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Massive Crown Heights development will bring 500 apartments to the area

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The apartments will be spread out over two buildings in the neighborhood

A Brooklyn developer is set to give a major boost to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH) policy. Cornell Realty Management has asked the city’s Department of City Planning to build taller residential buildings than what the current zoning allows in that part of Crown Heights. Together the buildings would bring over 500 apartments to the neighborhood.

The first tower will be located at 40 Crown Street and could have as many as 390 apartments, 105 of which would be affordable units. This building would stand 16-stories tall and have 15,000-square-feet of retail. If that retail was a supermarket, Cornell Realty could add another 16 apartments to the building.

The second site is a short walk north at 931 Carroll Street. There too Cornell Realty wants to build a 16-story tower, but with fewer apartments, 128 to be precise. Of these 35 would be affordable.

Both buildings allow for much shorter residential towers as of right. At 40 Crown Street, the developer could build a seven-story residential building without the rezoning. Cornell Realty acquired both in 2014.

For the larger site at 40 Crown, Cornell shelled out $14.5 million in the summer of 2014. About six months after that it was announced that the developer would build a 209-unit building at the site, which has been home to a commercial laundry facility since 1935. Karl Fischer was tapped to design at the time, but it’s not yet clear if Cornell has retained the same team for the newer version of the project.

Both sites are located just a short walk from the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Similar initiatives by developers in neighborhoods like Sunnyside haven’t fared too well so far, and it remains to be seen how quickly this project moves forward in Crown Heights.