Progress at Three Downtown Developments


A reader sent in this photo showing the progression of three big downtown developments. In the far left corner, steel is rising at the Oro 2 at 313 Gold Street. In the middle, the Hampton Inn on Tillary is now shrouded in netting. In the foreground, at the intersection of Flatbush Avenue Extension and Tillary, workers are digging the foundation for an as-yet-unnamed hotel and residential building located at 85 Flatbush Avenue Extension. GMAP

20 Comment

  • That’s 85 Flatbush Ave Extension, not 85 Flatbush Ave. Though it would be nice to see the parking lot at 85 Flatbush Ave be replaced by something, too.

  • I hope you will post a link to Warren st. John’s piece in the Times today about how the new, tall buildings in Manhattan are going to block the light in Central Park. I have a sinking, suffocating feeling that the same thing is happening in Brooklyn. Frankly, I think this site itself, which used to be a place where people who loved brownstones (hello, BROWNSTONER) could discuss the neighborhoods and realities of living in an old house. These days, this site just feels like a big ad for new developments. I understand everybody wants their piece of the pie and that means build, build, build. But, for old timers, or people who were drawn to Brooklyn because it seemed empty compared to the hurly burly of Manhattan’s congested streets, the new Brooklyn is a bummer. Let’s hope Deblasio is a little less pro-development than his predecessor. And let’s hope this site considers restoring its old forum, so people could share notes. Not browse listings.

    • I couldn’t agree more with your comments especially how commericalized this site has gotten. One big ad for the impending real estate interests dominating brooklyn now.

    • So move! There were few to zero Brownstones in this part of Brooklyn. This part of Brooklyn is filled with mass transit and walkable commuting options. There is no greener, more efficient or appropriate location in practically all of NYC for density. I say build higher

      • Building higher or not higher to me isn’t the problem. There are plenty of wonderful examples where has been done well, such as Chicago, NYC., London, etc. Brooklyn is getting the ghetto fabulous tower treatment, with new construction at it’s worst in terms quality of material and design concept. My little brother could probably design better towers. Have you seen the hotels by Bridge St., it’s like watching the 1920’s Birthday cake zoning envelope buildings. Truly shameful for architects. At least they were using better more lux materials during the 20’s though. These buildings have been up 2 or 3 years and already look like crap.

    • Hey Cobblebill, I completely sympathize with your argument here as a longtime Brooklyn resident. The quality of development that has taken place throughout Brooklyn has largely been lack luster. One of the only nice developments I’ve seen taken place exist at a smaller scale. I would have to say the State Street Town homes are really quite beautiful to see in person (Not a real-estate plug here). All of the horrid looking hotel and condos are running or skyline. I’m no against towers, but they should be iconic beautiful structures. There plenty examples in the world such as Mies Van Der Rohe’s Chicago towers, The Shard in London by SOM. Development when done well doesn’t have to be bad, much of what we enjoy about Brooklyn today exist because of Developers. They have the ability to do amazing things when utilized properly. I see this blog as an opportunity to draw communities of Brooklynites together to rally towards a better Brooklyn.

  • Thanks Bens, street name fixed. Cobblebill, thank you for your comment. Re the Forum, it has been restored.

  • Well said, cobblebill! In fact, you took the words right off my keyboard. I was planning on posting the very same sentiments. When exactly did this sea change of focus occur on Brownstoner? I mean, I know we all saw ad-revenue based changes slowly creeping in over the years. But, suddenly, I’m feeling that the entire point of this blog has changed completely. Instead of brownstones and the neighborhoods they define, this site has become a platform for new high rise developments and the neighborhoods they destroy! As far as I’m concerned, the only saving graces on Brownstoner these days are MM’s posts, the Forum and the Upstater and some of the Queens stuff. Most of the rest of it appears to be content bought and paid for by the real estate and big development lobbies. So disappointing.

    • Brooklynista and Cobblebill, is it possible our coverage reflects the fact that there are more new developments in Brooklyn to cover? The massive amount of new development in Brooklyn is a major story. I’ve been reading since the end of 2007, and as far as I know, the types of posts we do has not changed. I’m not even sure the mix or ratio has changed, although we recently cut the 3 pm Development Watch post, so that’s one fewer dedicated time slot to development. We’ve got a really exciting (in my opinion) renovation blog starting soon. Is there a specific type of post we used to do that you don’t see any more or you want to see more of? Thanks.

  • Brownstoner has changed as Brooklyn has changed. And it has a responsibility to cover what is happening, and their is more construction now than in many years. High rise is happening, with more to come. Of course the vast majority of bklyn is houses and 4-6 story apt buildings. That won’t change, I hope.

    And this resi and commercial market appears to be the tighest since the artificial shortage of
    the Depression followed by World War II. So the story is different than 2008.

    I miss bucolic too.

    • Not true, Chris. Brownstoner started off as a blog devoted to the brownstone movement. People who loved old rowhouses were the target audience and, imo, there was no need or obligation to change its mission just because Bloomie went wild in feeding NY’s modern development frenzy. Not unless of course, JB harbored some desire to actually make some money at this effort! lol So, if that’s the real reason why following the real estate industry and big time developers seems to have taken over this site, I get it. I’m just not happy with the change.

      To be honest, I don’t have a problem with JB and crew getting knee deep into the Brooklyn development frenzy. Nor am I opposed to all new development or to architectural change. But I do wish that a whole new blog had been rolled out for such a purpose instead of replacing the Brownstoner that used to be. Call it BK Developer or BK RE Watch or some such thing. Whatever. The point is, there remains a steady core of folk who love Brooklyn for its old row houses of stone, or brick, or wood. I’m talking about real fans of freestanding vics and carriage houses and all other manner of older, low-rise residential structures in family-oriented nabes.

      As far as what I’d like to see more of — I agree not only with the call for the return of the Insider but also for the Outsider (garden stuff) as well. I could even enjoy a regular feature on architectural styles which could work as companion material to MM’s Walkabouts or BOTDs. Or how about expanding Upstater to include MM’s new territory in Troy? Would also like to see the Forum expand. Maybe you could introduce subsections of it could focus specifically on kitchens, baths, decks, mechanicals, etc. — similar to how those topics get treated on the Garden Web fora. Since you asked, just sayin’. :-)

  • Uh oh, what happened to the edit function? Got to take back my suggestion on how to improve the Forum. Obviously, I’ve not visited that area in a while.(Must be getting too sidetracked with the all development stuff on the front pages!) lol