Gowanus Lounge: Serving Brooklyn

Will Controversial 360 Smith Street Building Shrink?

July 24th, 2008 · No Comments

New 360 Smith Design

Does the “Narrow Streets” Zoning Text Amendment mean trouble for the controversial 360 Smith Street building (the former Heavy Metal Building) known as Oliver House? It could be. The amendment takes effect right away and the building’s foundation does not appear to be complete enough to be vested under the old zoning. One resident we spoke with said that Developer Billy Stein “is nowhere near the 50 per cent vested he needs to be to get excluded from this text amendment which is effective immediately, but he’s making a great effort to look as vested as possible as quickly as possible so that the DOB will let him be grandfathered.” There are also reports that holes in fencing that would allow photos have been sealed and that several people taking photos have been told to stop by workers. Meanwhile, Community Board 6 District Manager and City Council candidate Craig Hammerman sent an email to some residents yesterday advising them to file complaints about the building with 311 so that the Department of Buildings can make a determination about the building (and presumably issue a Stop Work Order) if any changes need to be made. Mr. Hammerman advised that “it would be up to DOB to determine” how the zoning text change would apply to the 360 Smith project. He urged calls to “set the wheels in motion.” The building would have to lose about a story of height and a bit of bulk if the new zoning is deemed to apply to it. Its developer Billy Stein was a vocal opponent of the zoning change. Mr. Stein, himself, told the New York Times he isn’t sure if enough progress has been made to exempt the building from the new rules. But “he said he hoped that his building, which will have six stories and a penthouse, could be exempt from the new zoning rules, in part because of ‘difficult constraints’ he said he had to follow in planning the structure.” We’re told that DOB will be getting calls about the building today.

Tags: Carroll Gardens · Smith Street