Crown Heights

Landmarks commission approves new-house construction on Crown Heights brownstone block

February 7, 2020 Lore Croghan
The second building from the left in this drawing is the new house planned for the vacant lot at 1511 Pacific St. Rendering by Citiscape Architectural Consulting via the Landmarks Preservation Commission

This vacant lot’s a skinny one — just 15.5 feet wide.

But development sites are valuable and hard to come by in Brooklyn’s brownstone neighborhoods, so the lot at 1511 Pacific St. in Crown Heights is going to have a two-family home built on it.

The property is located in a city-designated historic district, which means the Landmarks Preservation Commission is required to pass judgment on the project plans.

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The commission unanimously approved a design by Citiscape Architectural Consulting for a brick townhouse for 1511 Pacific St. on Tuesday, with the stipulation that the height of the building be modestly lowered. The commission instructed the homebuilder to work with LPC staffers to refine the design and consider the use of other facade materials.

The resolution on which the commissioners voted said the planned house construction will fill in a gap on the block and “strengthen the streetscape.”

Here’s a real-life look at the skinny lot at 1511 Pacific St. in Crown Heights. Photo: Lore Croghan/Brooklyn Eagle
Here’s a real-life look at the skinny lot at 1511 Pacific St. in Crown Heights. Photo: Lore Croghan/Brooklyn Eagle

By the way, though the new building at 1511 Pacific St. will be skinny, it won’t come close to being New York City’s narrowest house. That distinction belongs to 75 ½ Bedford St., an 1870s West Village townhouse that’s just 9.5 feet wide.

The slim strip of land at 1511 Pacific St. had a garage on it that was torn down before the Crown Heights North III Historic District — which is where it’s located — was designated in 2015, an LPC staffer said during a presentation prior to the vote.

The new house will be three floors tall on top of a basement. It will be built to its lot lines. But there will be a 1.5-foot open space on one side because the four-story brick apartment building that’s next door at 1509 Pacific St. was not built to the edge of its property line.

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This small apartment house, which preservationists refer to as a flats building, was constructed around 1890, the Crown Heights North III Historic District’s designation report says.

The other side of the new house will be flanked by a row of brownstones beginning with 1513 Pacific St. that are two stories tall on top of basements. These homes were constructed around 1886, the designation report says.

The fenced-in-lot at 1511 Pacific St. is flanked by a small apartment building at 1509 Pacific St. and rowhouses beginning with 1513 Pacific St. Photo: Lore Croghan/Brooklyn Eagle
The fenced-in lot at 1511 Pacific St. is flanked by a small apartment building at 1509 Pacific St. and rowhouses beginning with 1513 Pacific St. Photo: Lore Croghan/Brooklyn Eagle

Estates at Pacific LLC, the owner of 1511 Pacific St., paid cash for the lot. So the identity of the people who are building the house is not a matter of public record. The owner bought the property for $250,000 last year from Hillside Dev LLC with Yaniv Shalom as member, city Finance Department records indicate.

Hillside Development had purchased the property for $185,000 in 2015, the Finance Department records show.

That year, Hillside Development filed plans with the city Buildings Department to build a four-story, two-unit townhouse on the site, New York YIMBY reported at that time.

Follow reporter Lore Croghan on Twitter.


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