Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The 8-7

Newyorkshitty broke the news that Rep. Lentol signed papers of some sort that will begin, at some date in the future, the conversion of the 8-7 into affordable housing. At first thought, it seems like a good idea; it's hard to argue against affordable housing. Especially in a neighborhood that has seen "luxury" development descend like swarm of locusts. However, I'm going to take this opportunity to boo that proposal. Here's why:
Every habitable room (i.e. bedroom, kitchen, etc...) requires legal light and air so we can take a pretty good guess at how many units we could feasibly fit in that wonderful building. If the whole building were built out as studios, it looks like you'd get 4 per floor. 3 floors that's 12 studios. Throw in a couple 1 and 2 bedrooms and you end up with not many units. 8? Throw in that the building's probably riddled with asbestos, the facade needs serious repair, and the general condition is not used-in-25+years--the restoration and retrofits required to get this converted to residences is probably going to take more than $1.5 million I believe they've secured in funding. Not to mention the fact--the cold, hard fact--that this precinct is literally at the end of an off-ramp of the BQE and the western facade would receive a constant strobe of headlights. That would suck.

I agree something needs to be done with it, but how about a community center with after-school activities and low-income daycare? We could throw in a billiards room in the basement and convert the garage to something really sweet. By the way, the garage may pose zoning problems to achieving the legal light and air on the east facade of the main structure.
I'll keep everyone posted and when the bums who live on the front stoop get kicked out and the plywood comes off the front door, you'll be the first to know. That'll be a sure sign they're about to do something. Until then, I'm going to keep dreaming that the Mayor will give title of the garage to me.

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