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Frequently-asked questions

Will my rent go up if the Prospect Heights Apartment House District is designated as a historic district?


A 2016 study by ThinkBrooklyn and the Historic Districts Council found that rental prices have not increased significantly more in historic districts than in other New York City neighborhoods.


Can historic designation help to prevent displacement of tenants?


By preserving and protecting existing historic structures, designation prevents rapid, out-of-scale development that often leads to displacement. (More information about your rights as a tenant is available from PHNDC.)


Will historic designation raise our property taxes?


Property taxes on multifamily buildings are calculated based upon the rental market, so should not be affected by historic designation.


If the district is designated, will all work in my building have to be approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC)?


LPC approval is required for all work in a landmark district that requires a building permit, and for any work that would modify the exterior of a building in a landmark district. Generally speaking, work that does not involve the exterior of the building is approved with a “Certificate of No Effect” by LPC staff, and does not require further action from the owner.


What happens when changes are proposed for the exterior of a building in a landmark district?


LPC staff determine if proposed exterior changes require approval by the LPC commissioners. If so, the application is placed on the agenda of a hearing with the commissioners. Prior to the hearing, the application is also presented to the Community Board in a public meeting. Members of the public are allowed to provide testimony at the Community Board meeting and the LPC hearing.


Would work on the interior of my building be regulated by LPC?


No. The interiors of buildings in the Apartment House District are not being proposed for landmark designation.


Can LPC force us to restore our building to the way it looked when it was first built?


LPC cannot make you do work on your building and only reviews work when changes are proposed. For example, if prior to designation the stoop was removed and a ground-level entrance installed, LPC cannot make you replace the stoop. However if your building has modern windows or doors and you want to replace them, LPC would apply its standards in reviewing these changes.


Are there financial benefits to historic designation?


Yes. New York City historic designation can help to facilitate listing on state and national registers of historic places. New York State and the Federal government offer tax credit programs to help defray the cost of improvements to buildings listed on their historic registers. More information is available here.


Would historic designation have saved the former Green Point Savings Bank building at 856 Washington Avenue?


The Landmarks Preservation Commission generally does not permit buildings in a historic district to be demolished. The Landmarks Law also makes it illegal for owners to let a designated building decay to the point it must be condemned and demolished.


Why isn’t the area already part of the existing Prospect Heights Historic District designated in 2009?


In New York City, historic districts must have thematic continuity. The Prospect Heights Historic District consists primarily of three-, four- and five-story row houses built between 1860 and 1900. The Apartment House District consists of larger multifamily apartment buildings built between 1909 and 1929.

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