Caton Place rezonings

The Stable Brooklyn community recently met with CM Lander’s office to discuss upcoming developments on Caton Place. These include:

  • Kensington Stables
  • 57 Caton Place (warehouse next to stable) — ULURP application for residential with commercial overlay
  • Calvary Cathedral of Praise parking lot — CubeSmart (as-of-right development)
  • Baptist Church parking lot — sale in process

Please see attached presentation for more information and renderings of projects.

Community Mtg Presentation

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Stable Brooklyn Community Group Returns!

Hi neighbors!

It’s been a really long time since our last big community mobilization and I see that I allowed this website to really lay fallow. A bunch of the PDFs and images are missing. Don’t worry! I’ll fix it all so we can keep learning and working together. Here’s a few oldies but goodies that those who were not with us in 2005 might want to check out:

The Yahoo! group should still be active. Feel free to try it out. Click to join our StableBrooklyn Yahoo! Group

Welcome to any new(er) neighbors. I know we have a lot of new folks living around here who probably don’t know the back-story, so I’ll do my best to bring people up to speed as we go along.

In the meantime, if you missed tonight’s community meeting, here’s the gist:

  1. The stables: Councilmember Brad Lander has committed to helping preserve the horse stables for the community and for Brooklyn generally. While financial troubles and the renewed threat of development may have spelled the end of horse riding in Prospect Park, there is hope that a deal will be reached between the city and the stables so that the city would become the owner of the land and make it part of the Parks Department, dedicated to horses for the forseeable future. At the meeting, everyone in attendance was in agreement that keeping the stables in the neighborhood would be fantastic. Thanks, Brad!
  2. 57 Caton development plan: The owner/developer of the big warehouse at 57 Caton was there to present their plan for development. The site is currently zoned C8-2, which is a commercial district for certain use groups, like manufacturing and automotive. Of note, the entire stretch of Caton Ave and part of Coney Island Avenue (including stables and the big church) are zoned the same. The developer is proposing re-zoning the single lot to R7A, the same as the Kestral (where the Little Grey Barn used to be) and building a 107 unit residential development with a commercial overlay (commercial on the ground floor). The rendering showed two 9 story blocks of apartments, one facing Ocean Parkway and the other facing Caton Place with a courtyard for residents in between. The commercial space would front Caton Place, along with the service and driveway entrances for underground parking. People brought up a lot of concerns regarding height, traffic, commercial use, infrastructure, mix of apartment sizes, etc. It was unclear from some of the questions if everyone in attendance understood that the lot is not currently zoned for this proposed building. The developer was there to tell everyone what they were hoping to build IF the lot were rezoned. To re-zone, it would have to go through a ULURP process (just as we did with our community plan before).
  3. The parking lot of Calvary Cathedral of Praise: there was not a lot of information on this, but it appears that it was sold to JEMB Realty for $15 million dollars last spring when the church was having some financial difficulties. The speculation is that no one pays that much money for a piece of land if they don’t plan to build something big on it. Again, it has the same zoning, C8-2, as the rest of the street, and no proposal has yet surfaced regarding what they might want to do with it.

Interestingly, this stretch of Caton Place was exactly the part that got left out of our community plan back in 2009. At the time, when we spoke with City Planning, we were afraid that if we made any change to the zoning, particularly if it was residential, it would put the stables in jeopardy, so we decided to leave it as is, knowing that the newly bordering R7A zone was likely to stand as a domino waiting to tip the zoning that way. It appeared to be a fairly stagnant block, with two churches, a parking lot, and a working warehouse. But times change. It seems like it is time for the community to get ahead of this again and to be proactive in thinking about how we might like to see this area developed. Zoning is really the only way to shape the future of development and zoning is not changed willy-nilly (at least not if communities take the time to think together about it).

No decisions have been made, no building plans have been filed. The area is all zoned C8-2 at present. We need to get together and think through what we WANT in our neighborhood and encourage sensible development that works for everyone, both present and future.

–Mandy Harris

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CB7 Sanitation and Transportation meetings 10/3/13

October 3, 2013

Sanitation Committee, 6:30pm
Learn more and ask questions about NYC’s organic food waste recycling pilot program in Windsor Terrace.

Transportation Committee, 7:30pm
Come share your concerns with DOT Traffic Planning about the McDonald Avenue corridor between Caton Avenue and Ft. Hamilton Parkway as we seek improvements to this dangerous location.

