Throggs Neck thin house in limbo

The proposed two-family house on Revere Avenue under scrutiny from the city is far skinnier than the homes around it.
Photo by Walter Pofeldt

This Throggs Neck house just might be too thin after all.

Construction has halted on a proposed two-family home slated for Revere Avenue, as the city has updated its temporary stop-worker order, issued in late July, to a permanent stop-work order.

The city Department of Buildings says construction on the planned home at 848 Revere Avenue cannot start up again until an architect submits plans that follow the site’s current zoning.

Too thin, or not too thin?

New rules created in a 2003 “downzoning” of the area require any new house built in that area of Throggs Neck to be on a lot at least 25 feet wide. Two-family homes must have at least three off-street parking spots and an eight-foot sideyard.

But plans submitted to, and approved by, the city in 2010 called for a 14-foot wide home on a 22-foot lot, with only two off-street parking spaces.

Even amid the city scrutiny, the property owner is vowing to find a way to continue construction. He said his architect, Gino Longo, was working with the city to find a way to have the project comply with current zoning regulations.

“I want it resolved, and I want it to go forward,” said Anthony Iocovello of Throggs Neck-based Iocovello and Sons. “We feel [the stop-work order] was done unjustly.”

Iocovello had received clearance from the city to build the home back in 2010. The city now admits that whoever reviewed the plans back then was unfamiliar with the specific nuances of Throggs Neck zoning.

“The plan examiner that reviewed it either overlooked it or was not looking at it,” department spokesman Alex Schnell told the Bronx Times in July.

Work stalled until further notice

Construction had reached the top of the first floor, before the order to stop work came down, Iocovello said.

He added work was on a time crunch, since much of the construction cannot take place in the cold.

“You can’t set brick in the winter,” he said.

Neighbors are relieved that work has stopped on the narrow house. They’ve long charged that the house is too thin, and would overcrowd the street.

“It looks like a shoebox,” Denise Schumacher, who lives next door, told the Bronx Times in July. “There’s no room for it, and there never was room for it.”

The councilman who pushed for the area’s 2003 downzoning is also cheering the construction freeze.

“This is a classic case of over development,” said Councilman Jimmy Vacca, who pushed for the changes back when he was district manager of Community Board 10.

Reach Reporter Ben Kochman at (718) 742–3394. E-mail him at Follow him on Twitter @benkochman.

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