After a busy week, here’s a chance to catch up on some of the news happening outside of our neighborhood! We’ve pulled together some of our favorite recent stories from our site and our sister sites, as well as some other fascinating pieces that are worth a read this weekend:

Motown legend Diana Ross will perform the inaugural concert at the revitalized Kings Theatre. [Ditmas Park Corner]

Relax, the Pavilion theater is not becoming condos…just yet. [South Slope News]

A former PS 249 teacher was charged with sexually abusing nine elementary school students. [KensingtonBK]

Tea Lounge to close after 14 years in business. [Park Slope Stoop]

Classic Bath Beach luncheonette is ditching the booths and expanding its grocery to adapt to changing demographics. [Bensonhurst Bean]

Clinton Hill residents debate the city’s redesign of Putnam Triangle Plaza. [Fort Greene Focus]

As the city begins construction to replace Coney Island boardwalk with concrete, Councilman Mark Treyger moves to make it a scenic landmark. [BB]

With beers & cheers, neighbors fight for affordable housing in Ditmas Park. [DPC]

Barclays sports fans rejoice while neighbors complain about new bar coming to Flatbush Ave. [PSS]

Kitchenware and design store Knife and Spork opened on Myrtle Avenue. [FGF]

Parks takes the fun out of parks by welding spinning disks still. [SSN]

Hunger Pang is named one of Brooklyn’s hottest restaurants. [DPC]

A look at the digital divide in Brooklyn. [KensingtonBK]

Curling: It’s not just for the 1800s. [New York Times]

As those British royals were hanging out in Barclays, a huge protest was going on outside. [Gothamist]

Barclays has racked up a slew of federal and city building violations. [New York Post]

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and sign up for our daily newsletter. If you have any news tips, story ideas, questions or anything else, e-mail us at editor [at] sheepsheadbites [dot] com.

The annual fall “Music from Good Shepherd” classical music series, under the musical direction of Michael Fontana, concludes this Sunday, December 14, at 6:00pm with a performance of Handel’s “Messiah,” featuring a full orchestra, choir and soloists.

While admission is free and open to the public, donations for the performers are encouraged and greatly appreciated. Good Shepherd Church is located on Avenue S between Brown Street and Batchelder Street.

For more information, call (718) 998-2800.

This is a paid announcement from the Midwood Development Corp.:

shop-midwood

shop-midwood2Shop local this holiday season! The Midwood Development Corp. (MDC) and the Midwood Merchants Association (MMA) present Shop Midwood WeekDecember 14-28, 2014.

Participating merchants on Avenue J, Avenue M, and Coney Island Avenue are offering special deals and discounts for everyone on your list. For example:

…and much more! Click here for a list of participating businesses.

In addition, MDC and MMA will introduce the Shop Midwood customer loyalty card, which will entitle the bearer to special deals and discounts valid through June 30, 2015!

Please visit the MDC or MMA websites for more information, or call 718-376-0999.

Shop Midwood Week and the Shop Midwood customer loyalty card are sponsored by Astoria Bank.

#shoplocal  #staylocal  #smallbiz

The above is a paid announcement by the Midwood Development Corp. Sheepshead Bites has not verified the claims made in this advertisement. If you own a business and would like to announce a special offer to tens of thousands of locals, e-mail us at advertising [at] sheepsheadbites [dot] com.

 
Photo by Elise Laura Feinstein

Cherry Hill-Lundy's Grand Opening

Cherry Hill opened in 2009. Photo by Ray Johnson.

(UPDATE: 3:30pm): We were just informed that Cherry Hill has been removed from the agenda for Monday and will be pushed back until January.

Original post: 

Community Board 15 is meeting Monday, December 15, at 7:00 p.m. at Kingsborough Community College  (2001 Oriental Boulevard) in the faculty dining room. The meeting is more than a week earlier than their regularly scheduled meeting so that it will not conflict with the holidays.

Among other items, the Board will consider an application for a zoning text amendment from the City Planning Commission to permit food stores with no limitation within the landmarked Lundy’s building (1901 Emmons Avenue) – an alteration requested by Cherry Hill Gourmet Market. The business currently operates in violation of the Sheepshead Bay special zoning district, which dictates the kind of businesses that can operate along the Emmons Avenue waterfront.

