An office and store for rent sign arrived late last week at 249 E. Houston St. between Norfolk and Suffolk.
The listing hasn't appeared online just yet at EVO Real Estate Group. (We'll update when that arrives.) There is, however, an approved work permit to renovate the basement retail space and doctor's office on the first floor.
Interesting timing on this given the recent zoning developments involving the neighboring property at 255 E. Houston St.
No. 255 previously housed the day-care center Action For Progress. They were displaced in the spring of 2010 when construction next door at 179 Suffolk St. destabilized the building.
Last summer, the property's new owner, the controversial Samy Mahfar, filed plans for a 10-story residential complex with 53 residences and 4,600 square feet for community facilities.
However, as BoweryBoogie first reported in late February, Mahfar is seeking a commercial overlay for the parcel, with 7,240 square-feet for commercial use — "most likely Use Group 6 retail and/or an eating and drinking establishment" ... while the project grew to a 13-story building with 63 units. (Under the city's voluntary inclusionary housing program, 20 percent of the residential units would be affordable.)
Take a look...
The Lo-Down laid out what the zoning change would mean here:
A zoning text amendment enacted in 2008 prohibits commercial uses in this area. Mahfar is asking the city to map a C2-5 commercial overlay in the current R8A district to allow retail and restaurant/nightlife uses on the ground floor.
The change, if enacted, would not only impact Mahfar’s development parcel but 20 lots stretching two-and-a-half blocks along East Houston St.
On March 9, Mahfar's reps appeared before CB3's Land Use, Zoning, Public & Private Housing Committee. It did not go well for Mahfar. The committee unanimously (19-0) denied the application, and the meeting turned into "basically a public crucifixion of Samy Mahfar and his predatory actions." Head to BoweryBoogie here for the meeting highlights. (Bedford + Bowery covered the meeting here.)
And here is the official CB3 advisory opinion from the meeting notes:
TITLE: To disapprove the application, C160137 ZMM ULURP Zoning Map Amendment, to map a C2-5 commercial overlay to a depth of 100' along two and one-half blocks on the south side of East Houston Street between the east side of Norfolk Street and the centerline of the block between Clinton Street and Attorney Street to facilitate the construction of a 13-story mixed use building on 255 Houston Street.
Whereas, the applicant Samy Mahfar has a well-documented history of illegal construction and construction harassment at sites including but not limited to 210 Rivington Street, 22 Spring Street, and 102 Norfolk Street; and
Whereas, the development site, was previously a community facility, an affordable city- subsidized day care center serving 350 children that had operated for over 40 years; and
Whereas, the day care center had over fifteen years remaining on its lease; and Whereas, the day care was forced to be vacated due to the open violations and the applicant's failure to address them; and
Whereas, there are still open violations on the site; and
Whereas, the community intended that this site remain a community facility during the 2008 East Village rezoning and is currently facing the loss of many community facilities throughout CB3; so
Therefore be it resolved, CB3 disapproves the C160137 ZMM ULURP Zoning Map Amendment, to map a C2-5 commercial overlay to a depth of 100' along two and one-half blocks on the south side of East Houston Street between the east side of Norfolk Street and the centerline of the block between Clinton Street and Attorney Street to facilitate the construction of a 13-story mixed use building on 255 Houston Street.
Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer will next review Mahfar's proposal.
You can read the 120-page PDF posted on the CB3 website for more on the proposed change. The document notes the commercial rezoning would allow for two other potential "development sites" nearby, including 249 E. Houston St. The new for rent sign shows that the landlord is seeking tenants that are allowed within the current zoning.
Previously on EV Grieve:
Next for 255 E. Houston St.: Community facility/school/medical building?
10-story building now in the works for 255 E. Houston St.