Real Estate

Schwartz's 117-Unit Brooklyn Project Aims for Rezoning

Joel Schwartz plans 117-unit project in Downtown Brooklyn, signaling a shift towards larger-scale, mixed-use developments.

By Tal Alexander

5/16, 10:57 EDT

Key Takeaway

  • Joel Schwartz plans a 117-unit multifamily project at 236 Gold Street in Downtown Brooklyn, including 30 income-restricted apartments.
  • The development marks a shift for Schwartz towards larger projects and requires city rezoning and waiver of parking requirements.
  • Recent activity on Gold Street includes Solomon Feder's 286-unit development and Lalezarian Properties' Bklyn Gold complex.

Brooklyn's Bold Leap into Mixed-Use Development

In a striking move that underscores the dynamism of New York City's real estate landscape, Brooklyn landlord Joel Schwartz has unveiled plans for a 117-unit multifamily project at 236 Gold Street in Downtown Brooklyn. This development, poised to include 30 income-restricted apartments within a 14-story structure, marks a significant departure from Schwartz's usual focus on smaller, boutique projects. The initiative comes at a time when Brooklyn's skyline and its real estate market are witnessing transformative changes, with Schwartz's proposal necessitating a rezoning of the currently underutilized parking lot site to accommodate the ambitious project.

The Context of Change in Downtown Brooklyn

Schwartz's venture into larger-scale development is set against a backdrop of increasing activity along Gold Street, near the Brooklyn Navy Yard, where recent years have seen substantial real estate developments. Notably, Solomon Feder's 286-unit development and Lalezarian Properties' Bklyn Gold complex have contributed to the area's residential boom. This trend is mirrored in the broader Brooklyn waterfront area, where New York City has embarked on a significant redevelopment plan. The city's acquisition of 120 acres for a mixed-use community, as announced by Governor Kathy Hochul and Mayor Eric Adams, represents a major shift towards integrating housing, retail, and green spaces with maritime commerce, highlighting a comprehensive vision for urban revitalization.

Implications for Brooklyn's Urban Fabric

The proposed development at 236 Gold Street and the city's waterfront redevelopment initiative both signal a pivotal moment for Brooklyn's urban and economic landscape. Schwartz's project, by introducing a substantial number of housing units and pushing for rezoning, reflects the growing demand for residential spaces in Downtown Brooklyn. Similarly, the city's plan to transform the Brooklyn coastline into a mixed-use community underscores a strategic approach to urban development, aiming to balance residential needs with commercial and industrial activities. These developments not only promise to enhance the local urban fabric but also pose challenges and opportunities in terms of zoning, community engagement, and infrastructure development.

Navigating Urban Development and Maritime Synergy

The juxtaposition of Schwartz's residential project with the city's waterfront redevelopment efforts illustrates the complex interplay between urban development and maritime commerce in Brooklyn. While Schwartz seeks to capitalize on the area's residential appeal, the city's initiative aims to modernize the port and integrate it with the surrounding community. This dual focus on enhancing living spaces and sustaining economic activities presents a unique opportunity to reimagine Brooklyn's identity as a place where urban life and maritime industry coexist and thrive. However, it also raises questions about the feasibility of such ambitious projects and the potential impacts on local communities and the environment.