A plan to develop the corner of Roberts and Parkview avenues has stalled, thanks to building code objections. On January 12, property owner Alfred Reyes and ITG Development Group asked the city for permission to demolish a three-story house at 1701 Parkview Avenue and erect a seven-story apartment building. On Tuesday, June 9, the Department of Buildings reviewed ITG’s plan for a fourteenth time.
ITG’s initial plan for 1701 netted 51 objections related to zoning, egress, fire protection, accessibility, parking and drainage. Less than 20 objections remained on June 2, ITG partner Judah Langer said. Langer attributed the delay to the architect.
“We’re in the middle of finalizing our plans for approval from the buildings department,” he said.
In the meantime, Pelham Bay neighbors have insisted that ITG maintain the property. On Sunday, June 7, Councilman James Vacca visited 1701. He asked ITG to mow the lawn, pick up litter and secure the house. ITG removed a construction fence at 1701 months ago. Senator Jeff Klein has twice advised ITG to build a barrier around the site.
“The building is secure,” Langer said. “We took down the fence because we weren’t ready to start demolition. We thought the fence was unsightly.”
According to Langer, there have been no break-ins. The existing house has been vacant since 2008. ITG nailed plywood over the windows and some of the doors.
“You cannot enter the building,” Langer said.
Vacca visited 1701 again on Sunday, June 14. ITG had not mowed the lawn or removed the litter.
“[ITG] has done nothing,” Vacca said. “I’m going to notify the appropriate city agencies.”
ITG’s current plan for 1701 is a seven-story, brick building of twenty condo apartments. It will resemble 1600 Parkview Avenue, an eight-story building on Middletown Road, Langer said. Reyes has owned 1701 since April 2008. Although two-family homes line Parkview, the corner property belongs to a medium density zone. In fact, it borders 3109 Roberts Avenue, a six-story apartment building.
“It’s going to be a beautiful building,” Langer said. “It’s going to have a modern look and feel: stainless steel appliances, granite, marble.”
ITG intended to rent the ground floor to a business or community group. That is no longer part of the plan, Langer said. The ground floor will consist of a six-car garage and a lobby. According to Klein chief of staff Adam Haight, ITG must offer at least six parking spots. In general, R7-1 buildings must offer parking for 50 percent of residential units. Because 1701 is set to occupy less than 10,000 square feet, it need only offer parking at 30 percent. Klein sent a letter to City Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden on June 8, asking her to eliminate the loophole. The building will boast potted plants, a sitting area, a side yard and two terraces.
“I think the neighborhood will embrace it,” Langer said.
Langer didn’t volunteer an expected construction start date. ITG hopes to begin before winter 2009-2010, he said.