Changes to two Brooklyn Heights properties considered by Landmarks next Tuesday

November 14, 2012 By Linda Collins Brooklyn Daily Eagle
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Consideration by the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) of two Brooklyn Heights development projects will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 20, at 1 Centre St. in Manhattan.

70 Henry St.

This is a proposed new construction for the corner of Henry and Orange streets originally scheduled for the LPC meeting of Nov. 13, but was laid over.

As the Eagle has reported, the new structure will be a five-story, 17-unit rental residential building with a movie theater. The theater will still run under the ownership of the Brooklyn Heights Cinema with a lobby on the first floor and the theater in the basement.

The application is to demolish the existing one- story building, constructed in the 19th century, and construct a new building.

In a presentation before the Community Board 2 (CB 2) Land Use Committee earlier this year, architect Randolph Gerner responded to concerns expressed that the building was “an integral part of the Brooklyn Heights Landmark District and should not be demolished.” He said that in an old historical report on 70 Henry it was deemed that the one-story building “no longer retains its historical significance.” He also said that the replacement is “decidedly modern.”

The proposal involves a brick facade and massive steel windows that the committee approved. Members of the community expressed their approval that the movie theater would be retained.

Responding to a blogger on, Kenn Lowy, who took over the ownership of Brooklyn Heights Cinema earlier this year, noted that the first floor retail space “will be our lobby — hopefully with singer-songwriters and comedians most nights. The cinema will be in the basement. We will have to find a temporary space for about 18 months.”

177 Montague St.

The other project is the conversion of the upper floors in the Chase Bank building at 177 Montague St., corner of Clinton Street, which the law firm Cullen & Dykman LLP moved out of earlier this year.

This conversion, a project of the Stahl Organization and Gregg Wolpert, must first be presented at the CB 2 Land Use Committee on Thursday, Nov. 15. That meeting, rescheduled because of the Thanksgiving holiday next week, will take place at the YWCA, 30 Third Ave., in the first floor Community Room.

According to Rob Perris, district manager of CB 2, the conversion of the upper floors does not require a variance from the Board of Standards and Appeals because the building is in an R7-1 zoning district. which allows residential use.

The committee will review the LPC application, which asks to construct a one-story rear yard addition, install new rooftop air handling units, remove window air conditioning units, clean the exterior, change a window to an entrance, restore a window where a door now exists, and add a residential entrance canopy for the residential entrance, which will be at the back of the building.

The applicant’s architect believes the repair and replacement of skylights and installation of new wood insulated windows to match existing ones will be reviewed at the staff level, according to Perris.

The Chase Bank branch will remain at street level. 

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