Air Rights? All Right!


Photo by Sarah Portlock/BHB

The Sleepy’s Mattress Emporium at 116 Montague Street could have some new upstairs neighbors — its building owner has plans to add three stories and six residential units to the one-story building, according to public building records and sources familiar with the plan.

The Department of Buildings issued a permit in August 2007 to Frank Rio to build the 8,030-square-foot residential structure, which — at 50 feet total — would fit within the local limited height district and is an as-of-right addition with the area’s residential zoning.

There are more details about Rio’s plans in a Landmarks Preservation Commission report, released in November 2006, in which the agency granted him a Certificate of Appropriateness for his designs. According to the report, Rio wants to build a three-story rooftop addition and completely replace the four-story façade with red bricks, a painted metal cornice and a new metal and glass storefront, among other details. [PDF]

But instead of jamming Montague Street with construction materials, sources tell the Brooklyn Heights Blog that Rio has plans to build the modular-style apartments elsewhere, truck them in, and fasten them all together at the end.

At a Community Board 2 transportation committee meeting last week, Rio presented an idea to close Montague Street for three consecutive Saturdays or Sundays so he could get his work done more quickly, said the board’s district manager, Rob Perris.

Check back in with BHB for more details on this developing story.

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  • ABC

    I’m not against it — the units or the modular plan. Wish I could see the drawings tho.

  • ts

    I’ll bet my mortgage this doesn’t happen.

  • Cosentro

    Yes, it’s curious/unfortunate timing that the owner waited 18 months after getting his permits to attempt to start work in this real estate climate.

  • AEB

    Ditto, Cosentro, re the vacant stores in the building at Hicks and Cranberry, heading southwards.

    They’ve been without tenants for almost two years. Only recently have they been spruced up to make them date material.

  • WDS

    …and work has stopped at 20 Henry and might not restart until financing is straightened out.

  • ABC

    all the work at 20 Henry or just the new building? I was 99% sure the new building wasn’t going to happen anytime soon — they just needed to get started before 12/31 for the j-51 deadline.

  • WDS

    Work is stopped on the rehab since last week, and has not restarted.

  • Nancy

    Is the work progressing on the Love Lane buildings? I hear one of the developers lost his shirt with Madoff.