The new owner of a contentious massive development site in Whitestone is going to give the community what it wants: single-family detached homes.
Tim O’Sullivan paid $13.6 million at an auction on April 10 for the 6-acre site near at 150th Street between Fifth and Sixth avenues, which is zoned for smaller residential properties, and hopes to build two-story, single-family detached homes on the land. The property was previously known as the Cresthaven Country Club and was used for years by the Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) as a summer day camp.
Residents and community leaders were planning to fight any development on the property that didn’t meet zoning, such as high-rises or other large properties, hoping to protect the character of the residential neighborhood.
O’Sullivan, who grew up in Whitestone, said he understands what the residents are feeling and wants to be on their side.
“We are looking forward to working with the community, state Sen. Tony Avella and our architect, Frank Petruso, to produce a development befitting this beautiful Whitestone neighborhood,” O’Sullivan said. “I grew up in Whitestone and I am happy to contribute to the neighborhood in a positive way.”
The site was part of the former Cresthaven Country Club and then was owned by real estate firm Whitestone Jewels LLC, but has been in foreclosure since 2007 after the firm defaulted on its mortgage.
Whitestone Jewels LLC purchased the site in 2006 for $23.3 million from the Catholic Charities, Diocese of Brooklyn, according to city records.
As the April 10 auction date was approaching, Avella and residents began to warn potential buyers about overdevelopment, and the new civic group We Love Whitestone was hoping to convince the city to purchase the property and transform it into parkland.
“Whitestone is a residential area dominated by one-family homes,” Avella said. “This lot sits immediately across from homeowners who do not want their community to be overtaken by large buildings that tower over their houses. I am happy to support a project that will preserve the look and feel of the surrounding community.”
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