The Real Deal New York

City Planning signs off on rezoning of Rabsky’s Pfizer sites

Developer plans 1M sf Brooklyn housing complex
By Kathryn Brenzel | September 19, 2017 12:20PM

Rabsky’s plans for the site (Credit: Rabsky Group)

The City Planning Commission on Tuesday signed off on rezoning a group of Brooklyn properties — known as the Pfizer sites — owned by the Rabsky Group, moving the developer one step closer to building a 1 million-square-foot housing complex.

Harrison Realty, an affiliate of Simon Dushinsky and Isaac Rabinowitz’s Rabsky, plans to build 1,146 residential units across eight buildings on the Williamsburg sites as part of the city’s Mandatory Inclusionary Housing program. The developer is seeking to rezone two blocks bounded by Harrison Avenue, Walton Street, Union Avenue and Gerry Street.

If approved, the project will include 287 units that are permanently affordable. Twenty-five percent of the units would be set aside for residents making an average of 60 percent of the area median income (AMI), according to the Rabsky Group’s land-use application. Of the 287 affordable units, 5 percent of the apartments will be for tenants making 100 percent of the AMI, 10 percent for 60 percent of the AMI and 10 percent at 40 percent AMI.

Rabsky paid $12.8 million for to buy the properties from Pfizer in 2012. Construction on the 4.2-acre property is expected to begin January 2018, and the complex is slated to open in 2019.

The rezoning proposal heads to the City Council next. Other private developments seeking rezonings under MIH have died at this stage. Last year, the City Council unanimously voted against the first private housing development proposed under MIH, an apartment project in Inwood. For rezonings, the City Council tends to vote according to the inclinations of the local Council member. For the Pfizer sites, Rabsky has the support of Council member Stephen Levin.

“It is a positive step that the City Planning Commission has voted to approve the Pfizer redevelopment project,” he said in a statement. “As an MIH project, this project would bring the first mandatory affordable housing units in South Williamsburg in many years.”