With apologies to the people that live there, Carpenter Street between 11th and 12th Streets is a fairly unremarkable Hawthorne block. Almost every home on the block goes up three stories, with a mix of original facades and “newer” facades that still date back a few decades. One property, 1116 Carpenter St., has struck a bit of an odd note on the block for many years. See if you can figure out why.
We wrote about this property way roughly seven years ago, wondering what a random one-story building was doing on this block. Upon closer examination, we realized that this wasn’t a building at all, just a one-story facade with a whole lot of nothing behind it. We don’t know exactly how this situation came to pass, but it looks like the building that previously stood here was deemed imminently dangerous back in the mid-1990s and the one-story facade was all that was left from an aborted renovation project. Interestingly, the longtime owners of this property live just down the block, and they also own 1114 Carpenter St., which has been sitting vacant for a long time.
Well, they did own these two properties, until they sold them to developers last year. At some point in the last year, those developers tore down the strange one-story facade and also removed the ugly plywood fence in front of 1114 Carpenter St., leaving both lots vacant and a much more palatable wood fence at the sidewalk. Recently, a new sign appeared on that fence which shows an elevations drawing for a pair of new four-story homes on this property with front-loading garages. Given the presence of the sign, we assumed that these homes were approved and would be getting started sometime soon.
Looking a little more closely at public record though, it seems that the project hasn’t started down the path to permits. That being the case, we can’t be sure that the developers will be able to get the approvals they seek, since front-loading garages will require a variance from the ZBA, and those variances aren’t so easily granted. So maybe, in the end, whatever gets built here will or will not look like the homes on the sign. But the good news is that something should get built here sometime soon, filling in a couple of underused parcels that have been waiting for redevelopment for a really long time.