SOM-designed Toren About to Hit the Market

Toren, the new development at 150 Myrtle Avenue promising “A New Angle on Modern Living,” starts sales tomorrow. The Skidmore, Owings & Merrill-designed tower, reminiscent of a barcode, is 38 stories, with 240 market rate condos and 40 below-market rate condos (The New York Times reported that 10,000 people entered the lottery to buy those units). The top eight floors have eight one-bedroom penthouses and 24 two- and three-bedroom duplex penthouses. William Ross, Director of Development Marketing at Halstead Brooklyn, which is handling the listings, said he isn’t apprehensive about bringing another luxury product on the market, with Oro Condominiums struggling to sell around the corner. “Not this one, this one is special,” he said. Toren’s indoor pool is designed to replicate the Art Deco saltwater pool formerly at the St. George Hotel on Henry Street, once the largest of its kind in the world, and there’s a co-generation plant in the building’s basement. Toren also features a bi-level furnished roof garden with an outdoor movie theatre, indoor library, attended lobby, yoga room and fitness center by Iowa Fitness. Ross said parking is on the second and third floor, not underground, because there’s an old train station right next to the building, possibly the former Myrtle Avenue el’s first underground station. He said the station is too short to accommodate today’s cars. BFC Partners is the developer.
Toren: A New Angle on Modern Living
Toren Listings [Halstead] GMAP
150 Myrtle Revealed As Part of Condo-Mania Event [Brownstoner]
New Details on 150 Myrtle Avenue [Brownstoner]

71 Comment

  • If I didn’t know better, I’d think this is a joke.

  • yes! eat me haters.

  • “This one is different.” Classic.

  • I like it great for downtown Brooklyn

  • Yes, it’s special because luxury buyers will flock to the building that contains below-market units, rather than the exclusive all-luxury developments that are foundering nearby. Right?


  • Oh to see the crestfallen faces of those who are drawn by the bucolic artist’s rendering of the building only to arrive at the intersection of Flatbush and Myrtle.

  • …Get ready for the usual chorus of haters…

  • Will be a very nice addition to the Brooklyn skyline.

    If you have something nasty to say about this one, you would have something nasty to say about just about anything.

    And probably do.

  • I’m confused by the acres of open space and parking lots at the base of the building. Doesn’t look much like Downtown Brooklyn.

  • It looks like a dildo, don’t you think? I see all the equipment busy at work on the corner of Flatbush and Myrtle even on Sunday. Never a dull moment in downtown MetroTech.

  • I think this is quite possibly the ugliest high rise I have ever seen. And the rendering makes it look like it is rising up from the verdant pastures of Columbia County.
    I think this must be a joke. Bar code building?

  • ya gotta admit that the rendering is funny though – where are the surrounding buildings, did they buy them all and demo them so that they can add some landscaping! LMAO

  • Whether the building is fabulous or not is debatable. The location is not so good, well, bad.

  • I went to the NY Observer event and the model looks amazing. The other interesting bit was that (according to their model), the streetscape project (installation of new lighting, trees, etc.) would extend down Myrtle as well as Flatbush. Sarah,is that correct?

    My only complaint with the renderings is that they are deceptive in that they don’t capture the serious incline on Flatbush between Myrtle and Willoughby…in real life, the grade of that block looks NOTHING like the rendering.

  • It would be great for Downtown Brooklyn if this got built – and I think it’s actually a cool looking design (or at least a cool looking rendering – who knows what it’ll really look like). But the real question is – has this thing closed on construction financing yet? Because Cappocia does not have deep enough pockets to do this without being heavily leveraged and that’s really hard to right now, especially for condos in downtown Brooklyn. If he doesn’t already have financing in place – I doubt he’ll be able to get it until the economy gets stronger, the recession subsides, and liquidity returns to the financing market, which could take 1-2 years… Can he afford to hold on to the site for that long? I’m surprised they’ve already put units on the market. Looks like they are priced at about $700-800/SF which is right, unless the bubble bursts even further and prices start to sink….

  • To those who say the location is not great so were most other locations before they were gentrified(like Williamsbug or Greenpoint?. Only those without vision see darkness in everything. Can wait to see you jump the bandwagon when downtown Brooklyn becomes the envy of the world.

  • Seriously, the only reason any of us are on this site and commenting is that we are either: unemployed or really old.
    BTW – Brooklyn is wonderful!

