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Mega-development coming to Sunset Park

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A shelved, controversially huge Sunset Park development is back — and bigger than ever.

Developers are resurrecting the plan to build a massive mixed-use development called Eighth Avenue Center at the corner of Eighth Avenue and 62nd Street. The lot’s new owner is going bigger, but he said the mix of residential and shopping won’t put a burden on area streets and transit.

“We’re trying to minimize impact to the adjacent area,” Raymond Chan said. “We want to keep the traffic within the building itself. All loading and parking will be underground.”

Plans call for a three-story, Chelsea Market-style retail space to cover the entire site, which is covers an area about as big as three football fields. Rising from that base will be a 150-room hotel standing about 10 stories, two 15-story residential towers with a combined 350 apartments, and an office tower standing 17 stories, Chan said.

A public green space and sculpture garden will cover exposed sections of the retail building’s roof, and a library, computer lab, and space for a pre-kindergarten program will serve the area’s burgeoning immigrant population, he said.

The area is zoned for manufacturing, but the previous owner secured a variance in 2007 to allow a mixed-use building with a total floor area roughly six times the lot’s size, city records show.

Most buildings in the area top out at four stories, and the project would dwarf even the tallest nearby structures, which stand eight stories.

In 2007, developer Andrew Kohen owned the site and asked Community Board 10 to support a variance that would let him build an 11-story apartment complex and a Home Depot on the lot, but the board panned the proposal as being out-of-scale for the neighborhood.

But the community board, which is only an advisory body to the city, ultimately relented, giving the project its blessing with the provision that a fifth of the apartments be rented at below-market rates. Ultimately Kohen abandoned plans for the project in 2008, citing the economic collapse.

Kohen sold the lot to Chan and a consortium of developers for $51.5 million earlier this year, property records show. The land is adjacent to the Sea Beach Line’s Eighth Avenue Station and the N train, which has seen a surge in ridership during the last decade as the area’s population swelled.

To build the project, Chan needs to renew the variance Kohen obtained, but he has not yet formally submitted plans to the city or the community board, board district manager Josephine Beckmann said. The board’s zoning and land use committee has met with the developer’s attorney and will address the project when Chan submits plans, zoning committee chairwoman Ann Falutico said.

Reach reporter Max Jaeger at mjaeger@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–8303. Follow him on Twitter @JustTheMax.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Me from Bay Ridge says:
Personally I'd rather see new construction like this in the area than the ongoing destruction of the existing row houses through horrid additions and "renovations."
Oct. 2, 2014, 7:02 am
MJ from Bay Ridge says:
please also consider redevelopment of many emptied warehouses in Sunset Park along 1st and 2 Av
Oct. 2, 2014, 8:34 am
Sean from Bay Ridge says:
The 8th Avenue N station is right next door to the site. The platforms there are already packed with people during rush hour. There is no way a development like this won't have a negative impact on mass transit in the area. Not mention that the side streets and avenues in the area are already clogged with double-parked cars. Access to the site will be horrendous for customers and residents. I'd love to find just one developer who means it when he says his project will be beneficial to the neighborhood.
Oct. 2, 2014, 8:41 am
JC from Bed-stuy says:
@MJ its already happening
Oct. 2, 2014, 8:45 am
Alex from Park Slope says:
That site is currently just vacant land with parking. This would be a great thing to bring to the area. The additional housing stock is badly needed and would take some pressure off of prices. The city could also negotiate improvements to the subway station paid for by the developer as part of granting the variance. It's a win/win.
Oct. 2, 2014, 11:14 am
A from Dyker Heights says:
Instead of hotel rooms, the area really needs more permanent, affordable, legal housing. Regular houses all over the neighborhood are increasingly being converted into illegal SRO apartment buildings to house the huge influx of people moving into the area. It needs to stop!
Oct. 2, 2014, 11:36 am
Julio from Sunset Park says:
Building this on an empty parking lot, right next to the N train stop is a slam dunk. As someone else mentioned, this will shunt housing demand that would otherwise be filled by knocking down or modifying the row houses with hideous additions. It will fill a hideous block-long parking lot that makes the street dangerously dead at night. It will bring more jobs to the area. As far as transit access, if more people are using the trains, the MTA will have to run more frequent service along the route, which isn't a bad thing at all.

I hope it gets built! The same thing should happen to the strip of gas stations along 4th ave from 15th st to 40th st, but it's currently zoned for manufacturing instead of residential.
Oct. 2, 2014, 1:21 pm
Julio from Sunset Park says:
Building this on an empty parking lot, right next to the N train stop is a slam dunk. As someone else mentioned, this will shunt housing demand that would otherwise be filled by knocking down or modifying the row houses with hideous additions. It will fill a hideous block-long parking lot that makes the street dangerously dead at night. It will bring more jobs to the area. As far as transit access, if more people are using the trains, the MTA will have to run more frequent service along the route, which isn't a bad thing at all.

