Permits to convert the lovely old brick manufacturing building into residential condominiums were first filed in 2005. Owner/developer Isaac Fischman of AMI Development, LLC, had hired bad boy architect Robert"Mezzanine" Scarano to convert an old brick manufacturing building into 30 units. As part of the plans, a two story, 40 foot steel addition was erected on top of the old structure.
Alarmed by the size of the addition, residents asked the NYC Department of Buildings to review the plans, which revealed that Scarano had been more than creative with the floor-air-ratio (FAR) 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.
Eventually, Fischman 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.
Finally, in April 2011, the steel structure, which was so hideous that many in the community had begun referring to 333 Carroll Street as the 'hunchback' building or "hell house", was taken down. Work on the actual building finally resumed under Nicholas Scire-Chianeta of NSC Architecture, P.C. a few months later.
Since construction began, the site has raked up 60 complaints and 22 DoB violations (of which 9 are still open). I bet neighbors will be happy to see this project completed.
A reminder of what it looked like:
The building at 333 Carroll Street in 2011 with the illegal addition