The New York Hotel Trades Council and the Hotel Association of New York City have bought a parking lot in the BAM Cultural District and plan to build a health center for their hotel workers on it, the New York Observer said. The paper speculated that the group may intend to sell its existing facility at 68-80 Schermerhorn Street in Downtown Brooklyn to be developed as apartments. In any case, they paid $19 million for the parking lot at 620 Fulton Street, which PropertyShark lists as 253 Ashland Place, and they plan to spend about $90 million constructing the new building. Income from retailers on the first floor will go into the employee benefits funds.
$90M Hotel Worker Health Center Coming to Downtown Brooklyn [NY Observer]
Photo by Christopher Bride for PropertyShark GMAP
The massive redevelopment under way in the BAM Cultural District in Fort Greene is drawing comparisons to Lincoln Center in the ’90s, reports The Real Deal. It’s all part of rapid change in downtown and nearby areas, including Barclays Center, that will transform the borough in the next few years. Since a rezoning in 2004, New York City has spent more than $100 million in the BAM Cultural District, the story said. “People will look back at this and say it’s a truly remarkable renaissance,” said developer Douglas Steiner, who is building a 720-unit rental tower at Flatbush Avenue and Schermerhorn Street known as the Hub. New residential buildings and businesses began to spring up following the 2004 rezoning. Demand for housing is outpacing availability, and rents have increased, reaching an average of $3,254 for a one-bedroom in January, according to real estate firm MNS. Retail is also in demand, with commercial rents doubling or tripling since 2004. Meanwhile, the City is encouraging cultural spaces and programming. Within the next four years, the area will boast about 40 arts and cultural organizations, the story said. “We like to think of this as a cultural district that caters to everyone — not just the New York elite,” said Tucker Reed, president of the nonprofit Downtown Brooklyn Partnership.
The BAM Cultural District: The Next Lincoln Center? [TRD]
Applications are now being accepted for 63 affordable rental units in the under-construction tower at 66 Rockwell Place, formerly known as 29 Flatbush Avenue. Studio, one-, and two-bedroom units are allotted for families with up to four people with income of $20,640 to $42,950 a year. You can see a full breakdown of the income requirements and rental prices after the jump. You can also download the affordable housing application right here (applications must be postmarked by May 21, 2013). The 456-foot tower will have a total of 327 apartments. The developers aim to start leasing the market rate rentals this summer.
Name Change, Facebook Page for 29 Flatbush [Brownstoner] GMAP
Construction Moving Quickly at 29 Flatbush Avenue [Brownstoner]
29 Flatbush Finally Coming Together? [Brownstoner] (more…)
It’s been a while since we last took a look at 29 Flatbush, one of the many residential towers going up in the BAM Cultural area in Fort Greene. It has been in the works for years; construction started in 2011. Now it has a new name, 66 Rockwell Place, and a Facebook page, Curbed reported. They’re still building the uppermost floors, it appears. Twenty percent of the 300-plus rental apartments will be affordable, and leasing will start this summer, according to Curbed. GMAP
Checking on One of the BAM District’s Residential Towers [Curbed]
66 Rockwell Place Apartments [Facebook]
Construction Moving Quickly at 29 Flatbush Avenue [Brownstoner]
29 Flatbush Finally Coming Together? [Brownstoner]
In just a few years, Brooklyn’s downtown will look like a different place, with lots more tall towers and housing — with about one fifth of it affordable, reported Crain’s New York.
In the next two to three years alone, 14 new residential properties with a combined 4,746 units will be completed, according to a study by the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership. About half of these projects are already rising, while the other half are currently in the development process. When they are completed, the area’s population will rise from a little more than 13,000 to well over 25,000. The boom began with a rezoning in 2004, which paved the way for new office and commercial towers along Flatbush Avenue and the surrounding blocks. Since then, 29 buildings with nearly 5,300 units have sprung up.