I hope it gets built! The same thing should happen to the strip of gas stations along 4th ave from 15th st to 40th st, but it's currently zoned for manufacturing instead of residential.
Oct. 2, 2014, 1:21 pm
Julio from Sunset Park says:
Building this on an empty parking lot, right next to the N train stop is a slam dunk. As someone else mentioned, this will shunt housing demand that would otherwise be filled by knocking down or modifying the row houses with hideous additions. It will fill a hideous block-long parking lot that makes the street dangerously dead at night. It will bring more jobs to the area. As far as transit access, if more people are using the trains, the MTA will have to run more frequent service along the route, which isn't a bad thing at all.

I hope it gets built! The same thing should happen to the strip of gas stations along 4th ave from 15th st to 40th st, but it's currently zoned for manufacturing instead of residential.
Oct. 2, 2014, 1:21 pm
ty from pps says:
i hope they have bike racks!
Oct. 2, 2014, 4:34 pm
jay from nyc says:
I don't see anything wrong with this at all.
Oct. 2, 2014, 6:16 pm
Luisa from Sunset Park says:
Let's be honest, "Julio"- is this really your name; are you the owner's PR rep? To everyone else: If built, it will be right next to the multi-story high Friendship Arch that has been gifted by Sunset Park's mainland China sister-city.
Oct. 2, 2014, 6:32 pm
Me from Bay Ridge says:
So?
Oct. 2, 2014, 6:47 pm
Mike from Williamsburg says:
I can hardly believe how sensible the comments on this article are.
Oct. 2, 2014, 11:17 pm
Mike from Williamsburg says:
In addition to bike racks I hope they have spaces for horses. Cars don't belong in cities, you should either walk, bike or ride a horse.
Oct. 3, 2014, 7:50 am
Mike from Williamsburg says:
Sigh, it looks like someone got sick of losing arguments so is making lazy impersonations. That's a lot more typical of the Brooklyn Paper comments section.
Oct. 3, 2014, 7:58 am
ty from pps says:
horses will be good. think of all that organic fertilizer we'll have.
Oct. 3, 2014, 10:39 am
James s from Dyker says:
This is a fiasco waiting to happen. Turn the land into park land. This area is overly congested as it is. You can't even drive down 65th street or 8th avenue. I had to abandon the subway because there is no room for people. The N is not keeping up with volume of people as it is.
Oct. 3, 2014, 3:30 pm
choose sterilization if you will from Brooklyn says:
...but stay off the working waterfront and surrounding industrial area of Sunset Park.

Business is thriving again in Brooklyn. Don't let overpriced housing take the jobs from the working people and the infrastructure from the city.

Keep Brooklyn working, for all people that is, not just the yupster!
Oct. 4, 2014, 7:21 am
Me from Bay Ridge says:
The N train is not overcrowded. It is crowded only in the front of the train when coming from Manhattan and in the back of the train when headed to Manhattan. This is because a certain ethnic group would rather ride on top of each other than spread out and have to walk some extra steps away from and toward the entrance/exit of the station.
Oct. 4, 2014, 10:48 am
Daj from greenwood says:
Great idea, just make sure the parking plan proposed is actually built.
Oct. 4, 2014, 12:03 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Just because this complex is next to a subway station doesn't mean that many will come there with that. That idea is only just a theory, not a fact. Keep in mind that there are many stadiums and arenas throughout NYC that are next to either subway or commuter rail stations, but many still drive to them despite the available alternatives to getting there. In other words, the subway won't be convenient for everyone who wants to get there. In reality, these mega developments actually bring in more traffic, and many that were done in the past are proof to that.
Oct. 4, 2014, 6:20 pm
Mike from Williamsburg says:
Cities are for density, Penny. If you don't like being packed, there's a whole lot of suburbs out there for you.
Oct. 5, 2014, 1:29 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Just try being on the Major Deegan Expressway before and after there is a Yankees game there, because that place gets packed, which makes you want to avoid it during those times, and that's despite the number of available subway lines there.
Oct. 5, 2014, 6:51 pm
Huh from Where do you live? says:
Tal, I still don't understand why someone living in Pleasantville is haunting the boards of a Brooklyn paper.

Or why you talk about traffic and bicycles and everything when you don't have a driver's license or a bicycle. Is all of your life a theory?
Oct. 6, 2014, 8:30 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
First of all, it's nice for some of you to use different names to disguise your real identity especially if some of these names are the same person. Nevertheless, it doesn't take a special insider to know about what's going on such as mega developments. For the record, I do drive in real life, and I have been on the Major Deegan Expressway during Yankees game, so this is all on my own experience. The only reason you resort to this is because I put you between a rock and a hard place, so personal attacks is all you can come up with considering you have nothing else to debate with.
Oct. 7, 2014, 4 pm

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