Construction Update: 531 Coney Island Avenue, Ditmas Park

531 Coney Island Avenue, photo by tipster531 Coney Island Avenue, photo by tipster

A stalled residential development at 531 Coney Island Avenue, on the border between Ditmas Park and Kensington in Brooklyn, is finally coming back to life. A tipster sent along this photo of the site at the corner of Hinckley Place, adding that the schematics were posted on the construction fence earlier this month.

Plans for the six-story apartment building were first filed way back in 2005, and Google Street View shows that construction was underway by 2007. Before the recession halted construction in 2011, workers had excavated a two-story-deep pit, likely for an underground parking garage. Our tipster said that the pit has filled with trash over the years, but the site was recently cleared. Now work has re-started on the 58-unit project, after the Department of Buildings issued a new set of permits in August.

Ultimately, the building will have 39,869 square feet of residential space and 4,100 square feet of ground floor retail. The cellar will host medical offices and parking for 13 cars. Another 16 cars will be able to park on the first floor, bringing the total amount of parking up to 29 spots—the minimum required by zoning.

If the square footage listed on the permits is accurate, average units will measure just 687 square feet. Apartments will begin on the second floor, with 13 units per story through the fifth floor, topped by just six units on the sixth. Amenities will include a roof deck, storage for 28 bikes, and laundry.

The developer listed on the permits is Rukhsana Samdani, doing business under an LLC based in Jackson Heights, and Angelo and Anthony Ng, of Architects Studio, are the architects of record.

531 Coney Island Avenue is one of the only new projects underway in Ditmas Park or Kensington. The closest new residential development we can think of is The Kestrel, which began renting last year a couple blocks north in Windsor Terrace. The city downzoned Prospect Park South and Ditmas in 2009, halting what little construction the area had.

These neighborhoods have always been attractive to middle and working-class families, but a wave of new arrivals, combined with low-density zoning and a lack of development sites, have made the area less affordable in the last few years.

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