Department of Buildings denies Brunner’s new Bed-Stuy plans

City cites missing requirements on permit application

TRD New York /
Jun.June 29, 2015 05:20 PM

The city’s Department of Buildings denied Brooklyn developer Joseph Brunner’s permit application last week for an eight-story rental project at 1134 Fulton Street in Bedford-Stuyvesant.

The developer filed plans in May for the 119-unit, 108,000-square-foot building, which would house more than 89,000 square feet of residential space as well as over 18,000 square feet of commercial space and ground-floor retail.

But the Department of Buildings “disapproved” the plans June 22. A city spokesperson cited a number of missing requirements on the filed application – including the absence of a “street tree checklist,” a soil report and a zoning diagram.

“There were items in this application that weren’t fulfilled, so it was denied by the plan examiner,” the spokesperson said.

Karl Fischer, who is serving as the architect for the proposed development, told The Real Deal he had yet to see the permit denial. Fischer said such objections are common and “usually relate to minor things on the plans,” adding, “every job gets objections.”

Meanwhile, the proprietor of an existing restaurant at the location of the planned project told TRD he has rejected a six-figure buyout to vacate the premises.

Yousef Jabr, co-owner of the Marrakech Door restaurant in Bedford-Stuyvesant, said his establishment has rejected a roughly $100,000 offer from the developer to vacate its location. The restaurant has eight years left on its lease, according to the proprietor.

While Jabr said he believed the development’s permit denial was tied to his restaurant’s existing position on the premises – and its unwillingness to vacate – the DOB spokesperson told TRD the department does not consider such matters in its approval or denial of building permit applications.

Jabr added that the developer succeeded in removing 14 of the 16 tenants from the site, with another establishment on the verge of accepting a “very large” buyout and his restaurant the sole remaining holdout.

Jabr’s attorney, Lawrence Lonergan, told TRD that the developers have told his client that “they want to build around him.”

“They offered him money, but it was a pittance compared to what he should get if he’s giving up eight years on his lease,” Lonergan said.

Neither Brunner nor Porter Ave Holdings LLC – the entity through which he acquired the property for $19 million last year – could be reached for comment.

Brunner and partner Abe Mandel recently went into contract to acquire a Williamsburg development site on Wythe Avenue for nearly $700 per buildable square foot, TRD reported.

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