362 Coney Island Avenue

Police Precinct:
Address, Zip Code:
KERMIT SQUARE LLC aka Henry Radusky
Lot Area:
7377 sf
Lot Frontage:
Lot Depth:
Number of Buildings:
Year Built:
Number of Floors:
Bldg Gross Area:
3450 sf
Flr Area Ratio:
Max Allow Flr Area Ratio:
Residential Units:
Total # of Units:
Land Use:
Commercial and Office Buildings
Zoning: C8-2

Comercial Overlay:
Zoning Map #:

This is the site of the old Uncle Louie-G’s and Al’s
Chicken and Ribs. In fact, it was the very first site for Uncle
Louie-G: “Founders John Russo and his sister in-law Carmen Barrios
opened the
first Uncle Louie G store at 362 Coney Island Avenue, Brooklyn New
York. That first modest shop doubled as the company factory. John and
Carmen would dream up and experiment with their “secret recipes” by
night and sell their delicious Italian ices and ice cream by day. Later
that year Drew Bizzoco joined the family becoming the third partner in
Uncle Louie G, Inc.” (http://www.barrypopik.com/index.php/new_york_city/entry/feel_like_a_kid_again_uncle_louie_gs/ )

This property was purchased from Jeshayahu
Boymelgreen on Nov. 19, 2003 by Henry Radusky. A bid for a variance to
build a 32-unit condo was on the verge of being declined by the Board
of Standards and Appeals, so they withdrew the application. BSA was
appalled at how high they wanted to go, given the small homes on Kermit
Place and told them to come back with something smaller and commercial.

The lot has been cleared and the old ramshackle building
removed. It still serves as storage for autos and trucks. The most
recent rumor is that they are talking with White Castle about
developing it.

General feeling in the neighborhood is that it
should be developed as a low-rise mixed use building. Maybe a floor of
local retail and 2 floors of residential space above. Stable Brooklyn
will be contacting the owner and inviting them to consider our
community plan in order to get neighborhood support of a use for the

The lot has been cleared of all autos. It seems something is afoot, but
no word yet on what. No one has received any public hearing notices as
yet. (1/18/07) 

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22 Caton Outcome – Moving Forward

After an 11th hour attempt by the developer to garner community
support for an R7a (4.0 FAR) upzone, Bill de Blasio and City
Council  stuck to the most recent community compromise consensus
of support for R7b (3.0 FAR).  While the outcome is technically an
upzoning of the lot, the tradeoff is that it will be built to a
contextual height of 60 foot at
the street wall and 15 foot extra on the setback with an agreement to
provide a 16 foot sideyard for 81 OP.

Fears that the developer would rather pull his application and build
under R6 than build under R7b proved to be ungrounded. Let us make no
mistake, though, the building that can be built under R7b is no small
thing. We will still see a quite large building go up and we will still
see a 35%+ increase in population and cars in this small area. This
fight was a fight to compromise and not be completely bulldozed.

The real victory that has come of this struggle is that we now have
a committment from Councilmember Bill de Blasio to sponsor a downzone
of the neighborhood and eradicate the rest of the R6 that is the bane
of Brooklyn. It is now more important than ever that the community come
out and participate in our planning workshops. We need to preserve what
we feel is most important and encourage sensible development.

 Save the date: April 30th, 2006–second planning workshop.

Interesting note: A city planner involved in the Midwood
downzoning said that the R6 in Brooklyn is leftover from the City’s
need to secure federal funding by having a 5-year plan. When it became
too difficult to develop such a plan, the R6 designation was mapped
over most of the outer boroughs with the intent to remove it later when
time could be spent on planning. It’s been 30 or 40 years and still we
have R6! Communities need to do their own planning before we are

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StableBrooklyn Awarded Grants for Planning

We are pleased to announce that our community group has been awarded
two separate grants to assist us with fundraising for our planning

$500 Grant from Bill de Blasio’s office
Bill de Blasio’s office has given us this money in support of our
community planning workshop process. As you all may recall, we need to
raise money to pay for staff and materials for the workshops. This
contribution is very helpful in helping us meet our goal. Our thanks to
Councilmember de Blasio and his staff.

Independence Community Foundation Matching Grant
Tom Angotti, professor of Urban Affairs and Planning at the Hunter
College Center for Community Planning and Development included our
group in a grant he applied for from the Independence Community
Foundation and he got the grant! So, that means that any money we raise
will be matched by the grant. So, while we originally needed to raise
$5,000, this brings our goal down to $2,500. Thanks, Tom!

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City Planning Report

Here is the report from the City Planning Commission with regard to 22 Caton Place ULURP.