Food markets are currently prohibited, and the business opened in 2009 with initial plans to have both a market and restaurant. Though there is a cafe, the restaurant – which was slated to take up 70 percent of the floor space, including the second flood – never materialized. According to owners, that’s because local groups and community leaders including former State Senator Carl Kruger opposed the market use, eventually earning a Stop Work Order that impeded construction.

After five years of operation in violation of zoning, the business is now asking that their food store be allowed. They say they remain one of the building’s only viable tenants and bring jobs to the area, and the change in use will allow them to move forward with plans of establishing a second-floor restaurant. Opponents say, nice as the market may be, legalizing the use would reward a business owner who disregarded the law, and also further weaken the Sheepshead Bay special zoning district intended to preserve the waterfront for recreational use.

Aside from the Cherry Hill Gourmet Market, other items on the Board’s zoning agenda include:

  • 2311 Quentin Road - An application for a special permit to allow the enlargement of a single family dwelling.
  • 1963 McDonald Avenue  – An application to legalize a variance for floor area, lot coverage, rear yard and open space regulations.
  • 1620 Shore Boulevard - An application for a special permit to allow the enlargement of a single family dwelling.
  • 2018 East 7th Street – An application filed for “Revocable Consent” due to the open steps and garden wall encroaching 5.1 ft beyond the lot line at the front of the property.

In addition to the zoning items, the board’s chairperson and district manager will deliver their monthly reports. There will also be time to hear residents’ concerns and discuss various committee reports, and elected officials may be in attendance.

You can view the full agenda here. Refreshments will be served.

Photo via Douglas Elliman

Photo via Douglas Elliman

As recent reports have confirmed, Brooklyn is becoming an increasingly difficult place to get your foot on the first rung of the real estate ladder. As such, we’ve rounded up some open houses happening in and around Sheepshead Bay this weekend for under $200,000–just keep an open mind, and consider the potential of each.

3105 Avenue V #6A
List Price: $109,999, $745 maintenance
Size: One bedroom, one bathroom
Details: As with a few of our listings today, this coop unit is just about bordering Marine Park and doesn’t offer excellent subway access, so it might be best if you have a vehicle. Beyond that, it’s a strong start: it’s the least expensive of our lot this week, and no renovations are necessary. Sleek and sunny, the only thing you’ll need to add is your furniture–and perhaps a stuffed animal, since no pets are allowed.
Open House: Sunday, December 14, 1-3pm

2140 Knapp Street #2B
List Price: $129,000, $865 maintenance
Size: Two bedrooms, one bathroom
Details: Here’s another place in somewhat decent shape–its walls and floors look well maintained, and its vintage bathroom floor tile is cool, too. The rest of the WC and the kitchen could definitely use some upgrades, though, but no worries–you’ll get to customize them as you see fit, and add some excellent resale value while you’re at it. The unit has been on the market for about four months as well, so we wonder if there’s some wiggle room in that already pretty good price.
Open House: Saturday, December 13 and Sunday, December 14, both 2-4pm

2425 Haring Street #6H
List Price: $149,000
Size: Two bedrooms, one bathroom
Details: With its outdated finishes and at least one room down to the studs, this little darling is in a pretty sad state; however, we can’t help but want to bring it back to life a bit. Like the last wonky-eared puppy left in the window, this place deserves love (or more specifically, decent hardwoods, solid wall colors, and a total kitchen overhaul), but its top floor corner unit status has us thinking the end result could be something wonderful.
Open House: Sunday, December 14, 1-3pm

3178 Nostrand Avenue # 6H
List Price: $169,000
Size: One bedroom, one bathroom
Details: Two #6Hs this week–fancy that! This one is in better shape than two of the three listings above, though it’s only a one bed (we’re just not seeing two beds in this shape at this price). The kitchen and bath could use cosmetic upgrades at some point, but they look passable for a while–and as the unit’s been on the market for over six months, you may be able to haggle and save for future renovations.
Open House: Sunday, December 14, 12:30-2:30pm

Surveillance cameras caught the thieves in the middle of the burglary. (Source: NYPD) (Click to enlarge)

Surveillance cameras caught the thieves in the middle of the burglary. (Source: NYPD) (Click to enlarge)

Three men broke into a Kings Highway storefront, breaking a front gate, smashing a window and making off with several fur coats, according to police.

