Permits Filed For New Development on Old Pipin’s Site

Permits have been filed to construct a six-story mixed-use building on a busy Bay Ridge corner that’s been vacant since 2015.

According to the city’s Department of Buildings (DOB), the permits filed for 312 97th Street – the lot behind that which once belonged to the storied Pipin’s Pub – allow for the construction of a 65-foot tall structure which will yield 37,000 square feet of floor space and over a dozen condos.

According to YIMBY, 12,800 square feet of the site will be dedicated to a ground floor retailer, with another 5,800 slated for a ground-floor medical facility. On the upper floors, plans indicate a total of 15 units, averaging 1,100 square feet apiece (with private terraces), as well as a lobby and parking for at least eight bikes and 15 cars.

The plan is strikingly similar to that which was originally proposed for the corner. As of last summer, blueprints – which were supposed to encompass 9701 Third Avenue, the former home of Pipin’s, as well as the long-vacant site next door once occupied by J.T.’s Restaurant – included 20 apartments within 23,154 square feet of residential space on five floors, four per floor.

On the ground floor, Pipin’s – a multi-generational family business and mainstay in Bay Ridge that, since the initial sale, has relocated to a “pop-up” location at 9023 Third Avenue, the former home of Circles Grill – was eventually to have had its homecoming.

That was no longer the case as of February of this year, when the corner property was sold to new buyers, with Bay Ridge realtor Charles Fabbella of Ben Bay Realty Company of Bay Ridge brokering the deal, for a record price of $6 million.

“The deal fell through for the people we first shook hands with,” said Pipin’s co-owner Stephen Oliver, who owns and operates Pipin’s alongside family members Anthony Bartholomeo and Paul Pandolfi, at the time of the sale.

Oliver blamed an extended timeline which no parties anticipated and changing tax abatement laws for preventing the original developer from moving ahead with what he referred to as a “short-term” plan.

From there, he said, anyone with an interest in buying the site (its building already demolished), “wanted nothing to do with a bar and restaurant,” leaving him and his staff “up against a wall,” though, with “full intentions of keeping the Pipin’s name going.”

Pipin’s operated at the corner of 97th Street and Third Avenue from December, 1969 to August, 2015. It has been at its pop-up site since October, 2015. Now, with its 50th anniversary right around the corner, Oliver and his team are still looking for at least a 10-to-12-year lease somewhere in the neighborhood for the beloved Bay Ridge pub.

“We want to put some money into the store; we want to make it the best that it can be,” Oliver said earlier this year, “but more than anything, we want to keep our Pipin’s family together.”

The original plans for the 97th Street development appear to have changed in other ways as well. While the first iteration of the plans also included an eight-car garage underground, as well as outdoor parking for two cars, a roof deck and a rear yard for residents, recent filings suggest that there will not be enclosed parking.

The majority of the site is zoned R6A, which means apartment buildings as tall as 70 feet can be constructed as of right (with a setback if the structure exceeds 60 feet), with a commercial overlay permitting businesses to occupy the first floor of the structure.

The site has an as-of-right floor area ratio (FAR) cap of 3.0, a measurement that reflects the ratio between the total floor area of the building and the square footage of the lot on which it is built. The higher the FAR, the denser the building.

According to the DOB, the developer is Vladimir Slobodyansky. Ryback Architects is behind the current design, the meat and potatoes of which, Fabbella maintained in February, “will absolutely benefit our community.”

The permits are currently pending zoning approval.

With the old building on the lot already demolished, construction could be completed in a mere matter of months, according to YIMBY.

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