  • 1:07, I agree. I have always scratched my head at people how refer to Downtown Brooklyn as a “terrible location”. It may not currently be a great location, but it is an AMAZING location for development…hence all the activity. I guess that’s why all the haters on this board are broke-ass haters and not developers…no vision whatsoever. Downtown Brooklyn has so much going for it, it’s easy to see why its a developers wet dream. This location (i) has 10 subway lines (Q,B,R,M,A,C,1,9,4,5) within a 10 minute WALK (ii) is right at the foot of the Manhattan Bridge (you can be in Manhattan in 10 minutes by car), (iii) is one block from Ft. Greene Park, (iv) is less than 10 minutes walk from the heart of Ft. Greene, (v) is a 10 minute WALK to Brooklyn Heights, Boreum Hill, Cobble Hill, etc. I honestly can not imagine a better (underdeveloped) area in all of Brooklyn.

  • where are all the other buildings. . . are those nice green trees supposed to represent the gas station and car wash

  • But 1:07, the difference is that before they started building the condos in Wiliamsburgh (I don’t know about Greenpoint) a bunch of people came and kind of colonized the area and made it a place people wanted to live. There are a few pretty desperate outposts of human existance right at that spot; and a whole lot of better alternatives within a 1/2 to 1 mile radius. I hope it succeeds, but it has a lot to overcome.

  • A gain for Brooklyn but a future loss for the developer and, at 2am in the morning every night, he knows it.

  • I agree, 1:21. that access to the 1 and 9 trains in downtown Brooklyn is fantastic!

  • Hey 1:27, I’m just curious (A) what are the “desperate outposts of human existence” to which refer (I’m not saying there are not any, I just want to know) and (B) what are the “better alternative” (Again, I’m just curious). The thing about Downtown Brooklyn is that (from a developers point of view) it’s just about as close to a blank canvas as you’re gonna get. Five years ago, this part of Flatbush was mainly gas stations and car washes. There is not displacement or eminent domain issues. It reminds me of Williamsburg 15 years ago when everybody called it a sinkwhole and now it’s (arguably) the hottest part of Brooklyn. I’m not saying this area is or will be anything like Billyburg, rather that in 10 years people may be looking back and marvelling at the transformation.

  • 1:07: you may have a point, but it’s priced like it is already williamsburg and it isn’t. so, if they price them realistically, then yes, it will allow some “frontier” buyers to improve the area. otherwise, it will sit like all the rest…

    “tried and failed? … tried and died”

  • Umm…Iowa Fitness? Has anyone here ever BEEN to Iowa? Fitness is not exactly the word that comes to my mind when I think of Iowa. What’s the draw here?

  • Part of the plan for this building is that they’re going to level all the buildings around it using tax-payer funds and eminent domain. It was Bloomberg’s idea because he wants a golf course there. To get fat Marty Markowitz’s support the mayor and developer promised to build several hot sausage stands in the surrounding acreage.

  • There is no 9 train

    I like this building.

    Williamsburg sucks unless you love williamsburg.With a limit of trains you are forced to hang out in that hood exclusively. Dwntwn Brooklyn has the manhattan accessibility to thrive and succeed. In a bigger way than WillyB could ever.

  • I agree, 2:06.

    Most of the younger people who moved to Williamsburg in the late 90’s and early 2000’s have already left anyway. Or are looking to leave.

    Williamsburg is a place you either love or you don’t, it seems. Very little middle ground.

    I personally have no desire to live there (or really even go there more than twice a year) even though I do appreciate it for its urban ugliness. I don’t, however agree with paying large sums of money to live amidst ugly. I don’t understand the influx of parents moving to Williamsburg. Seems very selfish, because I can think of at least 5 other Brooklyn neighborhoods that seem more suited to raising children.

    Williamsburg is nothing but a brand at this point.

    I liken it to Starbucks. A place I don’t set foot in. The coffee tastes horrible but people still seem to go there.

  • Isn’t a penthouse the top floor? How can you have them on 8 floors?

  • The architect and the artist who did the renderging each took about 30 tabs of acid and our now at a clinic in Switzerland.

  • 2:19 I am a williamsburg lover. it is an amazing neighborhood that offers thing no other Brooklyn neighborhood can come close to – galleries, high end shopping, excellent restaurants, manhattan quality hair salons, great music venues and lovely lounges and bars. as a parent who sold a building in Park Slope, I can tell you that the community of parents is quite strong here.

    There are creative people or people in the associated business end of it, that simply do not want to live around people who are too boring or small minded. We want to raise our children in a different atmosphere.

    Also, compared to much of Brooklyn, you have complete and quick access to Manhattan – including private schools and the great public schools like NEST where many williamsburg parents send their kids.

    Most of Williamsburg is also quiet and not so crowded. Park Slope is a total zoo, and with all the AY construction in it’s future, will become even more congested.

