A developer's plans to bring a 49-story luxury rental tower to Downtown Brooklyn were met with disapproval from the local community board, the Brooklyn Eagle reports. Savanna wants to bring 270 apartments, 81 of them affordable, to 141 Willoughby Street, but needs a zoning change approval to move forward.
Brooklyn Community Board Two's land use committee however was not enthused and felt that the Morris Adjmi-designed project would place too much of a burden on a neighborhood already overcrowded with tall buildings and planned skyscrapers. They were also concerned that the developers weren't providing more meaningful returns to the community like a school or improvements to the local infrastructure.
As of right, Savanna can build a much smaller building at the site, but the developers hoped that in providing affordable housing, the community might be more amenable to a taller building.
Plans also call for retail on the first two floors, followed by offices on the next seven floors. All the apartments would be located above that.
One of the zoning changes Savanna wants would allow the development team to purchase a park at Flatbush Avenue Extension and Gold Street from the city's Department of Housing Preservation and Development. That purchase will give Savanna the valuable air rights it needs to building a taller structure at 141 Willoughby Street.
The community board's vote is only advisory, but this proposed project is now going through the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP), so it will still be a while before details are finalized on the rental tower.
The site is currently home to the Institute of Design and Construction. Savanna purchased the building in January 2014 for $28 million, but has since allowed the school to stay at the site rent free, to wrap up its affairs, according to the Eagle.