The story noted that under Bloomberg, the city has rezoned more than one-third of New York City’s landmass. Critics have charged housing for low- and middle-income families should be mandatory in all new developments, “but the administration prefers a market-driven approach that uses government incentives and tax breaks to promote the private development of affordable housing,” said the story. Projects currently in the pipeline will bring the number of affordable units Downtown to more than 1,400 affordable units, according to the study. Some of the notable developments yet to come include several mixed-use buildings with space for arts and cultural activities and events. “Before there were lingering questions about the area’s attractiveness after work and on weekends, but the successful opening of Barclays Center, the growing array of first-rate cultural institutions and more interesting retail options have driven up demand,” said David Lombino, director of special projects for Two Trees, the developer that rebuilt Dumbo, is remaking the Domino complex and also putting up BAM South, a 32-story tower with arts space. “More people want to live in downtown Brooklyn because it’s a diverse and vibrant New York neighborhood and the market is responding to that.” Do you like the changes in store for Downtown? What kind of development would you like to see?
A Wave of Development Looms in Downtown Brooklyn [Crain's]
Former president Bill Clinton and Chelsea Clinton will discuss philanthropy at BAM Monday night. Actor Edward Norton, who cofounded crowdsourced philanthropy site Crowdrise, will moderate. Tickets range from $50 to $2,500 and will go to support the Clinton Foundation, which focuses on improving health and the environment.
Photo via BAM
Last week H3 Hugh Hardy Architecture Director of Interior Design Margaret Sullivan (also a Hot Seat subject!) showed us around the Theater for a New Audience construction site on Rockwell Place. The theater, designed for the Shakespearian New York City-based theater group, should be complete by the summer. The TFANA has worked with the architects and the city to bring this theater to Brooklyn for nearly 13 years. Now it’s the first construction project on the city-owned lot which will also be home to the Two Trees development, another affordable development, a public plaza, and a hotel. Click through for lots of pictures of the in-progress interior space and all the details on the build… (more…)
Today the Post reports that the developer Second Development Services will build a hotel at 95 Rockwell Place, an area of the BAM Cultural District getting a lot of ink recently. The current building at 95 Rockwell, which is not landmarked, was previously on the market for $9.5 million. The deed has not yet hit public records. The hotel will be under construction for two years and is surrounded by other buildings on their way up. The Theater for a New Audience build is right next door and it’s also near the 32-story apartment/public plaza planned by Two Trees and another affordable development planned for Ashland Place and Lafayette Avenue. According to the project manager, “the district was long overdue to get a hotel.” But as far as we can tell, in a few years the downtown area will be basically overrun with them.
Hotel for BAM and Barclays [NY Post]
BAM-Area Building on Rockwell Place for Sale [Brownstoner] GMAP
Above is the rendering, courtesy of Community Board Two, of Brooklyn Academy of Music’s proposed wall for temporary art in the empty lot at 31 Lafayette Avenue, right across from the Howard Gilman Opera House. The wall will host a display of murals that will change over time. According to Community Board Two minutes, BAM was interested in the idea of street and gallery art merging in this space. Brooklyn-based artist KAWS will put up the first mural and BAM will continue to host artwork from emerging Brooklyn artists, although they’d also be open to featuring work from a well-known international artist. More bike racks designed by David Byrne will be installed in front of the art wall. Byrne also designed the racks outside the opera house. CB2′s Cultural Affairs Committee recommended that the Public Design Commission push the proposal forward. The full board will vote on the matter on February 13th. The temporary art wall seems like a cool idea we haven’t seen anywhere else in the borough and a non-intrusive way to make use of an empty lot.
The warehouse at 246 Ashland Place is finito, after the DOB approved demolition permits in November. Now that it’s gone, there’s space for two coming developments. A small part of the parcel will be dedicated to the visual arts plaza outside of the Theater for a New Audience, now under construction. But a majority of the site (now a parking lot) is for the North Tower I. This site will be developed by the Gotham Organization and DT Salazar Inc., who plan for 600 new residences, half of which will be affordable. This development will also include 20,000 square feet of cultural and related office space and 20,000 square feet of retail space. The city recently released an RFP for North Tower II, which will bound the southern end of the arts plaza. And then of course there’s the BAM South Site, across from Lafayette Avenue, where the Two Trees developers recently started up the land use review process. Click through to the jump for a very helpful map outlining how the city-owned property will be divvied up. One other note: Yesterday the Brooklyn Paper reported the city has yet to rule on Two Trees’ request for a zoning change to allow more housing at the site, which we covered in December.
