2015_05_17 Pierhouse 47

You may have thought the movement to save the view of the Brooklyn Bridge from the Promenade was dead, since the lawsuit over the Pierhouse development was decided in Brooklyn Bridge Park’s favor in June, but community group Save the View Now is hoping to resurrect its case. Last week the organization filed a motion to amend its complaint and renew its motion for a preliminary injunction based on what claims is newly discovered evidence that the developer, Toll Brothers and others involved in the project misrepresented the use of the controversial 30-foot bulkhead that blocks the view of the Brooklyn Bridge.

The City, Empire State Development Corp, Toll Brothers and Starwood Capital have always contended that the bulkhead, which exceeds the legally mandated building height of 100 feet but is not counted as part of the building, was needed to house the building’s mechanicals since, in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, they could no longer be located in the basement. Save the View Now says it has uncovered plans that show that the bulkhead will be used for more frivolous purposes than housing mechanicals. (more…)

07/29/15 2:44pm

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What book best captures Brooklyn’s zeitgeist? That’s the question on the minds of the book lovers behind the Brooklyn Eagles Literary Prize, who’ve just announced the finalists for this year’s inaugural contest.

The shortlist — 15 fiction works and 14 nonfiction — was culled from nominations submitted by borough bookstores and staffers at Brooklyn’s public libraries.

The prize was created by a group called the Brooklyn Eagles, who volunteer, raise money and otherwise advocate for the Brooklyn Public Library. They’re looking to honor “authors who have lived in Brooklyn, portrayed the borough in their work or addressed themes relevant to its life and culture.” (more…)

07/29/15 1:00pm

470 Pulaski St. NS, PS 2

Brooklyn, one building at a time.
Name: Warehouse, now residential
Address: 470 Pulaski Street
Cross Streets: Stuyvesant Avenue and Malcolm X Boulevard
Neighborhood: Stuyvesant Heights
Year Built: 1909
Architectural Style: Renaissance Revival
Architect: Unknown
Landmarked: No

The story: Bedford Stuyvesant, which includes Stuyvesant Heights, is so large that one could concentrate on it alone and still have architectural examples that run the gamut of style and history.

This part of Bed Stuy was called the Eastern District back in the late 19th century. In the early 20th century, this particular location was considered part of Bushwick.

Whatever one wanted to call it, it was a busy place with a life of its own. A bit removed from Bedford’s center at Fulton and Bedford, yet not really part of East Williamsburg, either.

The homes here were for the most part modest and middle class, and the needs of the community were served by local businesses.

In 1909, Charles E. Bowman filed to incorporate his new business. He issued $50,000 worth of stock, and got enough investor money to build this handsome building for his moving and storage business. (more…)

07/29/15 12:00pm

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Today’s pick is a Bedford Stuyvesant brownstone that’s been given a new life — and carries a piece of its old one.

Specifically, the house — at 44 Macon Street — is a four-story that’s been gut renovated on three of its floors. The garden floor remains as it was — and comes with a “life tenant.”

About the renovation: They’ve gone with an industrial rustic kind of vibe, with lots of exposed brick and roof beams, white walls and an open-plan living room and kitchen in the owner’s upper duplex. The effect is awfully nice — it feels airy, calm and bright.

The third-floor kitchen is spacious and attractive. We’re liking that subway tile with the dark-wood counter both there and in the parlor-floor kitchen (and admire the bold choice to not go with the ubiquitous stainless steel stove). The upper kitchen has one of the house’s three decorative fireplaces, two of them original. (more…)

07/29/15 11:31am

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Sponsored By AVA DoBro.

AVA DoBro is now renting studio, 1-, 2-, and 3-bedroom apartments in the heart of Downtown Brooklyn.

Created By BlankSlate

For many years, the Williamsburgh Savings Bank Tower was the tallest building in Brooklyn. Compared to Manhattan, Brooklyn buildings tended to stay closer to the ground. But the recent building boom in Downtown Brooklyn has changed all that, and now AVA DoBro stretches 595 feet into the sky.

If you’re wondering what it would be like to live in a Brooklyn skyscraper like AVA DoBro, you’re in luck. The new residential building is now pre-leasing for September rentals. Move in and soon you can see for yourself what it’s like to take in the views from the building’s 58th-floor roof deck and experience the convenience of living in Brooklyn’s hub for commerce and transportation.

