The first renderings are up for a townhouse development at 321-325 Pacific Street, in Boerum Hill, and a tipster sent along shots of construction progress; the site’s developer is Bluerock Real Estate, and the architect of record is Gary Kleisch.
Equipment is already on-site, and excavation is just getting underway. Permits show that 321-325 Pacific Street will total 16,019 square feet, and while the DOB filings indicate the site will be divided between two residences, it will actually have four homes; it appears that the development will consist of two buildings, each of which will then be ‘split’ in half. Zoning diagrams illustrate the intricacies of the plan.
The new townhomes will be very attractive, and Kleisch’s design for the project echoes the rest of the neighborhood. Red-brick facades will guarantee the development’s seamless integration into the surrounding environment, though curb-cuts for the four garages will slightly infringe on the pedestrian sphere.
Prices for the four homes are likely to be very high, and the surrounding neighborhood is seeing a development boom, though the type of new construction varies on a block by block basis. To the north and east, high-rises predominate, as they should; Boerum Hill’s transit capacity is enormous, and 321-325 Pacific Street is close to thirteen different subway lines, and also enjoys proximity to the LIRR at Atlantic Terminal.
While limited historic preservation is a good thing, the scope of 321-325 Pacific Street highlights and underlines the current problems with zoning in New York City, and given the surrounding infrastructure, new single-family homes make zero sense. Instead of allowing reasonable density in areas that have some of the best transit access in the entire world, limitations artificially constrain the market, further exacerbating the housing affordability crisis.
321-325 Pacific Street will certainly be attractive, but prices will be astronomical, the additional supply will be minimal, and prime land that could and should serve a higher and better purpose will ultimately go to waste, with an FAR of only 1.98. The problem once again comes back to decisions not up to developers, and high prices are ultimately a function of limited supply — which is a result of extremely prohibitive zoning.
Anywhere else on the planet, cities would zone, build, and plan around transit capacity, which is the ultimate limiting factor to density; New York City is in a world of its own, and its citizens will continue to bear the cost of insane planning policies until local politicians stop catering to short-sighted NIMBYs.
Per on-site signage, completion of 321-325 Pacific Street is expected by September of 2015.
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