A developer plans to renovate a row house in the Mott Haven historic district and build a four-story addition to it on an adjacent empty lot. Joshua Dardashtian, a principal at Dash Real Estate Group, presented the plan to Community Board 1’s land use and economic development committee on Wednesday, Feb. 8.
“There is a tremendous demand for home ownership and there’s very limited inventory,” he told the board.
The proposal involves building 10 condominium units that are projected to be sold for between $375,000 to $775,000. Five units would have two bedrooms, three would have one bedrooms, in addition to two studios.
The site is located at 427 East 140th Street, which was sold for $1,085,000 in January 2022, according to property records. It was last used more than a decade ago as a religious institution, according to Dardashtian.
“We sympathize and we appreciate that this pricing may … be out of reach for many within the community,” said Dardashtian.
Still, he made the case that these units are cheaper than others on the market, adding “there are residents that do want to buy a home and they’re priced out of owning a home in the neighborhood.” He added that Dash Real Estate plans on giving prospect buyers within the local community a “first look.”
To illustrate his point Dardashtian presented a slide showcasing recent home sales in the 10454 Mott Haven zip code, all close to or in excess of $1 million.
The numbers he displayed, however, all referred to entire buildings, rather than single units within larger properties.
444 East 136th Street, for example, was sold on Oct. 24, 2022 for $999,500–but the entire address contains three living units. Similarly, another example presented at 463 East 144th Street is on the market for $925,900–with five bedrooms and three bathrooms, according to Zillow.
The board’s Land Use committee voted almost unanimously to provide a letter of support to the Landmarks Preservation Commission on behalf of Dash Real Estate. The full board will now vote on the letter during its meeting at the end of February. Committee member Cesar Yoc was the only dissenting vote.
In a subsequent phone interview with the Herald, Yoc, who’s lived in Port Morris for over 30 years, explained his no vote.
“It has nothing to do with anybody in the neighborhood, it’s just for people that are gentrifying the place,” he said.
He also took issue with the credit score Dardashtian had mentioned as a prerequisite for buyers.
“How many people in the neighborhood have a 680 credit score?” he asked. “How many people would the bank give loans to that are people of color?”
Said Yoc, “a lot of people in the neighborhood don’t live by themselves, they live with families,” concerned that the units weren’t large enough.
The same board meeting was supposed to include a presentation on a 10-story, 106-unit building at 431 Concord Avenue with supportive housing, but it was postponed until March after confusion over whether the presenter, Ed Potea, had provided copies to board members ahead of time.