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Grant Ave. Cooperative Apartments

CITY PLANNING COMMISSION

April 11, 2007 / Calendar No. 13 C 070311 HAX



IN THE MATTER OF an application submitted by the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD):

1) pursuant to Article 16 of the General Municipal Law of New York State for:

a) the designation of property located at 1275, 1271, 1267, 1263, 1259, 1255, 1251, and 1247 Grant Avenue (Block 2453, Lots 68, 72, 75, 78, 81, 84, 87, and 90) as an Urban Development Action Area; and

b) an Urban Development Action Area Project for such area; and

2) pursuant to Section 197-c of the New York City Charter for the disposition of such property to a developer selected by HPD;

to facilitate development of two, ten-story residential buildings, tentatively known as Grant Avenue Cooperative Apartments, with approximately 162 residential units, to be developed under the New York City Housing Development Corporation’s Affordable Cooperative Housing Program and the New York State Affordable Housing Corporation.

Approval of three separate matters is required:


  1. the designation of property located at 1275, 1271, 1267, 1263, 1259, 1255, 1251, and 1247 Grant Avenue (Block 2453, Lots 68, 72, 75, 78, 81, 84, 87, and 90) as an Urban Development Action Area; and

  2. an Urban Development Action Area Project for such area; and
  3. the disposition of disposition of such property to a developer selected by HPD


The application for the Urban Development Actions Area designation and project approval and disposition of city-owned property was submitted by the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) on January 24, 2007.

Approval of this application would facilitate the development of two buildings, tentatively known as Grant Avenue Cooperative Apartments, with approximately 162 residential units of affordable cooperative apartments, Borough of the Bronx, Community District 4.

The Department of Housing Preservation and Development states in its application that:

The Project Area consists of underutilized vacant lots which tend to impair or arrest the sound development of the surrounding community, with or without tangible physical blight. Incentives are needed in order to induce the correction of these substandard, insanitary, and blighting conditions. The project activities would protect and promote health and safety and would promote sound growth and development. The Project Area is therefore eligible to be an Urban Development Action Area and the proposed project is therefore eligible to be an Urban Development Action Area Project pursuant to Article 16 of the General Municipal Law.


BACKGROUND

The Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) is seeking an Urban Development Action Area Project (UDAAP) designation and project approval for property located at 1247-1275 Grant Avenue between E. 167th Street and E. 169th Street (Block 2453, lots 68, 72, 75, 78, 81, 84, 87 and 90). The project site is currently vacant and is located in the East Concourse neighborhood of Community District 4 and is zoned R7-1.

The proposed project, tentatively known as Grant Avenue Apartments consists of two 10-story buildings with a total of 162 units of cooperative apartments. Each building will be approximately 81 units. Financing is provided through the New York City Housing Development Corporation’s Affordable Cooperative Housing Program and the New York State Affordable Housing Trust Fund, with subsidies from the Bronx Borough President and the New York City Housing Trust Fund. The building will provide 18,022 square feet of landscaped open space for the tenants. There will be 73 parking spaces located in parking lots at both ends of the site and behind the buildings.

Other uses on the block include six-story apartment buildings and one-story commercial buildings. The western border of the site is defined by a sharp change in grade. A retaining wall approximately 12 feet in height separates the site from the apartment buildings on the western half of the block.

The surrounding area consists of five and six-story apartment buildings, some with retail on the ground floor and two and three-family residential buildings. Immediately across the street from the site are three-story town houses, which were developed under the New York City Housing Partnership program. Grant Avenue Park, which is slated for expansion, is on the block directly north of the project site.

The area is served by public transportation, including the B and D trains, two blocks away on the Grand Concourse and the Bx1 and Bx2 buses also on the Grand Concourse; the Bx32 which runs on Morris Avenue.


ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW

This application (C 0703111 HAX) was reviewed pursuant to the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) and the SEQRA regulations set forthin Volume 6 of the New York Code of Rules and Regulations, Section 617.00 et seq. and the City Environmental Quality Review (CEQR) Rules of Procedure of 1991 and Executive Order No. 91 of 1977. The lead agency is the Department of Housing Preservation and Development.

After a study of the potential environmental impacts of the proposed action, a Negative Declaration was issued on October 10, 2006.

UNIFORM LAND USE REVIEW

This application (C 070311 HAX) was certified as complete by the Department of City Planning on February 5, 2007, and was duly referred to Bronx Community Board 4 and the Bronx Borough President, in accordance with Article 3 of the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) rules.



