Members of Community Board 2’s Land Use Committee have asked the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) to make sure there is affordable housing at a proposed new development in the BAM Cultural District.
Additionally, they asked that the residential units be large enough to accommodate families.
The HPD will be issuing a Request for Proposals (RFP) in the near future seeking a developer for the site, at the northwest corner of Lafayette Avenue and Ashland Place, currently in use as a public parking lot, and two representatives attended the CB 2 committee meeting last week to seek input for that document.
Jack Hammer, director of planning at the HPD, and Elizabeth Seward, deputy director of land use policy, said the HPD’s overall view is for a 100,000-square-foot mixed-use building containing approximately 100 residential units plus street level retail space and a cultural or community facility space in a building that will be less than 150-feet in height, which is the equivalent of 15 stories.
“Our goals are for a high-quality and visibly appealing development with active ground floor uses,” Seward said, adding that it should also facilitate the growth of the BAM district by providing a cultural amenity.
The estimated release date for the RFP is late November with responses due back by February 2013.
“We should take every opportunity to provide affordable housing,” said Lawrence Whiteside, committee chair, adding, “We prefer apartments large enough for families, not just studios.”
Said Hammer, “Obviously, we’re an affordable housing agency, so we will want that, too, but for the RFP we’re leaving it open.”
As for larger units, he said, “Our goal is to have 50 percent of the units be two bedrooms and up.”
Parking, both for building residents and the public, was another issue raised by committee members, who made note of the proposed zoning amendment under consideration by the Department of City Planning that will require fewer parking spaces in new Downtown Brooklyn residential buildings.
Saying the new zoning would be taken into consideration, Hammer said, “We will be very broad in the RFP. We’re very pleased to bring this site to you. It’s a fine location and we’re pleased that something can happen here in the near future.”
Added Seward, “We’re looking for a quality design and great amenities.”
CB 2 District Manager Rob Perris told committee members that they would be considering another BAM Cultural District site at their December meeting: a Two Trees-owned property across from this one that will contain open space and parking.