Last week, a reader spotted a zoning notice posted on a fence on the south side of Oxford Street, between Bodine and Cadwallader Streets. Since we hadn't heard about a project here, and because it's just what we do, we figured we'd do some investigating.
The zoning notice describes the consolidation of a couple dozen lots, the demolition of any existing structures, and the construction of new multifamily buildings. The project will eventually include 42 apartments, 37 parking spots, and 28 bike parking spots. But who is building this thing? Public record wasn't so helpful, as the collection of lots are seemingly owned by various parties. So any sale to a developer has not yet shown up. A few parcels are owned by City agencies, which inspired us to look at old Redevelopment Authority meeting minutes. The meeting in May of 2012 yielded the answers we sought.
The lots have been consolidated through eminent domain. The Arab American CDC has plans for new construction affordble housing at the site. But the project, dubbed Tajdeed, has faced some opposition in the neighborhood, according to Newsworks. As you might expect, people aren't happy to have their properties seized by the City, even though many of the parcels have been vacant for years. By last summer a community meeting on the subject indicated that many neighbors were still deeply dissatisfied with the level of communication from the City, with the prices for their properties, and the process as a whole. Still, the Redevelopment Authority eventually went through with the land disposition.
With the land taken and a trip to the ZBA upcoming, we'd be shocked if this project doesn't go through. But who knows, we've learned at this point that it's sometimes best to expect the unexpected when it comes to development in our fair city.