Student Housing For An Empty Lot on a Narrow Street?

The 4200 block of Filbert Street seems like it was a city planner’s mistake a hundred plus years ago. The incredibly narrow block extends west from 42nd Street, and ends in a dead end before getting halfway to 43rd Street. We looked at historic maps, and the block has always been this way, and alas, we don’t know that we’ll ever be able to determine exactly why. Despite its odd nature, it’s a┬ánice enough block, aside from a sizable vacant lot on its northern side.

4200 block of Filbert

There’s a zoning notice at 4219-21 Filbert St. which might mean that the end is near for this property’s vacant status. According to the notice, the owners are looking to build a quadplex on the property, which seems reasonable to us in general. The property is roughly 23′-wide, which is too wide for a single home and too narrow for two homes. So an apartment building of some kind makes sense. We wonder whether the neighbors will push for a triplex instead of a quadplex, though that distinction seems largely academic.

Zoning notice for new project
View to the south

We’d think that this would be a student housing play, though the name of the developer does give us some pause. The owner is Global Community Solution, which sort of sounds like the name of an affordable housing developer. Indeed, there’s an organization dedicated to ending homelessness, based out of New York, called Community Solutions. But the address for the owner of the Filbert Street property tracks back to a residence in Mantua, which tracks to a rental property on Budd Street. So we have to think that this will indeed be a student housing project after all. And it makes sense, given the avalanche of student housing development that we’ve seen on surrounding blocks over the last several years. This parcel is far to valuable to continue to sit vacant, and assuming the ZBA eventually gives their blessing, we imagine students will be living here as soon as next year.