The current zoning allows for a maximum of eight stories for this site which is located at 432-438 East 14th Street. When the project was first announced towards the end of 2014, it was set to be an eight-story building with 114 apartments targeted towards millenials.
But once the post office building was demolished, and Benenson Capital Partners and Mack Real Estate Group started work at the site, construction costs escalated due to the soil and groundwater at the property, according to DNAinfo.
They changed course and instead decided to erect a 12-story building that would bring 155 apartments (31 affordable units) to the East Village. Local residents were not happy and said the project was totally out of context with the neighborhood. Over 300 letters from residents made their way to the Board of Standards and Appeals, where the developers were seeking a zoning variance for their project. The Board seemed to agree with the residents’s assessment earlier this year.
Now the developers have decided to scale it down a little and build a nine-story building with 130 apartments—26 of which would be affordable units. That’s only a floor higher than the zoning allows, and the developers say the nine-story part of the structure will front on East 14th Street, whereas the section overlooking East 13th Street would be eight stories tall.
The developers had pointed to taller buildings in Stuyvesant Town to justify the height of their building. Local residents are still unhappy, according to DNAinfo, and said using Stuyvesant Town as an example was unfair. The BSA will hear this proposal on March 28.