Developers Miss Deadline For Rezoning Applications

Clockwise from top left: 3-15 26th Avenue in Astoria, 1571 McDonald Avenue in Borough Park and 1160 Flushing Avenue in Bushwick (Google Maps)

A flurry of rezoning applications developers filed last month for new projects now face an uncertain future.

The 22 applications submitted to the Department of City Planning missed an April 30 certification deadline, meaning those forms will be reviewed in the new year, following the citywide Council and mayoral elections.

That changing of the guard could pose a risk to current projects in the pipeline.

One developer who filed a rezoning application last month said City Planning has focused its efforts on the mayor’s priorities — such as rezonings in Gowanus and Soho — and that processing and approving individual projects have slowed as a result. He said the pandemic also slowed the rezoning process. The developer asked to remain anonymous to avoid a confrontation with the city.

City Planning spokesperson Joe Marvilli said responding to Covid has been the city’s focus.

“This deadly pandemic upended every aspect of life in our great city,” he said. “As we reopen, we will prioritize projects that support an equitable recovery, including those that will bring affordable housing, jobs, and health facilities to New York City communities.”

An application to change how land is zoned and used is a seven-month gauntlet of presentations and reviews, starting with the local community board and ending with a vote by the Council then the mayor’s signoff. Applications that weren’t certified by the end of April won’t have time to complete that Uniform Land Use Review Procedure before the new year.

The pandemic did disrupt the citywide Ulurp process; it was halted in March 2020 and resumed in September. Through the first week of May, 68 projects had entered that review since the restart, according to City Planning. About half are housing projects with a combined 7,400 units, with 3,600 of them classified as affordable.

Here are some prominent rezoning applications from developers who missed the April 30 deadline, and could face uncertainty heading into 2022:

1. Astoria megaproject, Steinway Street and 35th Avenue

For the biggest proposed project, a trio of developers — Kaufman Astoria Studios, Silverstein Properties and Bedrock Real Estate Partners — wants to build a $2 billion, 2.7 million-square-foot mixed-use complex in Astoria. The megadevelopment would cover five blocks and include 2,700 residential units, of which 700 will be affordable. The project would include 200,000 square feet of retail space and 250,000 square feet of office space for what the developers call the city’s creative industries and other small businesses.

2. 3-15 26th Avenue, Astoria

Another large application in Astoria comes from an affiliate of Aronov Development, which wants to build a 1 million-square-foot, 1,400-unit complex on the waterfront.

3. 1160 Flushing Avenue, Bushwick

Totem Brooklyn wants to build a 185,000-square-foot commercial building. The proposal calls for 111,000 square feet of office space, with 40,000 square feet for unspecified industrial use and 37,000 for retail.

4. 1034 and 1042 Atlantic Avenue, Crown Heights

Elie Pariente’s EMP Capital filed an application for a 172,000-square-foot, mixed-use building. It would include 210 residential units — at least 52 of which will be affordable.

5. 1571 McDonald Avenue, Borough Park

An LLC named 1571 Development wants to rezone this address to build a 119,000-square-foot development with 106 residential units.

6. 2134 Coyle Street, Homecrest

In this Brooklyn neighborhood, Coyle Properties wants to build a five-story residential building with 148 units spanning 124,000 square feet.

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