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Sunset Park megaproject expects fewer apartments, drops public school

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Eighth Avenue Center is still on the table

Architect Raymond Chan is plowing ahead with a massive mixed-use development on Sunset Park’s Eighth Avenue between 61st and 64th streets, but the particulars of the project have changed in months past. The development, dubbed Eighth Avenue Center, was originally slated to house a three-story Chelsea Market-style retail space; a 10-story, 150-room hotel; two 15-story residential towers with 350 apartments jointly; and a 17 story office tower. But Brooklyn Daily reports that the plans have been tweaked to bring the mall, a 12-story residential tower with 250 apartments, and an 11-story hotel still with 150 rooms.

The biggest change, however, comes to plans for the site’s school. The community rallying point like with many megaprojects before it—Hunters Point South, Greenpoint Landing, to name two of them—the city’s School Construction Authority has decided to renege on financing a public school at the site. Chan has announced plans to bring a private 498-seat pre-K to the site in its stead. The switch-up from public to private school is a blow to Sunset Park’s burgeoning immigrant community, who the school is intended to serve.

In addition to the above, the site will also give way to a 2,500-car garage, a health care facility, a digital library without books, and a green space.

The South Brooklyn site’s been poised for redevelopment since 2007, when the land's previous owner Andrew Kohen announced plans to erect a Home Depot and an 11-story residential building at the site. Kohen received a zoning variance for the industrial parcel in the same year, but ended up selling the land off before the project was realized.

Chan has yet to file plans with the Department of Buildings for the site, but Brooklyn Daily says he intends to do so before the spring. The neighborhood’s community board, not fully on board, plans to seek an Environmental Impact Statement for the site.