The meetings will be held Thursday, October 3, 2013 at International Baptist Church, 312 Coney Island Ave. (off Park Circle), entrance on Caton Place

For more information, please contact Community Board 7:
Twitter: @BKCB7
Facebook page: Board Seven Brooklyn
Serving Sunset Park, Greenwood and Windsor Terrace


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Two Public Hearings Feb. 9, 2011

Please plan to attend 2 important public hearings on Wed, FEB 9, 2011

at the International Baptist Church (312 Coney Island Ave, entrance on Caton Place)


6:30 pm

Presentation by the School Construction Authority on plans for a new 750 seat, Pre-K thru 8th Grade school at 701 Caton Avenue.



B.S.A. Application #223-10-A – 161 East 7th Street aka 42 Kermit Place – to continue construction of a four story and cellar building



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New York City Seeks to Turn Condos Into Affordable Housing

New York City announced Wednesday a pilot program to turn empty or stalled condominium developments into affordable housing, an idea consumer advocates have been pushing for years.

The program, which aims to convert as many as 400 units, is designed to provide grants to real-estate developers and lenders to subsidize the completion of developments if the owners agree to turn the building into rental units for middle-income families, which in New York means an income of up to $126,720 for a family of four.

The pilot project will be funded with $20 million of city funds, but could be expanded at a later date if initial results proved successful.

“It’s not going to solve all of these problems by any means but it allows us to throw out a net and see what we pull in,” said Marc Jahr, president of New York City’s Housing Development Corporation. “We see an opportunity here to really capture affordability at a relatively inexpensive price to the public and to do it in a timely manner.”

The move comes as cities nationwide are struggling to deal with the glut of empty and unfinished construction projects that are threatening to destabilize some communities. New York City has more than 140 stalled construction projects, said Marc Jahr, president of New York City’s Housing Development Corporation.

Nationwide, about 51,000 condos were looking for buyers in May and more supply is on the way. Some 93,000 new condo units will be completed nationally this year, including more than 12,000 units in New York and northern New Jersey, according to Reis Inc., a New York real-estate research firm. In downtown Miami, nearly 23,000 new units have been added since 2003, but only 13,000 are occupied, according to Condo Vultures LLC.

Other cities will be watching New York’s effort closely as they deal with rising numbers of developments that are heading into foreclosure. Housing advocates say that several cities are considering similar programs using funds from a federal grant program designed to restore abandoned homes and complexes.

City officials said New York’s effort would target neighborhoods that are being hard hit by the condo construction bust, including Harlem in upper Manhattan and New York’s outer boroughs. The program is designed to speed along the completion of developments such as 23 Caton Place, a 107-unit luxury condo complex in Brooklyn that stands unfinished after the developer filed for bankruptcy and the lender moved to foreclose on the project.

“It’s a blight and an eyesore,” says Brad Lander, a senior fellow at the Pratt Center for Community Development who is running for city council. Residents met with city officials earlier this year to see if they might be able to recruit a developer to finish the project as a mixed-income housing development. “People here feel like their neighborhood was made worse by the boom and then by the bust,” Mr. Lander says.

Write to Nick Timiraos at

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Changes Coming to Park Circle this Fall

Proposed Changes at Park CircleNYC Department of Transportation held a follow-up meeting on Tuesday, June 16 with the community to discuss short-term improvements to Park Circle for pedestrians, cyclists, horses, and cars.

The plan is to tighten the traffic lanes and create a dedicated bicycle and bridle path around the periphery. In addition, new pedestrian crossings will be added so that street-level crossing is more direct and intuitive. Better traffic timing and improved signage should calm traffic in the circle and make it safer for everyone.

DOT wants to start work on this in September, 2009. Community Board 7 passed a resolution unanimously in favor of the changes at the June 17th meeting.

To see the proposed changes, please download the PDFs from the two DOT presentations:


Park Circle, Brooklyn (Fall 2009)
NYCDOT is designing changes to Park Circle that will improve safety for pedestrians, motorists, bicyclists and horse riders in 2009. Community input has helped to shape and refine the project that NYCDOT is proposing.

February 2009 presentation
June 2009 presentation


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Second Life: Locals look to nab foreclosed condos for affordable housing

Matt Chaban from The Architect’s Paper has been following our efforts to re-purpose 23 Caton Place. See his May 7, 2009 article below:  
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It’s Official! As of March 11th, 2009, Our Neighborhood is Re-Zoned!

The hard work finally paid off. Our neighborhood has been re-zoned to reflect the current built environment and to allow for sensible growth. This re-zoning effort was the result of everyone–community members, elected officials, community board, and city agencies–working together to hammer out a solution. 

Our group owes a big thanks to Councilmember Bill de Blasio and his staff (especially Tom Gray and former staff member Kerci Marcello) and to Community Board 7 Chair Randy Peers and District Manager Jeremy Laufer for their help with this effort. 

Everyone in the community can be proud that our persistence and careful forethought has translated into a tangible change in the direction of the neighborhood’s future development. 