AVA DoBro is a short walk away from such iconic Brooklyn institutions as the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Barclays Center, Brooklyn Bridge Park, and the Brooklyn Flea, and residents can also enjoy the local restaurants and shopping that Fort Greene, Cobble Hill, and Brooklyn Heights are known for. (more…)

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As of Monday, applications are now being taken for 200 affordable units in the first City Point tower, now under construction in Downtown Brooklyn. Brick Underground was the first to notice that the lottery had opened through NYC Housing Connect.

The least expensive units are studios for $500 a month for those earning between $18,515 and $24,200 a year. One-bedroom units range from $538 a month to $2,038 a month depending on income levels.

The most expensive units are two-bedroom units for $2,455 a month for those earning between $85,612 a year and, at the top end, $142,395 a year. City Point’s website has full list of income requirements or it can be viewed as a PDF here.

Half of the units will go to those already residing within Brooklyn’s Community Board 2, and 5 percent will be set aside for municipal employees. Another 5 percent will be set aside for mobility impaired applicants and 2 percent will be set aside for those with visual or hearing impairments.

(more…)

07/29/15 10:00am

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If you see a lot of hairy faces around Brooklyn in the next year or so, it could be another freestyle beard-growing competition. Or it could be werewolves.

According to Variety, USA Networks has ordered a TV pilot for a series based on the comic book “Brooklyn Animal Control,” created by JT Petty and Stephen Thompson. The comic follows a secret NYPD unit charged with policing Brooklyn’s werewolf population.

As Cindy Adams would say, only in New York, kids. Only in New York.

Much as “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” served as a metaphor for the problems teenagers face as they grow into adults, “Brooklyn Animal Control” delves into the real-life challenges faced by New York institutions: the politics of law enforcement, organized crime families, and an immigrant community trying to find their way in Brooklyn’s melting pot. (While, presumably, eating people.) (more…)

07/29/15 9:30am

154 Lenox Road

Most likely setting a record for the neighborhood, this detached frame house at 154 Lenox Road recently sold for $3,550,000. The sale hit public records earlier this month. The two-and-half-story house is large for Brooklyn at a hair over 3,000 square feet. And it has a garage in the back.

But we’re willing to bet it’s not the spacious wraparound front porch or whatever period details remain inside that helped this seller get such a high price. (more…)

07/29/15 9:00am

MakerBot-Industry-City-Rendering-Logo-Dinosaur

MakerBot is one of the powerhouses of the Brooklyn tech and maker scene — a movement that’s bringing back DIY with a tech-friendly twist. Founded in a Dean Street workshop in 2009, the company has experienced some ups and downs. But through it all, they’ve continued manufacturing in Brooklyn.

This week, MakerBot entered a new era with the opening of a facility at Sunset Park’s Industry City (which is about to get its own $1,000,000,000 makeover). The 170,000-square-foot industrial space houses 140-plus employees assembling MakerBot desktop 3D printers.

And it’s a step forward in MakerBot’s plan for the next era in 3D printing.
(more…)

07/29/15 8:30am

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A Prize for the Books That Capture Brooklyn’s Spirit, Whatever That May Be [NY Times]
Marvel to Redesign Building 77 as Gateway to Navy Yard, Add Food Court [Crain’s]
Samson Management Buys LIVWRK’s Gowanus Building for $73 Million [CO]
Revealed: Redevelopment of Eagle Provisions in Greenwood Heights, 626 5th Avenue [NYY]
RedSky Zeroing in on DoBro Site With 330K Square Feet [TRD]
Four-Story Residential Building to Replace Empty Lot in Crown Heights [DNA]
Park Slope Armory Home to “Secret” Veterans Museum [DNA]

Water fountain in Saratoga Park.
Brownstoner on Instagram
Photo by Cate Corcoran

07/28/15 5:10pm

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Public Hearing for Pier 6 Towers Scheduled for This Thursday Evening [BHB]
Photos: Antique Cars Rumble Into Dumbo [Gothamist]
Fort Greene Park Playground and Slope Brightened With Paint And Flowers [FGF]
Improvements for Some Historic Properties on MacDonough Street [BSB]
Favorite Watering Hole 773 Lounge Slated to Reopen in September [KensingtonBK]

Photo by actor212 via Flickr

07/28/15 4:13pm

met.bohack

Metropolitan Avenue was once a farm-to-market road plied by farmers bringing wares to East River barges and then back east through fields and meadows to the town of Jamaica. Now a busy truck route, in some places it is still a clogged two-lane road.

If you use your imagination a bit you can envision it plunging through farms and fields, populated by horses and carts. A stroll along the 13 miles from Williamsburg to Jamaica reveals all sorts of interesting historical remnants. (more…)