    Also, the waterfront is great, and unlike Dumbo, we do not have 2 loud and smelly bridges or one of the city’s worst housing project in our backyard.

    FYI – Many who have kids and have bought property here have been in neighborhood for years. Not true that everyone has moved away – on the contrary, it’s a booming neighborhood and 20 somethings are buying and renting here still.

    Much of south Park Slope, Carroll Gardens and downtown Brooklyn is way way uglier than Williamsburg too. It all depends on where you live.

  • South Slope isn’t uglier than Williamsburg.

    It’s exactly as ugly as Williamsburg.

    Could be why all the hipsters are moving there.

  • First, this is not a bad location, but be realistic — it’s more than one block to Ft. Greene Park, it’s at least a 10 minute walk to the edges of Boerum Hill and brooklyn heights, so it’s more like 15 mintues to the commercial cores on Smith Street and further down Montague (and probably at least the same to the restaurants on Dekalb).

    Scond, what is getting torn down for this — is this on the east side of the street? Or is this replacing part of Metrotech on the west side? According to the CityMap, it’s right in the middle of Myrtle Avenue next to 4 metrotech, but I don’t see how it fits.

    Third, it’s really ugly and especially not contextual in view of the Metrotech aesthetic (if such a thing exists). If you like architecture that utterly deviates from any hope of operating in harmony with its surroundings, this is it.

  • Anyone who uses the words “colonize”, “establishing a beachhead”, or “pioneering” when describing rich white people moving into New York City neighborhoods after say the Civil War, please do me a favor and punch yourself repeatedly in the face. There were always people living in these neighborhoods–usually black and brown people, who I know, don’t actually count in the Brownstoner world, but people nevertheless.

  • So many amenties bring on high common charges. The CC’s are approaching $1/sqft there.

  • 2:32….You are quite the hypocrite aren’t you…

    First you say Williamsburg has all the finest things that Manhattan has to offer, and then you say Park Slope is a zoo?

    So is Park Slope MORE of a zoo than Manhattan, which is apparently exactly what you want Williamsburg to be like??

    I’d argue that there are equally good galleries, restaurants, shops and certainly schools is many other areas of Brooklyn.

    Sounds like somebody is a little defensive of her rapidly depreciating asset.

  • 2:38: i would like to “pioneer” some sense into you. nobody used any of those exact words in this thread and even if they did, so what? this is a market society and if you can’t afford the changing demographics, you must relocate. if you want socialism, move to europe or something.

  • Speaking of amenities, check out the rendering of the “library.”

    I assume the books are purely decorative since 90% of them are inaccessible to those unable to levitate.

  • The lack of amenities in downtown BK is the biggest drawback I see for these new towers. These new buildings face a challenging geographic predicament. They are walking and/or close subway distance to three great neighborhoods – Fort Green (walk), BK Heights (walk), and Park Slope (two stops on R from Dekalb to Union). Yet they are “roll out of bed” convenient to none. In their favor they are well served by public transportation and by access points to major roads and highways. Overall I think development here is pretty non-controversial. The land being developed is made far more productive by these buildings. There aren’t many full service modern high rise buildings in BK so these will serve an underserved segment of the market. If pricing is wrong, it will be adjusted – as condos or rentals, hardly financial ruin. If I were a buyer I’d hold back for a while but such a decision is one the developers can mitigate – by marketing, pricing, incentives, etc. The projects are nearby, true indeed – yet the projects don’t seem to have derailed Fort Greene or Clinton Hill. Or the numerous neighborhoods in each boro that have survived despite them. We New Yorkers used to have a reputation for toughness … Prices like these were once unthinkable, however, aside from fedder’s type construction, they’re not really that remarkable anymore. Contextually and aesthetically, high rises belong in downtowns. A Skidmore addition to the Brooklyn skyline is not the worst outcome. And for those with square shapped orofices for whom this looks like a dildo, sucks to be you.

  • Is this an April Fools joke? Yikes!

  • Has anybody who applied for the lottery heard anything yet?

  • yes, 3:15. you didn’t win.

  • “what is getting torn down for this — is this on the east side of the street? Or is this replacing part of Metrotech on the west side? According to the CityMap, it’s right in the middle of Myrtle Avenue next to 4 metrotech, but I don’t see how it fits.”

    2:38, This building is east of Metrotech on the east side of Flatbush Ave. A few little stores, a fast food lot, and a grocery store were torn down to make way for development between Flatbush and Asland. But I agree with you either this building is going to be THAT ugly or that is the WORST rendering I have ever seen.

    There are plenty of people living in this area, University Towers, the housing project, some small homes. The difficulty is services such as supermarkets, drug stores, and drycleaners are a longer walk than some residencial areas but they will come in with the new building.

