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Crown Heights Spice Factory Site Sought for New $500M Development: Report

 The the factory of Morris J. Golombeck Inc., a spice and herb importing company, has operated on Franklin Avenue and Montgomery Street for years.
The the factory of Morris J. Golombeck Inc., a spice and herb importing company, has operated on Franklin Avenue and Montgomery Street for years.
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DNAinfo/Rachel Holliday Smith

CROWN HEIGHTS — A 1-million-square-foot residential building may soon replace a long-running spice factory in the neighborhood, according to a report of a pending deal by two large development firms.

Continuum Company, run by developer Bruce Eichner, and Lincoln Equities are in negotiations to buy several parcels on the southwest corner of Franklin Avenue and Montgomery Street encompassing the factory of Morris J. Golombeck Inc., a spice and herb importing company that has operated on the site for years, according to The Real Deal.

The developers plan to turn the facility and adjacent lots into four residential buildings, the report said. The $500 million project would be built under the city’s Mandatory Inclusionary Housing program and would include 50 percent affordable units and 50 percent market-rate rentals.

At a real estate summit last week, Eichner said the parcels in the development deal total 120,000 square feet, The Real Deal reported.

The Golombecks have owned the spice factory buildings — several large, early 20th century brick structures that emanate scents of cumin, anise, paprika and turmeric, depending on the day — and large adjacent lots since at least 1983, property records show.

The president of the importing company, Abraham "Zev" Golombeck, signed a contract of sale with Lincoln Equities in July for two of the family's lots with Montgomery Street addresses, according to public property records. Eichner said the developers are planning to buy two lots on Franklin Avenue as well, The Real Deal reported.

When reached by phone Tuesday, the proprietor of the spice company who identified himself only as Mr. Golombeck would not answer questions about the pending deal.

“I have nothing to say on the subject,” he told DNAinfo New York.

If the development deal goes through, it would need approval from the city for a rezoning under MIH before any construction begins.

Recently, two similarly large rezoning projects in the area have faced serious public opposition.

Just blocks from the Golombeck factory, a project by Cornell Realty to turn two development sites into multiple residential towers was withdrawn by the developer after the local councilwoman said she wouldn’t support the project and area activists promised to fight it.

Also nearby, the controversial Bedford-Union Armory project — which would turn a former military facility into affordable housing, condominiums and a recreation center — has faced stiff opposition from advocates and residents for months and has not garnered support from the local community board or borough president. It is currently going through the city-mandated Uniform Land Use Review Procedure and needs approval from City Council and the mayor to proceed.

Inquiries to Continuum Companies, Lincoln Equities, and the seller’s broker about the deal were not returned Tuesday.