CROWN HEIGHTS – Renovations for a Crown Heights building — slated to become the borough’s next co-living space — were voted down November 1, after a Community Board 8 committee curbed the project.
CB 8’s landmark committee voted nine to one to table renovations at 907 St. Marks Avenue. Board members shot down the makeover after NMI Architecture, PLCC provided incomplete information on the architectural updates. Owner Eddie Soleyman also neglected to submit plans to the Crown Heights North Association.
But board members also disagreed with the apartment layout—seven bedrooms and four baths on each floor of the landmarked building.
“I wonder how many people that are willing to live in a situation like that would be invested where they live,” said Katharine Perko.
In response to the influx of transient newcomers, communal living is becoming more popular throughout the borough. Many of them come fully furnished and turn-key ready.
Not every attendee disapproved of the new renovations. Gib Veconi and Robert Puca motioned to support the project. Seven “no” votes ultimately tabled the proposal.
Puca argued neighbors should embrace the new owner’s commitment to repairing the boarded pre-war building.
“He’s adding vitality to the neighborhood,” said Puca. He also argued the owner wasn’t seeking the board’s approval on land use but rather a landmarks preservation application.
The century-old Renaissance Revival building half shuttered nearly a decade ago. Soleyman purchased the “eyesore” in August of 2018 with plans to convert the half-abandoned building to a co-living space. Units will rent for around $9,000.
Until recently, the building housed a medical parts facility on the ground level and second floor.
The Landmarks Preservation Committee designated the building a landmark in 2015 as part of the Crown Heights Historic District. Architects submitted plans to make the building ADA compliant with an elevator accessible to the first floor and basement. In addition, the owner agreed to replace the rear exterior stairway, a door to the rooftop bulkhead, and replace and paint the windows and doors – all within LPC guidelines.
Owners will go before the city’s Landmark Preservation Committee on Nov. 20 but have agreed to resubmit plans to CB 8 on Dec. 8, 2018.