Download Report (Word Format)

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Compromise for Boro Stables

By Gersh Kuntzman

The Brooklyn Papers

Horses will still get spooked — but a lot less — thanks to a compromise
proposed by the city to reduce the size and bulk of a controversial
development across the street from a historic stable in Windsor

The city Planning Commission rejected a zoning change that would have
allowed a developer to build an additional 20 units in a multi-story
building under consideration at 22 Caton Pl., directly across the
street from the Kensington Stables, where three-dozen horses hang their

The extra units, opponents said, would spook the horses. Now, as a
result of the compromise, the building will max out at 55 units instead
of the 68 units the developer sought.

“The proposed rezoning was not appropriate, but neither is the existing
zoning, so we have come up with another plan,” said Planning Commission
Chair Amanda Burden. “Our modification seeks both to provide housing at
an appropriate scale to protect the neighborhood character.”

Community activists cheered the decision, but added that it’stoo
little, too late for a neighborhood that is being rapidly re- (some
would say over-) developed. At 23 Caton Pl., an eight story building is
going up. And down the street, a nine-story building is rising.
Together, they’ll add 166 apartments, and a corresponding number of
cars, to the narrow streets that the horses trod on their way to
Prospect Park.

“We need a promise from the developer to build underground parking at
22 Caton Pl.,” said Mandy Harris, whose Web site, stablebrooklyn.com,
monitors development. “At the end of the day, he got permission to
build a few more apartments than the current zoning would have allowed.
It’s time for him to give something back.”

A lawyer for the developer did not return a call.

Harris said the “real negotiation” would now take place at the City
Council, where the neighborhood is represented by Bill DeBlasio (D-Park

The neighborhood is clearly on the councilman’s radar screen. Recently,
a shining green garbage can was installed in front of the stables that
reads, “Sponsored by Councilmember Bill DeBlasio.”

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City Backs Effort to Upzone Caton Place Property

March 2, 2006 Park Slope Courier article by Charles Hack
This headline for this article is not quite accurate and doesn’t match the content of the story; notably, the online headline is very different from the printed headline that said something like “City Trumps Community”.  This headline is slightly better, but doesn’t impart the idea that this move by City Planning is part of a possible compromise agreement to which Stable Brooklyn is a party–ed.

Story follows:

The Department of City Planning voted to upzone a Windsor Terrace property allowing a seven-story condominium, after local residents opposed a rezoning application from the property owner.

The panel of City Planning Commissioners voted unanimously to approve the developer’s application for the site at 22 Caton Place, but trimmed the owner’s high-rise vision by one story, from eight to seven stories, at the hearing room at 22 Reade Street in Manhattan on Feb.22.

“The modifications were made because of testimony heard at public hearings, so these changes symbolize how important the public process is,” said Jennifer Torres, spokesperson for City Planning.

Mandy Harris, a Kermit Place resident and a member of the Stable Brooklyn Community Group, the lead organization opposing the rezoning, said that until she had considered the detail of the modifications to the application, it is too early to comment on the Planning Commissioners’ decision.

According to information provided to this reporter, the commissioners approved an R7B instead of an R7A.

Rather than allowing a 80- foot, eight-story building with a floor area ratio of four, the zoning will allow a 75-foot, seven-story building with a floor to area ratio of 3.

The street wall can be 60 feet instead of 65 feet.

Under current R6 zoning, the owner had said he could construct a five-story, 44-unit building as of right, with 49,975 square feet and an FAR of 2.2.

The current 7,000-square-foot site has been a one-story manufacturing building.

Residents living near Caton Place had turned up in force at public hearings held under the ULURP process at Community Board 7, the Borough President’s Office and the Planning Commissioners to oppose the application.

Speaker after speaker opposed the new zoning, concerned that the proposed buildings would destroy the low-rise character of the neighborhood, cause excessive traffic congestion, and strain existing services.

There are already three other projects on the horizon, at 346 Coney Island Avenue, at 23 Caton Place 362-364 Coney Island Avenue, which together represent over 200 new apartments.

Horseback riders from nearby Kensington Stables at 51 Caton Place – which has recently lost one of its two stables to condo development – said that additional traffic will scare their horses and cause accidents. They also lamented the loss of the village feel that the city neighborhood had.

After discussions with Councilmember Bill de Blasio, the Stable Brooklyn Community Group sent a letter – with some 80 signatures — proposing a compromise that included the R7B zoning. But in addition, they wanted 100 percent parking below ground, 16-foot side yards on the side of the lot bordering with 81 Ocean Parkway, and an eight-foot yard bordering properties along East 8th Street. They also called for an attractive security wall with landscaping at the rear and sides.

“It is a tough bargain to make because we opposed this type of density,” said June Reich, who lives on Kermit Place. “We are dealing with a bunch of buildings going up in this neighborhood as of right.”

