Skip to Content
Streetsblog New York City home
Streetsblog New York City home
Log In
Boerum Hill

Thanks to Brooklyn Parking Minimums, 360 Degrees of Ground Floor Parking

The full ground floor of this super-transit-accessible Boerum Hill project will be dedicated to automobile storage, thanks to New York City's parking minimums. Image: __

Parking minimums have struck another blow for terrible urban design, this time just three blocks from the transit mega-hub of Atlantic/Pacific, where nine subway lines and the LIRR converge. A new luxury apartment building going up at the corner of Bergen Street and Third Avenue will dedicate its entire ground floor, facing both the side street and the avenue, to one big, open garage.

The decision to give ground floor space to automobile storage and curb cuts rather than retail, a lobby or a stoop is very likely a result of the city's outdated and anti-urban parking minimums (hat tip to Ben Furnas for flagging the project). The new development will have 85 apartments and 45 parking spaces, according to Department of Buildings records. Under current zoning, the law mandates that a building of that size include at least 43 parking spaces.

That's close enough to indicate that the two extra spaces were probably architectural remainders left over after complying with the parking minimums. (In its definitive research, NYU's Furman Center counts buildings that exceed their parking minimums by less than 25 percent as potentially constrained by the zoning mandate).

The Naftali Group, the building's developer, didn't respond to a Streetsblog inquiry about the project, so we can't know for certain how much parking the developers would have preferred to build, nor why they opted to place it on the ground floor. In other nearby projects, though, parking has ended up on the ground floor rather than underground due to the high water table.

This site has better transit access than almost any place in the country. It's hard to imagine that the Department of City Planning really believes that valuable ground floor space is best used as a parking lot. DCP's review of parking minimums in the "inner ring" of New York City neighborhoods is expected to start by reducing or eliminating the car-friendly mandates in Downtown Brooklyn. Here's hoping this building convinces Amanda Burden to define Downtown Brooklyn generously.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog New York City

Monday’s Headlines: A Federal Case over Parking Edition

We're flicking our bicycle bell over a big scoop last week that no one picked up on...yet. Plus other news.

April 22, 2024

Hochul, Legislators Reach Toll Evasion Crackdown Deal

Higher fines for covering a plate and for not paying tolls are part of the budget deal inked on Saturday.

April 22, 2024

Behind the Scenes: How Gov. Hochul Got ‘Sammy’s Law’ Over the Finish Line

Opponents didn't want to put their name on a no vote for the life-saving measure.

April 22, 2024

SEE IT: How Much (Or How Little) Driving is Going on in America’s Top Metros

Check it out: The lowest-mileage region isn't the one you'd think.

April 21, 2024

Justice Dept., Citing Streetsblog Reporting, Threatens to Sue NYPD Over Cops’ Sidewalk Parking

The city is now facing a major civil rights suit from the Biden Administration if it doesn't eliminate illegal parking by cops and other city workers.

April 19, 2024
See all posts