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Wrecking ball to kick-off construction of Sheepshead Bay tower

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Work is set to begin soon on a controversial tower in Sheepshead Bay.

A row of vacant buildings on Sheepshead Bay Road will be demolished within the next few days in first phase of construction of a new 300-foot residential tower. A spokesman for one of the developers said the demolition will start as soon as the Department of Buildings issues approval.

“We expect it any day and will move forward shortly thereafter,” said Muss Development spokesman Jeff Kay.

The plans for the as-of-right project — which became public in September — include 250 units and 176 parking spots on an area that is nearly the size of five football fields. Amenities for the tower residents will include storage space, a bike room, a tenant’s lounge, and a playroom. The area underneath the demolished buildings will serve as a walkway to the building.

The developers — Muss Development and AvalonBay Communities — bought the two adjacent sites near the intersection of Voorhies Avenue and Sheepshead Bay Road back in July, and Kay said the construction will start soon after the demolition.

But Theresa Scavo, the chairwoman of Community Board 15, said she is concerned about the traffic complications, which she sees as inevitable with an influx of hundreds of families. It’s a worry she shares with the local councilman.

“The traffic congestion in the area is a major concern — and the effects it will have in the area,” said Councilman Chaim Deutsch (D–Sheepshead Bay). “It is going to have a great impact on the neighborho­od.”

Because the project is as-of-right, a traffic study isn’t required, but the developers hired Langan — an engineering and environmental services consultant — to do an independent study. The Department of Transportation said that it is reviewing the Langan report, and it is also discussing the developer’s proposed roadway alterations.

“The applicant and its consultant met with DOT to discuss the existing curb-cut, which will be used for a proposed as-of-right residential development’s vehicular access,” said a department spokesman. “DOT recently received a traffic study produced by the applicant’s consultant, which we are currently reviewing.”

In addition to traffic, Scavo said she was also concerned about plans to make the new residential development a gated community, which she said was out of character with the neighborhood.

“I don’t think this area warrants a gated community — I really don’t,” she said.

But Scavo said that despite her concerns, she’s willing to give the developers a chance to be good neighbors.

“Let’s give them the opportunity and see what happens,” she said.

Reach reporter Vanessa Ogle at vogle@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–4507. Follow her attwitter.com/oglevanessa.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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