No further modifications were included in the Planning Commissioners decision, according to sources, but hypothetically changes could be made at City Council when they vote on the final approval. The developer agreed to include a two 8-foot side yards, and landscaping will be required. The percentage of parking spaces – probably at ground level – required would be 50 percent of the number of units.

The 22 Caton Place Corporation said they wanted to build a 79,000-square-foot eight-story condo building with 68 units, according to said attorney’s developer, Marvin Mitzner, of Cozen O’Connor, at 909 Third Avenue, Manhattan.

“Our feeling is that we applied for R7A believing that this was an appropriate density for the site, considering the depth to width ratio,” Mitzner said. “But R7B is certainly something we can develop. We believe that under a R7B district we can produce an attractive building that will help to meet the housing needs for the community.”

The upzoned parcel is bounded by Caton Place, a line 100 feet southwesterly of East 8th Street, a line between Caton Place and Kermit Place and a line between Ocean Parkway and East 7th Street.

The Planning Department heralded their decision as a shining example of the public planning process.

“Twenty two Caton Place epitomizes the attention that the City Planning Commission gives on each and every application,” said Amanda Burden, chair of the City Planning Commission following the decision. “This was a relatively small rezoning, however the passionate testimony of community and different stakeholders made a difference,”

“We agreed that the proposed rezoning was not appropriate,” said Burden. “But neither is the existing zoning so we have come up with another plan. Our proposed modification seeks both to provide housing at an appropriate scale to protect the neighborhood character,”

Stable Brooklyn Community Group are to organize to protect the neighborhood and are now running planning workshops to inform residents of their rights, Harris said.

“I hope to have the Planning Department be part of our continuing planning workshops,” said Harris.


©Courier-Life Publications 2006


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Caton Place Neighbors Jeer 8-Story Building

Coverage of the City Planning Hearing: from the Park Slope Courier:
(note, the photo shows the wrong lot—it shows 23 Caton Place, where the 107 unit building is to be built) 

Caton Place Neighbors Jeer 8-Story Building


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Support StableBrooklyn

GIVE! We need to raise funds so we can engage in community
planning workshops. The entire community is invited to participate. (We do NOT have non-profit status). Give something anyway. 

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NY1: Kensington Residents Want City To Put A Stop To Overdevelopment

Click HERE to see the televised segment from NY1.

Originally published on the NY1 Website::

Kensington Residents Want City To Put A Stop To Overdevelopment

How much is too much when it comes to developing the city? That
depends on who you ask. In the following report, NY1’s Jeanine Ramirez
tells us residents in one neighborhood say enough is enough, while
developers fight for more.

Liz Vona-Cohen won a blue ribbon
in the Special Olympics riding a horse. She learned her skills at the
Kensington Stables. But the future of the stable is uncertain now that
the East Windsor Terrace area is being stampeded by developers.

not until we’re pushed out, where we’ll become this memory, and it’s
really disgusting because I don’t know how much building you can put,”
says Fran Levy, an instructor at Kensington Stables.

this year, the 19th century building that Kensington Stables rented and
used as a barn was sold to make way a 107-unit condominium complex. The
horses were forced into the remaining building, and to make room, the
indoor riding ring had to be eliminated. With no indoor riding ring,
Kensington Stables lost its program for the disabled.

its workers say the cramped conditions inside are tough, they’re
feeling squeezed outside as well, as three residential buildings that
surround it are in the works. While construction on two are already
underway, the community is trying to stop the third.

“It’s not
that we’re against development. It’s having development that’s sensible
and that’s planned,” says area resident Rebecca Gallager.

At a
hearing at Brooklyn Borough Hall Monday night, residents spoke out
against a 68-unit condominium complex that would sit diagonally across
from the stable. The developer wants the city to rezone the lot in
order to build bigger, but just last month, Community Board 7 rejected
the idea.

Residents are hoping the borough president does the same.

only two people living in each occupied unit, we would have at least
588 more people living in the neighborhood,” says an area resident.

add this new building to the mix when we haven’t yet seen the
consequences of the other two new condo buildings right in our
neighborhood?” asks a neighbor.

The developer did make some
concessions for the community, including additional underground parking
and setting back his complex to allow for more yard space.

the borough president is expected to make his recommendations by next
month, and then the city Planning Commission has its say.

– Jeanine Ramirez

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Many Down On Caton Place ‘Upzoning’

Originally Published in the Park Slope Courier

By Charles Hack

Developer’s attorney, Marvin Mitzner of Cozen O’Connor, explains why he wants to upzone the area.
Developer’s attorney, Marvin Mitzner of Cozen O’Connor, explains why he wants to upzone the area.

