Developer Gets Pushback Over Plans To Convert Tracy Mansion Into An Apartment Building

Photo via Halstead
Photo via Halstead

A developer is receiving pushback over plans to convert Park Slope’s Tracy Mansion — part of the neighborhood’s historic district — into an apartment building by adding another floor and a rear extension to the building, New York YIMBY reports.

At a public hearing last week with the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC), architect Scott Henson laid out the property’s new plans, which include a rooftop addition that would allow the building to accommodate seven units, at least three of which would be duplexes. The property owner also wants to expand the sides of the building, so that the 103-year-old structure’s T-shape would be replaced by a less distinctive rectangle, and add balconies, according to YIMBY.

The owner also intends to restore the building’s front facade and add a new chimney. The sidewalls would be stucco, although Henson said the plan is open to changes, YIMBY reports.

Aerial showing existing conditions at 105 8th Avenue. (Source: YIMBY)
Aerial showing existing conditions at 105 8th Avenue. (Source: YIMBY)

The LPC panned the proposal. The commission’s chair Meenakshi Srinivasan reportedly said the renovations would make the building very “blunt and boxy.” Commissioner John Gustafsson, noting that each building on the block has a unique style, argued that the proposal would create a “generic back wall” on the building. Fellow Commissioner Frederick Bland said the architect should “design it a bit,” according to YIMBY.

Aerial showing proposal for 105 8th Avenue. (Source: YIMBY)
Aerial showing proposal for 105 8th Avenue. (Source: YIMBY)

The 10,000-square-foot mansion at 105 8th Avenue, between President and Carroll, sold last Spring for $9.5 million. While the price tag made the sale one of the most expensive real-estate deals in the neighborhood’s history, it was still more than $15 million short of the initial asking price. The mansion was occupied for more than 30 years by the Montessori School, which shut down in 2012, according to the Wall Street Journal. At the time of the sale, Brownstoner reported that the new owner planned to occupy the building, not develop it.

Community Board 6 and the Historic Districts Council have also rejected the plans to renovate the building and convert it into apartments.

“This proposal will completely fill in the original footprint to create large floor plates which, with a large rooftop addition, will sterilize the unique identity of this former mansion. While the façade sells itself, this high-style mansion will be much more marketable if the floors are not maximized and homogenized like every other development,” Historic District Council’s Kelly Carroll told YIMBY.

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