As property values skyrocket in the low-slung eastern edges of Williamsburg, small developers are searching for ways to boost a site’s density without spending exorbitant amounts of money on construction. Increasingly, they file their developments as alterations, rather than new buildings, which allows them to avoid building expensive underground parking. And the J-51 abatement gives landlords a break on their property taxes, in exchange for preserving at least 50% of the old building and keeping the new units rent-stabilized for up to 20 years.
One of these enterprising developers has filed alteration applications to expand a little three-story brick apartment building at 196 Montrose Avenue, on the corner of Humboldt Street. The roofline will rise from 30 to 55 feet, as the building gains two stories. The interior will double, growing from 6,300 to 14,234 square feet.
The renovated structure will hold 15 apartments, and the average unit will measure 954 square feet. Each floor will have three apartments, and the first floor units will be duplexes with accessory cellar space.
South Williamsburg-based Cheskie Weiss is the developer, and architect Diego Aguilera, headquartered in Rego Park, applied for the permit.
Weiss also has a few other buildings in the works nearby in East Williamsburg, including 310 Graham Avenue and a 12-story, mixed-use project at 46 Cook Street.
Weiss just picked up 2,400 square-foot property two weeks ago for $3,350,000. The previous owner had held onto the property since 1997.
The 1910s-era building sits only a block from the Montrose Avenue L stop, just outside the East Williasmburg-Bushwick Industrial Business Zone, which begins east of Bushwick Avenue.