Last night, the public review process for the Two Trees development located in the BAM Cultural District kicked off at the Community Board Two meeting. Two Trees Director of Special Projects Dave Lombino presented the project. It will include a 30-story rental building with 20 percent affordable units, 225 on-site parking spaces, a 10,000-square-foot public plaza, a library, cinema, rehearsal space, a restaurant and cafe, and 15,500 square feet of retail space. The Brooklyn Public Library currently on Pacific Street will close and move into this new development, and the branch will work with BAM to provide cultural initiatives. BAM will run the cinema, which will include three mid-size theaters. And the nonprofit 651 Arts will run the rehearsal spaces, where a preference will be given to Downtown Brooklyn arts groups. Architect Enrique Norten spoke about the design (the renderings presented last night are those already circling the media), and said it is still a work in progress. He spoke on the challenges of designing for the triangular site, as well as building something right in the heart of the BAM Cultural District. Ultimately, Two Trees was seeking Community Board Two’s blessing for a zoning change, so they can increase the height of the development by about 10 stories and add more residential and community facility space. Some residents of One Hanson showed up and stated that the design for South Site, as it is now known, will block the view of the historic clock tower at One Hanson. They suggested a more dramatic cut-back of the building to reveal more of the clock tower in the skyline view. Residents and community board members also expressed concern about the sign illumination (the application for public review also asked for extra illuminated signage), possible congestion caused by the building’s parking entrance on Ashland Place, and the terraces on the building, which were said to be “uncharacteristic of the neighborhood.” The land-use committee approved the design with conditions on the abatement of noise, the removal of terraces, a traffic plan, and an unobtrusive illumination plan.
Review Process Starts for BAM Cultural Build [Brownstoner]
Major Developments Planned for BAM Cultural District [Brownstoner]
Right after the city announced the massive development plans for the BAM Cultural District, the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) is now in motion for the 32-story Two Trees build bounded by Lafayette Avenue, Ashland Place, Hanson Place and Flatbush Avenue. Community Board Two announced that on Wednesday, Dec. 19, the board will hold a public hearing on the proposal at 6 pm at 5 Metrotech Center in Room LC 400. This kicks off a one-year process in which Two Trees will have to go through the Community Board, the Borough President and the City Planning Commission. The plan, as it stands, calls for 50,000 square feet of community space, a public plaza, 23,000 square feet of ground-floor retail, and 300 or 400 apartments, 20 percent of which will be affordable.
Major Developments Planned for BAM Cultural District [Brownstoner]
The City yesterday announced plans that will dramatically transform the BAM Cultural District, with improvements targeted to a block we’ve been blogging about recently. Two Trees will build a 16,000-square-foot public plaza and cultural space that will be used by BAM, the Brooklyn Public Library and 651 Arts, pictured above and after the jump. The 32-story build will be designed by Enrique Norten and include 23,000 square feet of ground-floor retail as well as 300 or 400 apartments, 20 percent of which will be affordable. Two Trees just started the seven-month-long public review process for its proposal. The space is currently a parking lot owned by the New York City Economic Development Corp., located between Flatbush Avenue, Lafayette and Ashland Place. In addition, the Gotham Organization and DT Salazar Inc. will create 600 new residences, half of which will be affordable, between Fulton Street, Ashland Place and Rockwell Place. Meanwhile, Housing Preservation and Development has released a request for proposal for a 10,000-square-foot building at the corner of Lafayette Avenue and Ashland Place. The building will include apartments as well as arts and community space. All three sites are the last city-owned parcels in the area, according to the City’s announcement.
