Giving The Finger to the Finger Building
Those of you who have ever wondered exactly how big of a farce our regulatory agencies (READ: the Department of Buildings) are, today’s your lucky day. Here’s an email I received from Phil DePaolo this afternoon. Enjoy!
In 2004, Mendel Brach and a partner, paid $7 million to two property owners, Scott Spector and Richard Brand, for a building on North Eighth Street, as well as air rights so a 220′ building could go up at 144 N 8th St. Residents have given it the name, The Finger Building for obvious reasons. The block that this building is going up on has been rezoned to M1/R6B Meaning anyone who wants to build on this block can only build up to 50ft, unless they add affordable units.
Prior to the Williamsburg rezoning in May 2005, these developers worked through stop work orders as documented by the D.O.B., worked weekends without permits, and worked all hours of the night on weekdays, so that the development could be grandfathered under the old zoning regulations, allowing them to build a much larger building than would be allowed under the new zoning. Despite numerous complaints and plentiful documentation by neighbors, and news media, the D.O.B. rewarded this illegal activity and vested the project. The question is, if by doing something improper, did the owners negate their vesting? And if they did, should the site have to comply with the new R6B zoning?
Developer Robert Scarano and Mr. Brach used land and air rights that they did not own in order to construct this building, so I believe the incomplete building must be made to conform to the new R6B zoning. So I request that the board reject this BSA application for 144 N 8th.
Here are the deets regarding the above-mentioned community board meeting for those of you who are interested in giving the “Finger Building” the finger.
WHEN: September 10, 2007
TIME: 6:30 p.m.
WHERE: 211 Ainslie Street (Corner of Manhattan Avenue)
Be advised that if you wish to speak you have to sign and submit their speakerâ€™s form on or before 6:15 p.m.