Ditmas Park

Tony Doleh has development plans for his Cortelyou Road supermarket. Some neighbors aren’t happy.

March 3, 2020 Lore Croghan
This is the building supermarket owner Tony Doleh wants to construct at 1620 Cortelyou Road. Rendering by T.F. Cusanelli and Filletti Architects via the Department of City Planning

Tony Doleh wants to construct an apartment building in Ditmas Park with space for the grocery store he co-owns, which currently occupies part of his development site.

He is asking for the property at 1620 Cortelyou Road to be rezoned so he can construct a building that’s almost double the size of what’s allowable under the current zoning, a neighborhood group that opposes his plan says.

The property owner wants to construct a nine-story building with 85 apartments, a 6,473-square-foot space where his supermarket would be located, plus 3,087 square feet of ground-floor space for other retail use and a cellar with 44 parking spaces, a document filed with the City Planning Department indicates.

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Twenty-one of the apartments would be permanently affordable units. The affordability level he’s contemplating for these units is an average income of 60 percent of Area Median Income (AMI), with 10 percent of the units for tenants at 40 percent AMI.

Individuals at 40 percent AMI make $29,880 per year. Individuals at 60 percent AMI make $44,820 per year.

The area where the property is located was rezoned in 2009. It has R6A/C2-4 zoning, which allows six- to eight-floor residential construction and ground-floor retail space.

Here’s the site where Tony Doleh wants to develop a nine-story apartment building with room for his supermarket on the ground floor. Photo: Lore Croghan/Brooklyn Eagle
Here’s the site where Tony Doleh wants to develop a nine-story apartment building with room for his supermarket on the ground floor. Photo: Lore Croghan/Brooklyn Eagle

Doleh — whose grocery store is called Cortelyou Market by Key Food — wants to get the zoning changed to R7D/C2-4. R7D zoning allows for denser development than R6A.

The City Planning Commission certified Doleh’s rezoning application on Monday. This is a step in the city’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure, or ULURP, a process that’s legally required when developers seek zoning changes.

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Community Board 14 will hold a public hearing on the rezoning application, probably in early April, District Manager Shawn Campbell said at the board’s monthly meeting on Monday night.

Doleh is the president of 1600/20 Realty Corp., which has owned the Cortelyou Road property since 1996, city Finance Department records indicate. A laundromat, nail salon and dry cleaner are also located on the property, which is on the corner of East 16th Street. He did not respond to the Brooklyn Eagle’s requests for comment about his development plan.

The Flatbush group that’s critical of Doleh’s proposed rezoning, Respect Brooklyn, called on City Councilmember Mathieu Eugene to oppose it.

“This would be a ridiculous upzoning of an upzoning,” Linda Allende of Respect Brooklyn said in a press release. “The developer can already build all the affordable housing they want and get a bonus they don’t need, and do not deserve permission to evade existing zoning to build an out-of-context and out-of-character tower.”

There’s a laundromat on part of the Cortelyou Road development site. Photo: Lore Croghan/Brooklyn Eagle
There’s a laundromat on part of the Cortelyou Road development site. Photo: Lore Croghan/Brooklyn Eagle

Eugene’s stance on 1620 Cortelyou Road is crucially important. In votes on rezoning issues, City Councilmembers customarily follow the lead of the colleague who reps the district where the property in question is located.

A spokesperson for Eugene didn’t respond to the Eagle’s queries about his position on the property’s proposed rezoning.

A petition that opposes the upzoning of 1620 Cortelyou Road is posted on Respect Brooklyn’s website. More than 100 people have signed it, the group said.

News about Doleh’s development plans for 1620 Cortelyou Road first came to light in a 2017 Bklyner.com story.

If you liked this story, read about the house in Ditmas Park West that was built a century ago for film star Mary Pickford.

Follow reporter Lore Croghan on Twitter.


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2 Comments

  1. Why an Upzoning to build higher and larger than allowed? It was Upzoned in 2009, nothing is stopping the developer from building 100% “affordable” that is just a scam to build higher and larger and more luxury. Plus the site is contaminated from deacdes of chemical dry cleaning on site and they do not propose to clean it up. Some neighbor.