By Rachel Holliday Smith – DNA Info
A complex of four residential towers between 20- and 30-stories tall may soon replace a spice factory complex in the neighborhood, bringing 800 affordable apartments to the area if the city approves the plan, the project’s developer said.
The $500 million 1.2 million-square-foot development by Bruce Eichner of the Continuum Company would be built under Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Mandatory Inclusionary Housing program, which allows developers to build higher and denser if they include affordable units.
The planned buildings at the southwest corner of Franklin Avenue and Montgomery Street will include 50 percent below-market rental apartments — about 800 units — with the rest renting out at market rates, Eichner told DNAinfo New York Tuesday.
The complex will also have a “very small retail component” (about 10,000 square feet, he said), but the focus will be the rentals.
“Really, this is about affordable housing,” he said.
Eichner said his company is about 10 days away from closing on land now owned by the Golombeck family, which has operated a spice and herb importing operation on the Crown Heights site for years.
The developer said if the plan is approved, two of the complex’s towers will be built on empty lots and replace a vacant one-story building on the south end of the Golombeck property as early as 2019.
But the 20th century spice factory — which is famous in Crown Heights for sending smells of cardamom, cinnamon and nutmeg wafting over the neighborhood — will remain for a little bit longer.
Eichner said a second phase of construction that includes two more towers will begin on the lot’s north side when the family finds another space to operate their importation business.
“They need a period of time to go make a new spice factory,” he said.