Strained glass: Opinions mixed over glassy condo replacing convent

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It’s a religious conversion!

A glassy seven-story condo will replace the defunct St. Patrick’s Convent on the corner of Fourth Avenue and 95th Street, new renderings show. But residents say its a sin to put such a flashy and taller-than-average building on the sacred lot.

“I don’t like high-rises — they shut out the light and the air,” said local Barbara Como. “It doesn’t fit. And the glass is dangerous — it could break and fall.”

Developers are planning a 70-foot-tall building with 22 apartments and ground-floor retail, city records show.

Como is one voice in a chorus of wary Ridgites, according to one local leader.

“I got so many calls this morning,” said Community Board 10 district manager Josephine Beckmann on July 8. “People wanted to know if it was as-of-right or granted a variance because it seems so tall.”

The lot’s zoning is split between R5B and R6A — medium-density “contextual” designations that cap building height at 30 feet and 70 feet respectively, so the builder did not need the city’s blessing to go as tall as planned. A parking lot will occupy about one-third of the development site, plans show.

Tak Kwong Cheung and Staten Island developers J&J Property and Management Group own the site, records show. An individual who picked up the phone at the number listed for J&J in city records declined to comment.

The building is supposed to include 13 parking spots as required by zoning, an outdoor terrace above the second floor that will be roughly the size of a three-bedroom apartment, and basement parking for 11 bicycles, plans filed with the Department of Buildings show.

And not everyone thinks the plan is a Tower-of-Babel-esque affront to god and good taste — a worker at an adjacent deli saw the earthly implications.

“It’s more business,” said Ali Alhamidi, who runs the Late Night Stop Deli with his brother. “We’re happy — very happy.”

Another local said Bay Ridge was blessed to be graced with a little contemporary design.

“I like the outside — the glass,” said Mohamed Ahmed. “You don’t see any buildings like that here.”

And the big windows go two ways — the view from outside is evidently debatable, but from inside the building, you’ll get a great view of Bay Ridge, Ahmed said.

“It would be nice to look out of — especially a corner room,” he said, casting his eye toward the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.

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

John from Bay Ridge says:
The planned building looks very nice. I'm sure St. Pat's did well on the sale of the lot.
July 14, 2015, 9:05 am
ty from pps says:
just don't get in the habit.
July 14, 2015, 9:14 am
Tyler from pps says:
"glass is dangerous" -- Oh lordy. She has more chance of that green wooden construction barrier falling over and crushing her than a window falling out.

(Is 6 stories now considered a "high-rise"?!)
July 14, 2015, 10:50 am
georgedunne from sunset park says:
Who in the Diocese of Brooklyn brokered this deal must've got some sack of cash.

The RC Church selling land is a sign the Parish has lost faith in itself to ever recover from the decline in worshippers.
July 16, 2015, 4:11 pm

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