    As for “roll out of bed” convenience 2 words…


  • As for “roll out of bed” convenience 2 words:

    Live elsewhere.

  • People live in lots of non “roll out of bed” places in Manhattan and pay through to nose to live there…

    Avenues C and D.
    Washington Heights
    York Avenue.

    Not everyone needs a Starbucks when they roll out of bed.

  • You’re wrong 3:22 – already one a house in the PACC lottery – just hoping the wife wins one of these.

    Thanks for covering my taxes!

  • 4:03, you already “one” a house? You may want to seek out assistance filling in the application.

  • “Not everyone needs a Starbucks when they roll out of bed.”

    No, but a grocery store might be nice.

    – jerri wank

  • “because there’s an old train station right next to the building, possibly the former Myrtle Avenue el’s first underground station”


    The El had no underground stations, because it was an el. Duh.

    It’s the former Myrtle Ave station on the line that connects to the Manhattan Bridge.

    That said, it’s a shame that they’re building parking at all.

  • Yup Biff you’re correct. I made a typo. Originally wrote “got one”….then changed meant to change it to “won a house” . So sorry jackass.

  • oops another typo…but you still understand that you are a jackass right biff?

  • jerri,

    I wrote the original “roll out of bed” comment and meant it in regards to amenities like dry cleaning, diners, supermarkets, blockbuster, etc. – all services I’d think were more available in those other neighborhoods you list. But don’t get me wrong, these kinds of limitations are a lot easier to get fixed than say living a long walk from the subway.

  • 4:22, you still understand you’re illiterate right?

  • At least he can improve on that Biff. You know the old saying “once a jackass always a jackass”.

  • 4:49, nice try. Thanks for playing. We have some very nice parting gifts for you. See ya!

  • skidmore is an extremely acclaimed and prestigious firm, and I for one am really pleased to see that it is building something close to my house. I think this building looks fantastic–striking, bold, unique, and even sort of echoes the cross-cross bracing of SOM’s masterpiece , the Hanco k tower in Chicago. To compare this building to that turf, the Oro, is ridiculous

  • I meant that TURD The Oro.

  • Rehab, I think you meant that TURD, The What.

    Regardless, I agree with you 100% on this building – it’s fabulous.

  • This…building…frightens me. It is so, so Blade-Runnery. If I had one of those corner apartments with the glass-jutting things, I would spend all my time in an agoraphobic crouch under the blankets.

    On the other hand, my ideal living space is Bilbo Baggin’s house in the Shire.

  • This building is the coolest one to open this year. I was looking into the sales office this weekend and saw an 8 foot model of it, with pieces of the glass/metal wall behind it.

    Its sad, this rendering is an atrocity of whats actually being built.

    …as for williamsburg, you have 1 real train; the L. Has anyone tried the commute lately? You cant even get on a train during rush-hour. Lets see how much better it is after 1500 more people move into the edge.

  • I really like Williamsburg. Very cool neighborhood and surprisingly family oriented. Unfortunately, the L is the only viable train option and it’s a complete disaster! If I lived there, I’d have to walk or drive to work. Downtown Brooklyn has much better train options.

  • I am in love with you zinka for knowing about the old train station.

    8:17: If you are towards the south, you can take the J/M/Z and the G is not so bad during the rush. Other times, it sucks.

  • regarding the lottery, i have a friend who won a chance to buy an undermarket condo. the one bedrooms and studios are only 10% under from their listings. the better deals are the 2br condos. they’re 20% under. so far, the 10 condos they have released are located on the 3rd floor with the parking garage. he’s still not sure if they are worth buying, because the market seems to be softening and there’s so much inventory in the other developments close by. also, the NYT articles was dead wrong about the number of applicants. there were no more than 2000 applications, NOT 10,000. it seems that 10,000 number was exaggerated to create hype.

  • Man oh man, this is one butt fugly building. Damn.

  • Outdoor garden on the 5th and sixth floor??????? it’s a giant skyscraper what the F@#k!!!

  • FYI: Toren is Dutch for tower

  • I think the building is great, but the artist got confused when he did the rendering – it’s supposed to be Iowa Fitness INSIDE the building, not Iowa wide open plains OUTSIDE the building. Could really boost the ethanol production in Brooklyn with all the cornstalks that will be sprouting in that acreage.

  • Has anyone tried walking after dark on Myrtle around Toren? It is quite an experience. I live in Fort Green and after our Jeep was stolen and reported it to the cops, they warned us to never walk around Whitman and Farrugut Public housing after dark, located across the street from the Toren! To get to Dumbo or any banks or shopping on Myrtle you have to walk past the projects.