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Two Buildings Planned Over Parking Lots on Caribe Gardens Blocks in East Williamsburg

222 Johnson Ave., where a seven-story building is planned.

May 18, 2018 By Nathaly Pesantez

A developer has plans to construct two residential buildings on empty parking lots within the Caribe Gardens complex in East Williamsburg.

The proposed buildings, part of one project, include a seven-story development at 222 Johnson Ave. and a 17-story tower at 159 Boerum St. The Johnson Avenue building would hold 116 units, while the Boerum Street site has plans for 120 units. Roughly 30 percent of the units in the two buildings would be affordable.

The towers are proposed on parking lots within two blocks that hold the Section-8 housing development, owned by Lindsay-Bushwick Associates. The parking lots themselves, however, will be leased out to Slate, the developer behind the project.

A rough outline of the project sites at Caribe Gardens (Google Maps)

The developers, who presented the project during Brooklyn Community Board 1’s May meeting, have applied for a Board of Standards and Appeals special permit to get rid of the 52 existing parking spaces on lots that accompany the Section-8 housing development.

The developers, however, plan to replace the existing parking by including enclosed and partly-enclosed parking spaces in their buildings. The Boerum Street site has plans for 67 spaces, while the Johnson Avenue location has 46 planned.

Nora Martins, land use attorney for the developer, said to Community Board 1 that decreasing the number of parking spots required would facilitate the construction of affordable housing units as well.

The project itself dates back to 2016, when the landlord and developer struck a deal to build on the underutilized parking lots in exchange for a range of concessions to Caribe Gardens tenants, and a 20-year extension to the existing Housing and Urban Development contract the site has.

In addition, the two planned towers would have to make roughly 30 percent of their units affordable for people with income levels at 60, 125, and 135 percent of the Area Median Income.

The few tenants who were parking on the lots would also be guaranteed a parking spot at the new development.

The BSA applications will both be discussed at the board’s Land Use Committee meeting on May 23, and voted on in the full board meeting in June.

Construction on the project, if BSA permits are approved, could begin as soon as this fall, with a completion date sometime in fall 2020.

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ray rauscher

The Community Board #1 has done good (along with developer) to see 30% of apartments allotted to residents in SSD and who live in the neighborhood. I wrote the book ‘New York Neighborhoods: Addressing Sustainable City Principles’ (2017) (google Ray Rauscher books) and address the need for affordable housing in Greenpoint, Williamsburg and Bushwick neighborhoods. Congrats to work of CB1. I was born (1943) and raised in Bushwick, hence I appreciate the need for this type of housing today.


I was raised at 163 Boerum St which is now the parking lot!! Let’s see if the 30% allotted do actually reach us who are in SSD and live in the neighborhood!!


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