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Building on top of Buildings: Greed or Good Sense?

On Spencer Street, between Dekalb Ave and Kosciuszko St, there is a small stretch of three-story townhouses very common for that area of Bedford-Stuyvesant.

On Spencer Street, between Dekalb Ave and Kosciuszko St, there is a small stretch of three-story townhouses very common for that area of Bedford-Stuyvesant.

But take a walk down Spencer, and you might notice something rather unusual-- a townhouse at the end of the block unlike the other six. There is something odd affixed atop of the building. It is, in essence, another apartment building two more stories high and constructed in a style that in incongruous with its bottom half. It is a structure that was added only two months ago.

According to an article recently published in the New York Post, it's the new trend: buildings on top of buildings-- a way for developers to work around the dwindling pool of real estate in New York City, while also enhance and modernize the "character" of existing properties.

But is this really a smart way to build or a greedy excuse for more, more, more?

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Photo: NY Post

Jeffrey Charles-Pierre, board president of Neighborhood Housing Services of Bedford-Stuyvesant, a Brooklyn nonprofit that develops affordable housing, jumped on board with the idea. NHS wanted to grow its two-story office building at 1012 Gates Ave. in Bed-Stuy into an affordable rental:

"We're the lowest building in our area, and [we] wanted to do something to generate income," he said. So his organization plans to construct five modern-design floors right on top. Charles-Pierre says they're working to secure financing for the project scheduled for completion by 2020.

Have you seen any of these buildings-on-top-of-buildings going up in your area?

They say necessity is the mother of invention.

But what do you think? Does this recent trend in construction represent good economic sense? Or is it simply an excuse for greedy development?


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