Could it possibly be?
Could the steel 'birdcage' at 333 Carroll Street finally come down?
The NYC Department of Building has issued several new permits for the old manufacturing building, amongst them, a permit "TO REMOVE EXISTING STRUCTURE AT 4TH, 4TH MEZZ., 5TH, 5TH MEZZ."
No building in Carroll Gardens illustrated the need to protect this historic neighborhood better than the condo conversion at 333-335 Carroll Street, between Hoyt and Bond Streets. Back in 2005, owner Issac Fischman hired bad boy architect Robert"Mezzanine" Scarano to convert an old brick manufacturing building into a 31 unit condo. As part of the plans, a two story, 40 foot steel addition was erected on top of the old structure.
Alarmed residents asked the NYC Department of Buildings to review the plans, which revealed that Robert Scarano had been more than creative with the floor-air-ratio calculations. The Building's Department confirmed in March 2008, that the architect has lied on the application, claiming that the cellar was a basement. Scarano intended to use the "habitable" basement for parking and had transferred the square footage onto the roof. A stop-work order was issued on March 4th 2008 and the developer fired Scarano.
The owner replaced Scarano with another controversial architect, Karl Fischer, to resolve the floor-area-ratio problem. Fischer, the architect behind the 11 story 'finger' at 100 Luquer street, filed for an amendement, which he self-certified. The DOB accepted an audit in October 2009 and new permits were issued.
However, by then, the neighborhood had organized and, with the help of the Department of City Planning, was able to down-zone Carroll Gardens. Unlike the neighborhood's original R6 zoning, the new R6B zoning has a 50 foot height limit. The City Council voted the re-zoning into law on October 28, 2009.
As with any re-zoning, all construction projects were served with a stop-work-order and were re-visited by DOB to see if construction was far enough along to be vested under the old zoning. In the case of 333-335 Carroll Street, DOB determined that only 15% of the work has been completed and therefore needed to comply with the new 50 foot hight limit. Another stop work order was issued.
After much maneuvering from the developer, it looks as though he is finally being forced to do the right thing. The day the steel structure comes down will definitely be a sweet day for Carroll Gardens.