Southern Brooklyn

Homecrest Montrosity Will Get Built After All

An angry neighbor in front of the “Homecrest Tower” (Source:

The Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA) ignored a state judge’s plea to re-examine the plans put forward by the shady developer of the so-called “Homecrest Tower” (1882 East 12th Street). Reports indicate that the BSA declared that developer Joseph Durzieh does have the right to continue building the enormous addition to his home, much to the consternation of his neighbors.

The last we reported on the building, which is a 53-foot tribute to horrendous taste, Judge Yvonne Lewis had sided with neighbors who called for a halt to the project. The judge didn’t have the authority to tear down the structure but had ordered the BSA to re-examine the case. Durzieh had argued that he had the proper permits to make the alterations, claiming that he was building a new addition for his family. Neighbors argued that this was unlikely considering that Durzieh tore down most of his house to accommodate the addition and that his plans called for the installation of an exterior staircase and an elevator. The speculation was that Durzieh was looking to build and rent out condos.

When the BSA finally ruled last week, they declared that Durzieh’s permits were indeed valid, stating that architect Shlomo Wygoda made an error by not filing for a “new building” permit. The BSA decided that this error was “administrative” in nature, effectively giving Durzieh the go ahead on his plans.

Brooklyn Daily described the angry reaction of State Senator Tony Avella:

Tony Avella, a state senator from Queens who crusades against unscrupulous developers, visited the tower on E. 12th Street earlier this year and cited the agency’s decision as further evidence of why the mayor should get rid of it.

“This is one more example of why the Board of Standards and Appeals should be abolished,” said Avella. “It’s just incomprehensible that this developer got away with this huge building. It’s a monstrosity, and not only that, but its a dangerous accident waiting to happen.”

In fact, the board appears to have performed no additional investigation or review beyond the consulting the buildings department, and based its decision largely on the testimony of the department it is supposed to police.

Attorney Stuart Klein, who represents the neighbors opposed to the structure, spoke to the unfair relationship between the Department of Buildings (DOB) and the BSA.

“This decision says that the BSA is going to rubber stamp anything the DOB does,” Klein told Brooklyn Daily.

Comment policy


  1. You see that man over there? Minding his own business and using his property the way he wishes? Yeah, let’s not let him.

    I hope he paints his shit neon pink to piss you off.

  2. I’ve appeared at the Board of Standards and Appeals opposing another monstrosity being built in my neighborhood. The head of the Board greeted the opposing attorney by first name like long lost friends. They never even heard our side before voting against us. It really makes you feel frustrated. If you have the money and the right connections it doesn’t matter if you cut off your neighbors light and air and build something that is ugly.

  3. I feel for the neighbors, but lets face it, that block isn’t likely to be designated an historic district any time soon. It’s a mess, a mixture of multiple dwellings (some walk-ups), old and new construction. If the guy isn’t breaking any laws, and the height isn’t in violation of building/usage codes, well, it’s his property, and that’s why some people don’t want to live in Brooklyn.

  4. The property value on this block ranges from $ 700,000 and up. I look and ask myself, how is this possible?

  5. that is heinous looking- and why is it cantilevered onto the neighbor’s property line? Developers have carte blanche these days and the rest of us have to be visually assaulted by their awful greed driven developments. And to the troll who says you can do whatever you want on your property- not so- that is why there are zoning laws and the DOB in the first place. Because you CAN’T do whatever you want (unless you have the right connections apparently)

  6. […] Earlier in the week, we reported that the BSA ignored the recommendations of Judge Yvonne Lewis, who ruled that the BSA should reconsider their initial decision to grant permits to owner Joseph Durzieh. The BSA gave Durzieh the go ahead, declaring his permits valid and dismissing community complaints and declared that any errors made in the approval of the original permits were “administrative.” […]

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