Brace yourselves, Crown Heights: tall(ish) towers could be coming to the neighborhood. Ian Bruce Eichner, the developer behind Manhattan mega-properties like Madison Square Park Tower and City Spire, is trying to redevelop a warehouse that once served as a spice factory and a brewery into an enormous mixed-income residential project.
Eichner, along with Lincoln Equities Group, will pay around $75 million for the three-acre parcel, located on Franklin Avenue and Montgomery Street. According to Eichner, the development could span 1.2 million square feet, with four buildings that could rise as high as 30 stories—a height that is rarely seen in the relatively low-slung Brooklyn neighborhood.
In order to build that tall, the developers would need to work with the city rezone the area, which currently allows for mid-rise buildings. According to Eichner, they would try to do so through the city’s Mandatory Inclusionary Housing program, thereby earmarking half of the promised housing as affordable in exchange for denser buildings. Eichner seems confident that this would be a welcome change, telling the WSJ that “early indications from the local elected officials are that this [upzoning] is exactly what they want to see.”
But it’s unlikely that it would happen without a fight from the community. For proof, look to Cornell Realty’s attempt to upzone several blocks close to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden: Those buildings would not have been as tall as the ones Eichner is proposing, but community outcry led the developer to withdraw its rezoning application earlier this year.
An application for rezoning has yet to be filed through the Department of City Planning, but this will be one to watch in the coming months.