270-unit multifamily project proposed in Borough Park

Despite dire housing need, local community board shot down several similar projects

The site of the proposal roughly cornered by 14th and 16th Avenues and 59th and 61st Streets
The site of the proposal roughly cornered by 14th and 16th Avenues and 59th and 61st Streets (Google Maps)

A low-rise community in Borough Park has high hopes for more housing.

New project filings by an LLC tied to developer Meir David Tabak outline a 14-building complex in the Brooklyn neighborhood. It would include 270 units, 81 of which would be designated as affordable.

The mixed-use development would include 272,000 square feet of housing and 63,000 square feet of commercial space that would cover four city blocks roughly cornered by 14th and 16th avenues and 59th and 61st streets.

The assemblage was purchased by Brooklyn Yards Development LLC in 2019 for $4.25 million, with deeds signed by Stanley Rieder under the LIBR Corp. of Manhattan LLC.

The project’s estimated cost has not been disclosed. Tabak did not return a request for comment. 

Borough Park is home to one of the city’s largest enclaves of Hasidim and while the insular community has been able to skirt the tide of gentrification, high birth rates and a steady flow of immigrants have depleted the neighborhood’s housing inventory.

Nine years ago, Borough Park residents were already complaining about the cramped quarters, which forced some large families into illegal basement apartments with “devastating impact,” reported The Yeshiva World.

This year, community board members have, like most of their counterparts across the city, listed affordable housing as their primary need.

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“This high price is driven by the extreme scarcity of property for sale and for rent. Buying a home is practically out of reach for most families in our district and renting for a reasonable rate is almost impossible,” said Community Board 12 in the annual report.

Nearly 44 percent of renters in the area are designated as severely rent-burdened, meaning they spend more than 50 percent of their household income on rent, according to data from New York University’s Furman Center.

“Borough Park is in dire need of affordable housing to accommodate its growing population of residents who come to this district for its cultural wealth — not monetary wealth,” the community board added.

Despite the clear need for more housing, the size of Tabak’s proposed project could prove to be an immovable barrier.

In March, a developer withdrew an eight-story affordable housing proposal at 1880 Coney Island Avenue two days before the City Council was set to vote against it in deference to local Council member Kalman Yeger, who, along with Community Board 12, felt that a project above five stories was too big.

A similar proposal for a seven-story office building at 4202 Fort Hamilton Parkway saw more than a decade of delays before it was finally approved in 2017.

Blocks away in Sunset Park, a megadevelopment at 6208 Eighth Avenue, which proposed two 15-story residences, a 17-story office and a three story mall, has sat in limbo for years. Proposals to transform the empty lot never made it past the city’s land use review process thanks to pushback from the local community board.

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