Condo and retail developments planned in Sheepshead Bay

July 10, 2014 Heather Chin
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A new condominium and rental building is headed to 1501 Voorhies Avenue in Sheepshead Bay, although joint partners Muss Development and AvalonBay Communities are still in the early planning stages and do not yet have a timetable.

Located next to the Sheepshead Bay Q train station, the 83,000-square-foot lot was once slated to house a 22-story shopping mall and condo tower, but then-owner Acadia Realty Trust left the site undeveloped after the real estate market went bust in 2008—less than a year after they paid $20.3 million for it.

Muss and AvalonBay paid $16.2 million for the site. Muss already developed and manages Oceana Condominiums in Brighton Beach.

The old plan also included room for 650-spaces worth of parking, which is an issue for any new development in the area to consider, noted Theresa Scavo, chairperson of Community Board 15.

“To me, parking is going to be a problem [because] on Voorhies, there’s no parking,” Scavo said. “So even if you have a modest 40 apartments, people may have two cars. Where are you going to put them all?”

The site’s location right off the exit to the Belt Parkway could also pose a problem if increased vehicle traffic causes backups on the exit ramp, according to Scavo.

“I haven’t seen the new plan yet, but just going by Acadia in 2008, everyone was up in arms about retail,” Scavo added. “I don’t know how people will react to both residential and retail.”

Any community input is at least six months away since design plans have not been submitted yet.

In addition to the 1501 Voorhies Avenue property, Muss Development also purchased the commercial site adjacent at 1600 Sheepshead Bay Road for $4 million. The two-story building houses a Citibank, and a combined 13,000-square-feet of additional commercial and retail space.

Voorhies Avenue and Sheepshead Bay Road are just two of the neighborhood’s commercial strips that are seeing ongoing interest from real estate developers. Emmons Avenue, Avenue U, Banner Avenue and Guider Avenue have also seen increased condo and retail development in the past several years, even after the neighborhood got hit hard by Superstorm Sandy’s wind and floodwaters.

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