Stalled Development in the 39th Council District

We need to make these sites into assets for the community. Many of these developments are causing real hazards for their neighbors, with fences falling down on sidewalks, loose construction debris that can become deadly in high winds, and unsecured sites that are dangerous for children and an invitation to squatting.

Help the effort to convert local blight to community benefit by providing feedback and tracking the progress of each site.
Leave comments below on a individual site to update us on the conditions. If you call 311 about an issue, please leave a complaint number in the comment.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

333 Carroll Street, Carroll Gardens

(between Hoyt and Bond Streets)

Project Type: Existing building

Project Description: Conversion of manufacturing building to residential, with additional floors built

Status: Frozen with vertical extension incomplete, Stop Work Order in effect

UPDATE: DOB adds to "Stalled Sites" list for extra monitoring: 2/16/2010

Background: The plan, initiated in 2005, was to convert and enlarge a historic manufacturing building to condos. The design was by architect Robert Scarano. The building was controversial because of its height and the impact on a landmarked block. The design was also challenged, as extensions that the architect called mezzanines were challenged as illegally expanding the permitted Floor Area Ratio. The DOB agreed and a Stop Work Order was issued in September 2006. Scarano was removed from the project and replaced by Karl Fischer. Permits expired, and after they were renewed, another SWO was issued because of after-hours work. There has been no activity since March 2008.

The project – nicknamed by blogs as the "Hell Building" – contributed to community demand for a downzoning. The Carroll Gardens/Columbia Waterfront Contextual Rezoning was approved in October 2009, and the DOB determined that the project was only 15% complete. Therefore, the project was not sufficiently advanced to be grandfathered under the previous zoning and construction was ordered ceased. The steel structure of the top floors remains but cannot be completed, and although permits are current the owner has not indicated when/if he will amend plans and remove the non-compliant structure.


  1. Used to live across the street from it. Reported to DOB when roof structure was going up. DOB moved at the speed of a snail and by the time it was up it was too late. Scarano should be in jail. Dangerous structure that now can't be touched. Shame too as the original building would have made a great living space.

  2. I agree with the prior posting... it IS a shame.
    That is a beautiful shell of a building in a great historic location and it seems to be begging for an appropriate adaptive re-use.

    It seems like the good intentions of the project were thwarted by "creative" architectural calculations, and by the protective concerns of the concerned community.

    With the new Gowanus Canal Superfund issue casting fear in the public's eye, my guess is the building will be vacant for a long time.
    I hope I'm wrong.

  3. The developer is currently revising the plans although I do not know what changes they are making. I am sure what ever it is, they are looking for another "creative" way to move forward with this project.

  4. The site located at 318 19th street, brooklyn, ny is falling down and needs to be torn down.

  5. There is work on this building again - lights are on and new permits are posted. what is going on with the horrifying top hat though? is it coming off or not? I hate it!

  6. It's been a years since you posted this. Is there a new update on this? Thanks! :)

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