A full explanation of the zoning changes can be found at the City Planning website:

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Community Meeting about 23 Caton Place

My notes from our recent meeting. Please email corrections, responses, recommendatons for further action to (Join the listserv if you aren’t already a member!)

As most of us know, 23 Caton Place is a 7-story, 107-unit unfinished skeleton of a condo building. On Thursday, February 5, 2009, a large group of neighbors met to discuss their concerns about the site and the possibility of finding a responsible developer to complete the project. The meeting was sponsored by Assemblymember Jim Brennan, Councilmember Bill deBlasio, Community Board 7 (CB7), and the Pratt Center for Community Development. Representatives from the New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC), Department of Transportation (DOT), and Department of Sanitation (DSNY) also participated, along with the court-appointed Receiver for Corus Bank.

Current status of site:
All permits from DOT expired by April 2008. DOB stop-work orders are in place. When the contractor left the job, he informed the Department of Buildings (DOB). DOT has a stop-work order that forbids the developer from acquiring any permits in the city (is this correct?). Corus Bank is suing the developers to recover its loan. One owner/developer has filed for bankruptcy in CT.

The Receiver was appointed in December 2008 to protect and maintain the property. She is starting to put a plan in place to clean up and secure the site. By the end of February, the street and sidewalk will be returned to normal working order and the construction fence will be moved back behind the sidewalk. 

Community concerns:
Overwhelming sentiment to tear the building down. Residents of 71 Ocean Parkway, the coop building next to the site, brought complaints about damage to their building and concerns about the structural integrity of the shell. Many people expressed skepticism that the construction was adequate, especially whether the concrete was poured correctly and is safe.

Action/Follow-up: Randy Peers, Chair of CB7, asked that 71 OP email CB7 about the damage of their building. CB7 has a very effective Housing and Construction Committee that has built a good relationship with DOB, which can help in working toward a positive resolution of problems (current and future).

Action/Follow-up: Asm. Brennan, CM deBlasio, and CB7 will request that DOB inspect the building as soon as possible to determine its safety. 

Action/Follow-up: Advocate for legislation that would make developers accountable for their projects when they fail. [Bond issue bill currently in the Assembly. Ask Asm. Brennan’s office for more information.]

Future plans:
Brad Lander, Director of the Pratt Center for Community Development, recommended that the community think about what we want for the site in the long term. It is likely that Corus Bank will eventually own the property. If we do nothing, it is possible that another developer will eventually buy the site and complete it without community input. Can we take advantage of the current economic climate and find a developer who would work with the community to develop the property for affordable housing? (This on the assumption that DOB does not order the building torn down.)

Reps from HDC described some of their lending programs. HDC provides financing for a continuum of affordable housing programs, ranging from low income to moderate income and mixed income rental housing.

Community suggestions for the site included:
*intergenerational housing with supportive services; units for families, seniors, singles
*mixed use housing, possibly with manufacture, artists studios, horse turnout area

Concerns about the site included infrastructure overload if/when all 107 units go “on line.” The community and CB7 have long been concerned about this and are advocating for infrastructure improvements.

Action/Follow-up: Brad suggested that Stable Brooklyn form a small working group to put together a list of possible developers. We could work with Pratt Center, interview developers, talk with Corus Bank. CB7 would also be happy to convene meetings with developers.

Action/Follow-up: Anyone want to volunteer to organize this working group?

CB7 Transportation Committee meeting concerning PARK CIRCLE and surrounding blocks. NYC Department of City Planning (DCP) is conducting a study on pedestrian/vehicle/horse and rider safety and wants your input!

Thursday, February 19, 2009, at 6:30pm
International Baptist Church
312 Coney Ilsnad Avenue

Members of the community are invited to attend and share ideas and opinions.
For further information, please contact CB7 at 718-854-0003 or email


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What to Do About 23 Caton Place?

Community Meeting – ALL ARE WELCOME!

Thursday, February 5, 2009
7:00 pm-9:00 pm
International Baptist Church
312 Coney Island Ave Link to Map (Caton Place entrance)

The meeting is sponsored by:

  • Assemblymember Jim Brennan
  • Councilmember Bill de Blasio
  • Community Board 7
  • The Pratt Center for Community Development

We will discuss 23 Caton Place, the 7-story, 107-unit condo building that is currently an unfinished skeleton. We will discuss neighbors’ concerns about the site as well as the possibility of finding a responsible developer who could complete the project. We will be joined by representatives from the NYC Departments of Housing, Preservation and Development, Transportation, Sanitation, and the Housing Development Corporation.

Questions? Call Ann Schaetzel at 718-788-7221 (AM Brennan’s office)

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