The owner of the controversial development proposed for 1501 Sheepshead Bay Road (through to 1508 Avenue Z) began clearing the lot this morning.
With two dump trucks and a wood-chipper lined up on Avenue Z, workers began pulling out garbage, weeds, trees and… well, more garbage. This was a property that we’ve previously heard numerous complaints about garbage, poison ivy and other nastiness tangled in the fence.
While taking photos, I ran into property owner George Krasanakis. (I didn’t have a pen or paper, so our discussion is solely from memory.) He said that, regardless of one’s opinion on the development, positive impacts need to be highlighted, and the environmental cleanup is an achievement worth recognizing.
“Have you ever seen that stuff?” he said. “There’s garbage, waste, rats, raccoons – all kinds of junk. Nobody can say getting rid of this is a bad thing.”
Krasanakis and I also talked about the width of the lot. The concrete support currently there will be torn out, as will the wall facing Avenue Z. These supports hold up soil, he said, and are separate from the train’s supports. He showed me the seam where it will be removed. In its place, metal sheets will be inserted to hold the soil, and will be bolstered by the new building’s walls.
As for the ongoing parking debate – Krasanakis said he plans to continue to go forward in front of the Board of Standards and Appeals. The combined buildings, he insists, will not need the required amount of parking and the city’s special permit process for a reduction of parking is a revenue-generating tactic. He said 101 spots will be more than adequate to serve the two buildings, and is more spaces than people.
The developer said he would undertake a traffic study as the community requested, but that waiting for the DOT to produce one would take too long. He has hired an independent consultant for the task.