Community Board Public Hearing

Community Board 4 held a public hearing on this application on February 27, 2007, and on that date, by a vote of 19 to 0 with 1 abstention, adopted a resolution recommending approval of the application.



Borough President Recommendation

This application was considered by the Bronx Borough who issued a recommendation approving the application on March 26, 2007.


City Planning Commission Public Hearing

On March 14, 2007 (Calendar No. 5), the City Planning Commission scheduled March 28, 2007 for a public hearing on this application (C 070311 HAX). The hearing was duly held on March 28, 2007 (Calendar No. 33).

There were three speakers in favor of the application and none in opposition. Those speaking in favor included the project’s sponsor, architect and a representative from HPD. The representative of the sponsor organization provided an overview of the organization, described the proposed building and the services to be provided. The representative of the architectural firm described the proposed building’s design. The representative from the Department of Housing Preservation and Development also appeared in favor.

There were no other speakers on the application and the hearing was closed.


CONSIDERATION

The Commission believes that the application for UDAAP designation and project approval and, the disposition of city-owned property are appropriate.

This application would facilitate the development of two buildings with approximately 162 affordable residential units. These units would be cooperative apartments providing one of the first opportunities for multi-family homeownership in this part of the Bronx. In addition, building amenities would include laundry rooms, recreation rooms and tenant storage. There would be approximately 18,022 square feet of landscaped open space and 73 parking spaces.

The Commission believes the proposed project would provide affordable housing for the East Concourse residents. The return of these properties to productive use would also eliminate their blighting influence on the neighborhood. Furthermore, the project would complement ongoing public and private development on neighboring blocks. The Commission therefore finds that the proposed Urban Development Action Area (UDAAP) designation and project approval and related disposition of City-owned property are appropriate.



RESOLUTION

RESOLVED, that the City Planning Commission finds that the actions described herein will have no significant impact on the environment;

WHEREAS, the Department of Housing Preservation and Development has recommended the designation of property located at 1275, 1271, 1267, 1263, 1259, 1255, 1251, and 1247 Grant Avenue (Block 2453, Lots 68, 72, 75, 78, 81, 84, 87, and 90) as an Urban Development Action Area; and

WHEREAS, the Department of Housing Preservation and Development has also recommended the approval of an Urban Development Action Area Project for such property;


THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the City Planning Commission after due consideration of the appropriateness of the actions, certifies its unqualified approval of the following matters pursuant to the Urban Development Action Area Act;


    1. the designation of property located at 1275, 1271, 1267, 1263, 1259, 1255, 1251, and 1247 Grant Avenue (Block 2453, Lots 68, 72, 75, 78, 81, 84, 87, and 90) as an Urban Development Action Area; and

    2. an Urban Development Action Area Project for such area;

and the City Planning Commission recommends that the New York City Council find that:

  1. The present status of the area tends to impair or arrest the sound development of the municipality;

  2. The financial aid in the form of tax incentives, to be provided by the municipality pursuant to Section 696 of the Urban Development Action Area Act is necessary to enable the project to be undertaken; and

  3. The policy is consistent with the policy and purposes stated in Section 691 of the Urban Development Action Area Act.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, by the City Planning Commission, pursuant to Section 197-c of the New York City Charter, that based on the environmental determination and the consideration described in this report, the application of the Department of Housing Preservation and Development for the disposition of City-owned property located at 1275, 1271, 1267, 1263, 1259, 1255, 1251, and 1247 Grant Avenue (Block 2453, Lots 68, 72, 75, 78, 81, 84, 87, and 90), Community District 4, Borough of the Bronx, to a developer selected by HPD, is approved.

The above resolution (C 070311 HAX), duly adopted by the City Planning Commission on April 11, 2007 (Calendar No. 13), is filed with the Office of the Speaker, City Council, and the Borough President in accordance with the requirements of Section 197-d of the New York City Charter.


AMANDA M. BURDEN, AICP, Chair

KENNETH J. KNUCKLES, ESQ., Vice Chairman

ANGELA M. BATTAGLIA, IRWIN G. CANTOR, P.E., ANGELA R. CAVALUZZI, R.A BETTY CHEN, ALFRED C. CERULLO, III, RICHARD W. EADDY, LISA A. GOMEZ, NATHEN LEVENTHAL, JOHN MEROLO, KAREN A. PHILLIPS,
DOLLY WILLIAMS,
Commissioners


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