After much speculation, plans were announced at Monday’s meeting of Citizens for a Better Ridgewood to construct a residential building at 176 Woodward Ave.
Developers “propose to rezone the site,” according to Steve Sinacori, an attorney with Akerman Senterfitt, LLP.
Plans call for a 90,000-square-foot building which will reach four stories at its highest point and include retail space and an underground parking garage.
“This will be a vast improvement over what is there,” Sinacori promised.
What is currently there is a parcel of land owned for the past 24 years by businessman Frank Curtin, who rents space on the property to trucks for parking, and which, thanks to its nighttime desolation, Sinacori said, has been used for “illegal dumpings” and prostitution.
“The block is all residential on all four sides of the property. Historically, it has been a storage yard,” Sinacori said. “The neighbors are tired of the trucks and fumes.”
The site is, however, in an Industrial Business Zone, a designation the Bloomberg administration established “to foster industrial sector growth by creating real estate certainty.”
As one area civic leader pointed out after the meeting, City Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden had said when the IBZs were established that they represent an “ironclad commitment to maintain manufacturing zoning in key industrial areas and not permit residential use.”
Ariel Aufgang, an architect with Aufgang and Subotovsky, indicated at the meeting that the building will contain 88 units of housing. Rents will be around $1,000 for a studio and $1,200, $1,500 and $1,700 for one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments, respectively, he said. Utilities and parking would be additional.
The design includes 120 parking spaces, which will be rented only on a long-term basis and made available first to tenants, Aufgang said.
“We’re very cognizant of security needs,” he said, promising “well-lit public areas with cameras.”
Plans for the basement of the U-shaped building include “a multi-purpose community room for the growing artist population and civic organizations,” Sinacori said.
“We hope to be providing a green roof recreation area,” he added, as well as a dog walk.
Much to the delight of Peggy O’Kane, secretary of the Citizens organization who has waged many a campaign against graffiti in the area, Sinacori indicated that the first-floor facade would be coated with anti-graffiti material.
An aide to Councilwoman Diana Reyna (D-Queens, Brooklyn) said, “These types of projects protect the character of the neighborhood.”
O’Kane concluded, “We want to see what the rest of the community wants.” The proposals will be presented, in April before both the community board zoning committee and the full board, she said.
News of a new monthly flea market in the area was announced at the meeting, with the opening scheduled for April 14 at 11 a.m. To be called Ridgewood Market, it will specialize in artistic, handmade and edible merchandise. Vendors are welcome to sign up. Tables are $25 each per day. The market will be located at Gottscheer Hall, 657 Fairview Ave. in Ridgewood. Visit RidgewoodMarket.com for further information.