Last month, a permit was filed to build a four-story commercial building at 1607 Sheepshead Bay Road, in southern Brooklyn. Now, YIMBY has a rendering of the project, which will hopefully soon rise amidst Sheepshead Bay’s miniature building boom.
Designed by Tricarico Architecture, the building will have a classical look, with arched retail bays and a brick and stone exterior with cornices at the top of the building and above the windows. The ground floor will be made up of retail space, while the upper three floors will be offices, for a total of a bit over 18,000 square feet of usable place, rated for occupancy by up to around 200 people.
The project is evidence of the unusual demand for commercial space in ethnic hubs like Sheepshead Bay, which is the second downtown of southern Brooklyn’s large community of immigrants from the former Soviet Union, after Brighton Beach. The C4-2 zoning would have allowed the developers to build the three upper floors as apartments, but they instead chose to build it out entirely as commercial space.
This is something that rarely happens elsewhere in the city, even in the office-heavy Midtown core, but the emergence of a regional ethnic downtown in a traditionally residential neighborhood has apparently pushed rents for scare office space up to the point where it can compete with housing. (A similar phenomenon can be found in other parts of southern Brooklyn, as well as the Chinese parts of eastern Queens.)
The building will likely be dwarfed by a tower in development on the block across the street, next to the Brighton Line B/Q tracks. There, at 1501 Voorhies Avenue, Muss Development and AvalonBay are planning a 30-story condo and rental tower, to be designed by Perkins Eastman.
The developers of 1607 Sheepshead Bay Road are listed as Ianthe Kallas-Bortz and Thalia Loffredo, based just around the block, though they appear to have sold the parcel to an LLC that might be the actual developer a few months ago, for an undisclosed sum. The project is technically an alteration of three existing two-story buildings on the corner of East 16th Street.
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