In rare move, developer pushes for landmark status

January 28, 2013 01:00PM

The owners of the Park Union, a luxury condominium conversion in Park Slope, are doing something unusual: pushing to be included in the neighborhood’s historic district. According to the New York Times,  American Development Group is betting that the former Elks Lodge at 910 Union Street will only increase in value if it gains landmark status. 

“What we’re building here today, every element of the facade will, I hope, be officially landmarked, and it will not be able to be altered without landmarks approval,” Perry Finkelman, a partner and managing director of the American Development Group, who has done about 250 adaptive reuse projects in his 30-year career, said. “So I’m hoping my vision for this building will be here for quite some time, maybe in perpetuity, for people to enjoy.”

In November of last year the Beaux Arts building launched sales on its 15 units. Finkelman’s restoration added five floors to the original two-story building, using color-matched brick. The conversion ultimately created two one-bedroom, two two-bedroom and 11 three-bedroom apartments. The condos range from about 700 to 1,900 square feet, and from $799,000 to $2.295 million, according to the Times.

“The reason I could afford to do this, while a typical developer couldn’t, is that we’re also the contractor, so our costs are controlled,” Finkelman said. “We probably would have spent $100 more per square foot on construction if we’d had to go to a third-party contractor.”

However Elisabeth de Bourbon, said that the Landmarks Preservation Commission had no immediate plans to rework the district’s boundaries to include the Park Union, adding that the commission has not received an application for inclusion of the building in the historic district. [NYT] —Christopher Cameron