Crown Heights Developers Promise Expensive Condos, If No Up-zoning

CROWN HEIGHTS – Developers looking to build a new 16-story tower off Franklin Avenue said their condo rates for a 1-bedroom apartment could start at nearly a million dollars if the project isn’t upzoned.

Carmel Partners confirmed, at a City Council Land Use hearing on Thursday, November 15, they will not offer affordable units if their rezoning application is denied.  The building at 40 Crown St. would accommodate around 280 apartmentslikely all condominiums— at $1,200 per square foot as of right. 

“If the upzoning is not happening, we have to develop this project at its best economic use, which at this time it could be condos, even if that has a detrimental effect on the character of the neighborhood,” said a representative for the developer when prompted by City Councilman Laurie Cumbo.

Condos at $1,200 per square foot would put a 575 sq. ft. one-bedroom just under $900,000, according to the developer. This is an area where 50% of residents complained of rent burden when surveyed between 2012 and 2016.

Should the city approve the rezoning project (geographical outline above), the tower would provide 518 units of which 140 would be permanently affordable under the city’s Mandatory Inclusionary Housing program. Rental rates will vary.

  • Studio: 400 sq. ft.
  • 1 bedroom: 575 sq. ft.
  • 2 bedrooms: 775 sq. ft.
  • 3 bedrooms: 950 sq. ft.

The 114 parking spaces will go exclusively to tenants with market-rate apartments.

At least three people testified against the project during the Land use meeting. Alicia Boyd, of Movement To Protect the People, argued Carmel Realty misrepresented the number of units proposed and therefore escaped an environmental impact analysis.

A representative from 32BJ which, represents doormen across the city, also opposed the project claiming Carmel Realty and its affiliates terminated service contracts at other properties.

“We find this alarming considering building service jobs are typically filled by local residents,” he said.

Developers did, however, “commit to Union staffing,” after Cumbo pressed for low-income retail space and local hiring.

“A project like this has the potential to be able to train, hire, employ and give the expertise that many of them will need on this job as well as many others, said Cumbo about unemployed men in the area.

Six supporters testified in favor, including Rabbi Eli Cohen of the Crown Heights Jewish Community Center and District Leader Geoffrey Davis. In passing, Davis and Alicia Boyd exchanged words during the hearing.

“Sell out,” she called him.

Correction: The previous version of this article incorrectly named 40 Crown Street as 40 Franklin Avenue.

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Kadia Goba

Former Politics Reporter for Bklyner, covering Brooklyn politics and Crown Heights/PLG/Bed Stuy. @kadiagoba


  1. This reply goes out to the writer of this story: There’s an error with this story. 40 Franklin Avenue is located between Park & Flushing Avenue. The location you was actually referring to is 46 Crown Street (Franklin / Washington Avenue), the site of the now-defunct Sea Crest Linen Supply. I know because I live within the immediate confines of the said proposed residential building. I had 4 relatives who once resided on that block for many years before they passed away. So please be mindful of what location you are referring to when you write stories about some buildings. As for the developers of the propose building who say that they’ll make 46 Crown Street a luxury residential building, I say HELL NO to that!! 12 Crown Street which used to be a rental building is now a CONDOMINIUM. If these developers think they can proceed with the luxury apartments should the upzoning be denied by the City, they might as well bow out of this project. Working class people live in this neighborhood. The people of Crown Heights need TRULY AFFORDABLE HOUSING. PERIOD!! The proliferation of luxury apartments in Crown Heights really scares the living daylights out of me and I’m fearful that me and my fellow neighbors who have been living here for a long time may not financially be able to live around here anymore if such construction of luxury apartments go unchecked. Some existing residential buildings owned by unscrupulous landlords are in such disrepair but yet they collect so much money in rent. This is absolutely UNFAIR & DISRESPECTFUL to the apartment building tenants. This is why serious housing law reform in NYS must take place. We are sick and tired of being taken advantage of and this cannot continue to go on!!

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