Clearly timed to coincide with the upcoming election, The New York Times today tries to grade the effectiveness of Mayor Bloomberg’s pro-development strategy over the past eight years. They don’t say so explicitly, but it looks to us like the authors would not give it anything higher than, say, a C-. The article claims that the administration’s approach was based on the simple idea that the city needed to grow in order to both survive and thrive. So the mayor set out to create opportunities for developers and make it easier for them to finance their projects; to that end, more than a hundred neighborhoods, or one-fifth of the city, were rezoned and low-interest bonds were made much more accessible. (To be fair in recent years, there have been several rezoning initiatives to limit the scale of potential development.) The most visible change, the article notes, is not in Manhattan, where tall towers have always risen, but in outlying neighborhoods. The writers use City Point, the large-scale development project on the site of the former Albee Square Mall now set to receive $20 million in recovery bonds, and Downtown Brooklyn as a whole as Exhibit A in their case against Bloomberg’s vision, noting that the rezoning of Downtown Brooklyn was originally aimed at created new office towers and that none have materialized. Personally, we think it’s too early to pronounce Downtown Brooklyn a failure by any stretch. The mini building boom in the area, which gave Brooklyn one of its more interesting new pieces of architecture in the form of The Toren, should reach a tipping point this winter as two gigantic new rental buildings come online. The big test will then be whether or not a critical mass of the kinds of businesses that upscale residents want will follow: restaurants, gourmet food markets, wine stores, etc. That patient view is urged in the article by two not-impartial voices, former Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff and EDC head Seth Pinsky. For good or bad, the rezonings will probably be [the mayor's] most significant development legacy, said Jonathan Bowles, director of the Center for an Urban Future, an independent research group. They’ve never got as much attention as the large-scale development projects he was pushing, like the Olympic stadium, but the rezonings are what will ultimately transform a large chunk of the city. Developers will be rebuilding on these for years to come.
A Stalled Vision: Big Development as City’s Future [NY Times]
This one-bedroom co-op at 202 Baltic Street in Cobble Hill hit the market in September with an asking price of $625,000 and was reduced to $599,000 in October. The top-floor pad is attractive but lacks any particular wow factor other than the private roof deck, which looks great. The 660-square-foot unit comes with a monthly […]
This one-bedroom co-op for rent in Prospect Heights is cute and convenient. The bedroom is nicely sized, but not everyone will love that lime green wall. The kitchen looks incredibly well-organized and has relatively new looking stainless steel appliances. The bathroom is pretty small, but that’s less of an issue in a one-bedroom. Overall, the […]
Construction started Thursday on a three-story townhouse for one family at 218 Greene Avenue, according to a tipster. Another reader sent in the photo above. It’s rare to see a new single family house going up. Much more typical are three-story, three-family Fedders buildings. The architect is Gerald Caliendo, whose portfolio of single family residences shows […]
Rents are still increasing in Brooklyn, with the biggest increases happening in formerly affordable areas such as Bed Stuy and Bushwick, according to two reports out today. In Bed Stuy, average rents were up 15.6 percent to $1,835 in November, vs. $1,587 in the same period last year, according to MNS. Over in Bushwick, average rents […]
Netting is up and demo has started at 10 MetroTech, aka 623 and 625 Fulton Street, according to a tipster, who sent in this photo. A demo permit was issued in November. As we noted in June, the Forest City Ratner-owned building will be torn down and replaced by apartments. No new building permit has […]