Another day, another new project in Flatbush. YIMBY recently stumbled across a rendering for a six-story apartment building coming to 45 Lenox Road, between Flatbush and Bedford avenues.
The Issac and Stern-designed development will fill a vacant lot between two pre-war apartment buildings, in a rapidly changing but still heavily Caribbean part of central Brooklyn. At the end of the block, the city plans to redevelop the colorful Flatbush Caton Market into an affordable apartment building with a new market and community spaces on the ground floor.
This project will bring 37 apartments and 26,807 square feet of residential space to Lenox Road. Average units will measure 724 square feet, which strongly suggests rentals. Tenants will get bike storage, a shared roof deck, and several units will have glassed-in balconies. There won’t be any parking, and none is required by the city.
In terms of design, the building will make few attempts to fit in with its neighbors. Big, floor-to-ceiling windows on the upper floors will offer views and light that pre-war apartments don’t usually get, and a setback after the fifth floor creates a relatively large roof deck.
However, the development will break the street wall, because it extends further out into the sidewalk than the block’s older apartment buildings. The limits of cost and zoning often force architects to design buildings that don’t mesh well with the neighborhood, and that includes modern rules about setbacks from the street and massing of buildings. The city’s new Zoning for Quality and Affordability changes aim to fix these issues, but we haven’t yet seen how they’ll affect design, particularly for smaller and lower-cost projects in the outer boroughs.
The developer is Ofer Prager, who picked up the lot for $500,000 back in 2014. He filed plans for 45 Lenox in February, but the Department of Buildings hasn’t approved them yet.
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