A developer who has applied to City Planning to upzone a Caton Place property so he can build an eight-story condominium is facing stiff opposition from local residents. Borough President Marty Markowitz took testimony as part of the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure hearings at Borough Hall at 209 Joralemon St. The upzoned parcel would be bounded by Caton Place, a line 100 feet southwest of East 8th Street, a line between Caton Place and Kermit Place and a line between Ocean Parkway and East 7th Street. The application submitted by the 22 Caton Place Corporation would upzone the East Windsor Terrace lot from an R6 to an R7A.

“The proposal would rezone the portion of the site, which covers most of the site but not all of it, to an R7A to match the dwellings across the Street,” said the developer’s attorney, Marvin Mitzner.

Of the 23 residents who signed up to comment on the application, only one testified in favor.

The rest argued that it would change the low-rise character of the neighborhood for the worse, would cause excessive traffic congestion and strain existing services.

“This is a neighborhood that desperately needs more planning,” said Anna Brackett, of 71 Ocean Parkway. “It is not designed to grow at this pace.”

The owner wants to build a 79,000-square-foot, eight-story condo building with 68 units, according to Mitzner.

The building would be set back from the property line, with a landscaped front, he said.

Under current R6 zoning regulations, the owner had considered constructing a five-story, 44-unit building as of right, with 49,975 square feet.

The current 7,000-square-foot site has a one-story manufacturing building. The owner would be responsible for the environmental cleanup of the polluted plot, including removing underground storage tanks.

Community Board 7, which had heard testimony earlier as part of the ULURP process, voted on Nov. 8 to reject the application on six grounds, according to Randy Peers, the chairman of the board’s Land Use committee.

Members of Community Board 7 and the public feared the developer could sell the property based on the upzoned value, and lamented an absence of badly needed affordable housing, Peers said.

“The EIS (Environmental Impact Statement) does not accurately reflect conditions in the area because it does not take into account two properties already under development in the vicinity,” said Peers. “There will be a 45 percent increase of dwellings within a seven-block area.”

Peers said the development would violate the low-rise character of east Windsor Terrace, now dominated by one- and two-family housing and anchored by the historical Kensington Stables.

He also called for a study to see if higher developments violate a 1993 Special Ocean Parkway Zoning District agreement that was set up to protect the character of blocks off the main drags.

Two of the reasons for rejecting the application have now been remediated, according to the plans Mitzner presented at the meeting.

The old proposal would have blocked windows of the adjacent building at 81 Ocean Parkway.

The new plans show a space between the buildings.

The five-story building under the existing zoning would also have had 22 fewer parking spaces than units, according to Mitzner. Under the upzoned plan, the eight-story building would have 68 parking spaces, one for each unit, Mitzner said.

“This will take cars off the street and keep them inside the development,” said Mitzner.

George Bissel, a 46-year resident who lives at 61 Kermit Place, pointed out that there have already been several large developments in the pipeline on very narrow streets, including 59 units at 346 Coney Island Avenue, 107 units at 23 Caton Place and 60 units at 362-364 Coney Island Avenue.

“There will be 600 more people living in the neighborhood, requiring all the services that we residents now receive,” said Bissel. “This increase in population and density could very well be too much.”

Warren Shaw, president of 81 Ocean Parkway Owners, Inc., the building next to the upzoned area, foresees congestion on narrow streets.

“Caton Place is not a wide boulevard. It is a one-way service road, but it carries a great deal of traffic because it leads to the adjacent traffic circle and Prospect Parkway,” said Shaw. “Caton Place is a standard side street that is about to be built upon as if it were an avenue.”

But David Loeser, a real estate agent, spoke in favor of the upzoning. He said that he believes more residential development will make housing more affordable.

Several horseback riders from Kensington Stables at 51 Caton Place – which has recently lost one of its two stables to condo development — said that additional traffic would scare their horses and cause accidents.

Kensington Stables owner Walter Blankinship said that his stables had helped the neighborhood retain a rural feel and that new development would destroy that ambiance.

Impatient drivers already scare the horses. This has already caused a number of accidents, he said. More congestion will only make matters worse. Many of the riders are young, inexperienced or disabled.

“These streets move at a different pace than other people are used to in the rest of New York,” Blankinship said. “They move at a country kind of pace.”

Asked whether the developer was planning any affordable units, Mitzner said that most government initiatives would be inappropriate for the development, but they had considered creating a cooperative development including 75 percent of units for households at 125 percent of area median income (AMI), with 25 percent going to households with incomes at 250 percent of AMI. He also said they were considering setting 20 percent of units with affordable rents. But he made no commitment.

“The decision will depend on financing and other aspects of how the city would provide this loan,” Mitzner said.

Asked whether construction jobs would go to Brooklynites, Mitzner said that only Brooklyn-based contractors would be used.

“As a Brooklynite, the owner has indicated to me that he will only look to Brooklyn firms or contractors,” said Mitzner.

©Courier-Life Publications 2006


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