Avery Hall Investments has finessed their plan for a two-building development at the site of Park Slope’s crucial Key Food. Since the plan was first presented to the community board in February, the developer has been quietly working with area stakeholders to address their priorities for the site.
In a letter posted on City Councilmember Brad Lander’s blog and first spotted by DNAinfo, Lander praised the amended plan as a “big win” for the community. The new proposal will be presented to the community at it’s next board meeting on November 1.
The developer’s original plan for the site included razing the existing structure and constructing two buildings that would hold 165 rentals in total, 41 of which would be affordable.
The community lambasted the plan’s affordability guidelines, noting that the area median income suggested by the developer for affordable housing was too high. Under the plan, 20 percent of the development’s total apartments would be rented to families making 60 percent of the area median income, or $51,000 for a family of four.
Neighborhood residents also feared the loss of an inexpensive grocery store in the age of artisanal Brooklyn markets. While Avery Hall is open to returning a grocery store to the site, it will be notably smaller than the existing 36,000-square-foot store. At February’s community board meeting, the developer said they had set aside about 7,500 square feet for a space that could potentially give way to a grocery store.
Lander’s office “recommend[s] that neighbors lend their broad support toward proceeding with the revised proposal” on November 1, per the blog post. The site of the Key Food falls within the Baltic Street Community Development plan, an urban renewal plan that went into effect in 1981 and will expire in 2021.
The plan puts certain restrictions on the developer: buildings cannot rise higher than 40 feet and have to include affordable housing. Once that expires, the developer—in this case Avery Hall—is not required to provide affordable housing at the site. All said, it’s advantageous for the developer and the community to reach an agreement sooner rather than later.