We found this very interesting rendering on the fence at 14 Olive Street in East Williamsburg that seems to show an old stable and factory building — but it actually appears to be a controversial homeless shelter that will be nine stories tall! (Apologies for the not-very-clear photo — the rendering was posted high up on the fence.)
In front is what looks like a circa-1900 Brooklyn stable building, with a commercial or factory building from the early 20th century or even earlier rising behind it. (We’d say the building in the back almost looks like an Jacobean country house!)
A sign above the quaint stable-style door says “Joseph & Son Restoration Inc.” Our first thought was that a salvage-architectural-design firm was putting up a new commercial building in its working style. Googling revealed Joseph & Son Restoration may be a smoke damage repair service.
The site is currently an empty lot, and the new-building permit is for a nine-story, 30-unit dormitory or hotel. The second floor will house a “community facility” described as an “ambulatory diagnostic and treatment health care facility” on the Schedule A.
We don’t see any specific mention of what might be the smoke restoration business. (The first floor will include a “warehouse,” parking for six cars, a lobby, trash compactor room and janitor’s closet.) We’re wondering, though, if it might employ some formerly homeless people living at the facility? The owner listed on the permit is Jozef Birnbach and the architect of record is Victor Filletti.
There is a Facebook page dedicated to “stopping the proposed huge nine-story homeless shelter at 14 Olive Street,” in its words. The page has not been updated since 2013. A petition from the group raises concerns about a nearby church and school, among other things.