Proposal to Turn Car Storage Into Human Housing Hits Brooklyn CB6 Tonight

This garage and its curb cuts could be transformed into housing, retail, and uninterrupted space for walking.

Just a reminder that today at 6 p.m., Brooklyn Community Board 6 will hold a public hearing about the conversion of a 230-car garage on Union Street into a mixed-use building with housing and retail.

While traffic on Union Street is bound to improve without all that car storage generating car trips, some nearby residents are mobilizing against the project by feeding fears of neighborhood-scale carmaggedon. The opponents even got the Park Slope Food Coop to help drum up turnout against the conversion.

Approval for this project ultimately rests with the Board of Standards and Appeals, not the Community Board, but if you believe that it’s better to use scarce city land to house people instead of cars, it will help to speak up at the meeting today.

Here’s where to go:

Prospect Park YMCA
357 9th Street, 7th Floor
(between 5th/6th Avenues)

6:00 p.m.

  • Andrew

    How many potential apartment buildings don’t get built, or are scaled down, because the developer is unwilling to pay for the parking that would be required?

    Why do you believe that the cost of parking a car should be subsidized by a developer who is required to provide more parking than he or she deems necessary to meet market demand?

  • Andrew

    Where markets call for more parking than is legally required, the parking requirements serve no purpose.

    Where markets call for less parking than is legally required, the parking requirements distort the market and promote car ownership.

    The former is pointless; the latter is damaging.

  • Andrew

    Secondarily, it’s almost ALWAYS more profitable to build a condo than a garage, no matter the rates. Simple numbers – the rates today for parking are +/- $400/month per car, or $4,800/year. A car is 18×7 or 126 feet + 30 feet for circulation, or 156. This equates to a rent of $30.77/foot per year. Rentals in Park Slope in new build residential are $65/foot. Parking rates would need to more than double to meet this value – an d at tha t point you’d find a good number of folks who wouldn’t be willing to pay.

    Sorry I’m only noticing this a week later, but thank you for so eloquently making the exact point that so many of us have also been making. If parking weren’t so heavily subsidized (through free and underpriced public parking and through mandated private parking), car ownership citywide would be far lower.

  • Andrew

    At this moment there there already isn’t enough on-street parking in Park Slope(or in most major metro areas for that matter), so off-street parking is required to enable folks to live the way they want to.

    A lot of New Yorkers, even New Yorkers who don’t own cars, don’t have enough space to live the way they want to. They have to make sacrifices, either making do with less space than they’d ideally prefer or paying dearly in order to gain access to that space.

    Why on earth should I feel sorrier for someone who doesn’t have space for a car than for someone who doesn’t have space for a grand piano – or a family who has four or five kids sharing a bedroom and can’t afford to move to a larger apartment?

  • lop

    The bigger issue might be that what does get built is pushed up market. More smaller cheaper units could be as profitable as fewer larger luxury units. Unless more units means more parking, with the cost per space going up as the number of spaces increases. As Brian points out there’s demand for parking in luxury buildings.

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