The Department of Buildings approved a permit to demolish the building at 246 Ashland Place, right along Fulton Street. According to public records, the Department of Housing Preservation and Development owns this building, along with the parking lot along Lafayette Avenue. That leads us to believe this has something to do with the affordable housing planned for that area. In October, HPD met with Community Board Two in anticipation of putting out a request for proposal for a development in the BAM Cultural District. When you consider this space along with the nearby parking lot, that leaves a sizable footprint for a new development right next to the under-construction Theater for a New Audience, and across the street from 29 Flatbush Avenue. GMAP
Affordable Housing Planned Near BAM [Brownstoner]
The facade is going up at the Theater for a New Audience in the BAM Cultural District! You can see renderings of the finished project right here. Construction is planned through April of next year, and the first season should begin that spring. Click through for one more construction shot…
Progress at Theater for a New Audience Build [Brownstoner] (more…)
According to Community Board Two, the Department of Housing Preservation and Development plans to release an RFP for a development site in the BAM Cultural District. The area in question is on the northwest corner of Lafayette Avenue and Ashland Place, right across from BAM’s Peter Jay Sharp Building. There are no details yet but since the RFP is coming from HPD, this can only mean affordable housing is coming to the area, certainly good news in a development-heavy neighborhood that hasn’t seen much affordable housing recently. An informational meeting on the matter will be held during the CB2 land use committee meeting at 6 pm on Wednesday, Oct. 17 at 5 MetroTech Center.
A new, very colorful mural is up on the east wall of the Mark Morris Dance Center in Fort Greene. Vanity Fair teamed up with Cadillac and commissioned the California-based artist Barry McGee to paint the 96-by-67-foot work (called “Untitled 2012″) as a part of its “Art in the Streets” program. It took him only ten days to put up the whole piece! The work will be featured in the December issue of Vanity Fair, as DNAinfo pointed out late last week.
Fort Greene Mural to Be Featured in Vanity Fair [DNAinfo]
Construction on the BRIC Arts/Media House is coming along. The BRIC Arts/Media House will be a multidisciplinary arts and media center for artists and the public. The $31 million project is rebuilding the Strand Theater in the BAM Cultural District, which will extend BRIC’s current space from 19,000 square feet to 40,000 square feet. The organization posted photos of the work in progress on its Facebook page. The seats pictured above overlook the contemporary art gallery. The center is scheduled to open in 2014.
Groundbreaking and Rendering for BRIC House [Brownstoner]
Today Mayor Bloomberg, Borough President Markowitz, BAM President Karen Brooks Hopkins, actor Jeremy Irons and a whole lot of others came together to celebrate the ribbon cutting for the new BAM Fisher building. This building holds a small, flexible performance theater, workshop spaces, classrooms, offices and a rooftop garden over seven stories and 40,000 square feet. It is named after the BAM Endowment Trust Chairman Richard B. Fisher, who passed away in 2004. His wife Jeanne Donovan Fisher spoke to the crowd and cut the ribbon with Mayor Bloomberg. A few interesting facts brought up by the many speakers: This is the first LEED Gold Status theater in Brooklyn, half of the 60,000 construction hours were completed by minority workers and the project was finished on time and in budget. The first performance (part of the Next Wave Festival) in the space was last night. BAM Executive Producer Joseph Melillo called the theater “a dream come true.” Check out pictures of the ceremony and the interior after the jump. You can see more interior shots from this tour we took a few months ago. BAM will also hold a neighborhood block party and music concert at the new building on Saturday, Sept. 22. All the details are here.
The First Look Inside BAM’s New Fisher Building [Brownstoner] (more…)
Brokelyn reported outdoor sculptures have gone up around BAM. They have a newspaper theme and are bolted to the ground. The BAM blog informs us the five news racks are the work of 10 artists: Swoon, Ryan C. Doyle, Leon A. Reid, Adam Void, Revs, Gaia, Gabriel Spector, Cost, Noah Sparkes and Cassius Fouler. They will be stocked with a changing series of print pubs courtesy of Showpaper. Pretty cool.
Photo by Brokelyn