Aaron Short just pointed out this RealDeal post to me – Rector Hylan, the owner of the former Kedem Winery site (south of Giando, north of Schaefer) has filed for an extension on the special permits it was awarded in 2006. The Kedem site was approved for a rezoning in 2006, and as part of that rezoning, the owner received special permits to reallocate height and density within the site (similar to the special permits that went along with the Domino and Rose Plaza rezonings). The zoning (when it is enacted) is forever, but special permits expire – in Kedem’s case, in about two weeks. The extension would run for three years.
The real story here is the work that has been going on at the site over the past six months. According to DOB, the recent work at 420 Kent Avenue involves “interior renovation of storage garage” with no change of use. The work is somewhat more substantial than that – involving the refacing of the building, the paving of the adjacent parking lot and a ton of interior work. From what I have heard, the building is being rehabbed as some sort of soundstage. Up the block, the blocked up windows of 420 Kent Avenue have been opened up and new aluminum windows installed. None of this is the kind of work that one does to prep buildings for demolition, so I’m going long and betting that this site will be looking for another special permit extension in three years.
In the meantime, a site that was to be rezoned for residential use (with 20% affordable housing and publicly-accessible open space) remains anything but.