DDRB to Evaluate Revisions to Brooklyn Retail Project

May 1, 2013 57 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

Fuqua Development's proposed Riverside Avenue commercial project is back before the Downtown Development Review Board and the site design appears to be more pedestrian unfriendly than the previous concept.

Atlanta-based Fuqua Development is proposing to develop a 53,000 square foot retail center on Riverside Avenue, adjacent to the JTA Skyway Operations Center.  Many urban advocates believe the site design is too autocentric. However, the developer has suggested the design must be this way in order to secure agreements with national tenants to locate to Brooklyn. Fuqua Development is now seeking the approval of the Downtown Development Review Board (DDRB) for specific modifications and deviations related to last month's conceptual design approval.

General Information

DDRB application 2013-008 is before the DDRB requesting to modify the April 4, 2013 previously approved conceptual plan and to request deviations that: 1) increase the allowable parking, and 2) permit relocation of the landscape requirements along Riverside Avenue. The proposed development consists of two parcels described as follows: Parcel 1- bound on the north by Magnolia Street, on the west by Jackson Street, on the south by Riverside Avenue and on the east by Stonewall Street. Parcel 2 – bound on the north by Magnolia Street, on the west by Stonewall Street, the south by Riverside Avenue, east by vacant property and a circular access to Leila Street. Parcel 1 includes: 3 proposed buildings totaling 38,700 square feet and Parcel 2 includes: 1 proposed building of 15,000 square feet, totaling 53,700 square feet of single story development. Parcel 2 shows a drive-thru facility in association with a proposed pharmacy operation which will require DDRB approval, prior to final DDRB approval of the development master plan. The site has a number of unique characteristics that include extreme grade changes, locational issues regarding existing utility lines, client specific development requirements, and JTA easements for future development that include aerial restrictions along Riverside Avenue frontage. Presently, the site is vacant and undergoing remediation for ash contamination.

The proposed modifications address comments by the DDRB from the April 4, 2013 conceptual approval meeting.

Proposed modifications include the following:

(1) relocation of the grocer delivery dock, removal of angle parking and relocation of dumpster from Magnolia Street,

(2) providing a pedestrian link from Riverside Avenue to grocery store front, and

(3) rearrangement of the shops and restaurants fronting Riverside Avenue and Stonewall Street.

Additionally, the applicant is requesting deviations prior to final approval to:

(1) allow an increase in the parking requirement to for the development and

(2) allow the developer to relocate the landscape requirement to JTA’s easement area applicable to the Riverside Avenue frontage.

The applicant is requesting the referenced deviation prior to final approval to provide certainty and agreement from DDRB on-site constraints as presented before moving forward on civil design. The applicant is requesting approval of a Modified Conceptual Plan and will be required to present a final plan for review and approval by the DDRB prior to permit issuance.

Previous Site Plan Concept:

The previous site plan featured indicates a shopping center setback from the street with retail/restaurant outparcels lining Riverside Avenue.

Revised Site Plan Concept on Next Page

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