The early morning heist took place Monday, November 24 at 4:00am, when the men pried open the 1310 Kings Highway storefront rollup gate and shattered the front window. They went inside and swiped several fur coats. Police did not  provide the name of the business or the value of the coats.

The suspects are described as one white male and two black males.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).  The public can also submit tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

Parking lot identified in BP Adams' affordable housing report.

Parking lot identified in BP Adams’ affordable housing report.

Several “underdeveloped areas” of Brooklyn can be used to build affordable housing – including municipal parking lots in Brighton Beach, Bensonhurst, and Midwood – according to a new report by Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.

The parking lots, like one facing the Riegelmann Boardwalk between Brighton 2nd Street and Brighton 4th Street, can be sold to create approximately 2,000 affordable housing units, with space leftover for shared public parking, states the report.

While praising Mayor Bill de Blasio’s 10-year plan to build 200,000 units of affordable housing citywide, Adams writes:

New York City, in general, and Brooklyn, in particular, can be models for government at its best: expanding opportunity and safeguarding community character, while being supportive, resilient and progressive. Brooklyn has the space to create entirely new neighborhoods by tapping underdeveloped land, exploring air rights and considering developing residential properties over existing rail yards and rail infrastructure. We have the capacity; all we need is tenacity!

Along with identifying sites to build the units, the report offers several ways to better connect New Yorkers with affordable housing, including partnering with the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) to create multiple tiers of income eligibility, so that a wider portion of the population can have access. Adams also proposes the HPD give preference to locals, so that residents are not forced from their neighborhoods.

The report is restating a conversation from eight years ago, and it still needs to evolve, a spokesperson for the borough president told us. When fully fleshed out, the plan will include components like doing construction in phases to ensure parking for merchants at all times, as well as building height and affordability considerations.

This is not the beep’s first bold affordable housing proposal. As we previously reported, one of the first things Adams did as borough president was explore the possibility of selling air rights in one part of the borough and using the money to to create land banks near Coney Island for affordable housing.

Read the full report here.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

CompStat reports are produced by the New York Police Department on a weekly basis. We summarize the week’s statistics for the 61st Precinct reports every Friday. The 61st Precinct is the police command responsible for Sheepshead Bay, Gravesend, Kings Highway, Homecrest, Madison, Manhattan Beach, and Gerritsen Beach.

Polina Groman and her husband Elliot. Source: SpinGreen via Forbes.

Polina Groman and her husband Elliot. Source: SpinGreen via Forbes.

Free coats – and free food – are coming to the Kings Bay YMCA this Sunday, December 14, courtesy of a community coat drive organized by SpinGreen, a 1733 Sheepshead Bay Road-based textile-recycling company, and Investors Bank.

The event is set to run from 11am to 3pm outside the Y at 3495 Nostrand Avenue, off Avenue V, and is the culmination of a six-month-long coat drive effort at all 13 Investors Bank branch locations in Brooklyn, said Investors Bank’s Assistant Vice President Branch Manager Gene Svetnikov.

“We get involved with the community a lot and [this year] we partnered with SpinGreen because especially with winter, [our donation trunks] have a good surplus and we’ve been getting a lot of coats, so we wanted to help families in need,” said Svetnikov.

“If anyone needs a coat, they are welcome to come or just stop by to see what we are doing,” added Elliot Groman, director at SpinGreen, which was founded in February 2013, by his wife, Polina. 

“We’re accepting sweaters and jackets and have contacted churches and synagogues in the area, so we’re hoping we’ll have around 150 coats and 50-60 sweaters of all sizes,” Groman said.

Groman and Svetnikov don’t anticipate having any coats left over after the event, but if there are, then the clothing will either go towards SpinGreen’s next coat drive in the Bronx or be recycled as textiles to be used as stuffing for toys, seat cushions and other items.

As noted in a Forbes profile this past August, SpinGreen works with reputable charities to donate all wearable items to local families in need, with the remainder being sold to to recyclers and the profit going back to charity and the property owners who host the bins.

“Our main thing is to keep clothes out of landfills [because] the U.S. wastes over 13 million tons of clothing a year,” said Groman. “And Americans only recycle about eight percent of that.”