on Twitter @bronxtimes and Facebook @bronxtimes. 

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