2015_07_26 250 Ashland Place 17

After many years stuck in development, the BAM Cultural District is starting to take shape as several towers in the master plan start to rise. One of the farthest along, BAM North Site 1, at 250 Ashland Place, has fewer than 10 floors to go before topping out at 52 stories.

Developed by a partnership between the Gotham Organization and DT Salazar along with the Department of Housing Preservation and Development and the NYC Housing Development Corporation on city-owned land, it will offer a significant amount of affordable housing and cultural programming.

FXFOWLE is designing the 568-foot tower, which features a bundle of rectangular volumes clad in glass and bricks of different color to distinguish the separate extruded forms. Bricks on the central volume facing Fulton Street are dark maroon, while the tower elements facing Ashland Place and Rockwell Place are light tan. (more…)


After nearly 13 years of planning, one of Brooklyn’s most interesting new towers is finally on the rise. Construction is now up to the third floor at Fort Greene’s 286 Ashland Place, better known as BAM South, where developer Two Trees and architect Enrique Norten of TEN Arquitectos are creating a mix of cultural programming, affordable housing, market rate apartments, and landscaped public outdoor space.

In 2008, Two Trees replaced a previous developer and plans for a seven-story building, as readers will recall. The 32-story mixed-use development will bring 384 apartments, 21,000-square-feet of retail, and 45,000 square feet of cultural space. Of the apartments, 77 will be affordable.

A branch of the Brooklyn Public Library will occupy a space at the podium. There will also be elevated public plazas, echoing elements of the previous design from 2002. (more…)

15 lafayette avenue fort greene rendering

The city is moving ahead with an affordable housing deal hammered out during the Bloomberg administration, and plans to sell the prime Fort Greene site on which it will be built to developer Jonathan Rose Companies for only $1, The New York Daily News revealed. The de Blasio administration is also pressuring the developer to keep the apartments at 15 Lafayette Avenue, also known as BAM North Site II, affordable beyond the promised 30 years, the paper said.

It appears the total number of apartments may have changed since we last reported on the plan, in October of 2013. There will be 123 units, all rentals, with 73 at market rate and 50 set aside as affordable housing, according to the story. Of the latter, 25 units will go to those making 60 percent or less of the Area Median Income (AMI), and 24 units will be for renters making up to 130 percent AMI.

Plans still call for 2,800 square feet of retail space, most likely a restaurant, and 19,000 square feet of cultural space. Originally Eyebeam Art + Technology Center and Science Gallery International were supposed to occupy that cultural space, but apparently the deal fell apart.

The site is located just across the street from BAM’s Peter Jay Sharpe building at 30 Lafayette. Construction is expected to begin this spring and wrap by the end of 2016.

City to Sell Prime Land for $1 to Developer for 49 Below-Market-Rate Units [NYDN] GMAP
City Releases Rendering for Last BAM District Build, Announces Developer [Brownstoner]
Rendering by Dattner Architects/Bernheimer Architecture 

250 ashland place rendering 92014

New York YIMBY dug up a rendering of 250 Ashland Place, aka BAM North Site 1, we haven’t seen before, and it is looking sleek.

The image shows the south side of the 52-story mixed-income tower, which is rising at the corner of Fulton Street in the BAM Cultural District, as it will be seen from Lafayette Avenue, behind Theater for a New Audience. FXFOWLE is designing the 586-unit high-rise, which will have 281 affordable units and 305 market rate ones.

Gotham Organization and DT Salazar are developing the project on a former city-owned parking lot.

New Look: 250 Ashland Place in Downtown Brooklyn [NYY]
City Plans 52-Story High Rise for BAM North Site I in BAM Cultural District in Fort Greene [Brownstoner] GMAP

bam south fort greene 82014

Excavation is well underway at the BAM South site on the corner of Flatbush and Lafayette Avenues, where Two Trees is building a 31-story apartment tower. The wedge-shaped lot at 286 Ashland Place will eventually house a 364-foot tall building with 384 apartments, 83 enclosed parking spots, ground floor commercial space and about 45,000 square feet of cultural and community space.

Ismael Levya Architects and Ten Arquitectos are designing the project, which will have 77 affordable units. A Brooklyn Public Library branch will take the community space, and there will be a large public courtyard along Lafayette and Flatbush Avenues. Signs on the construction fence predict the project will finish by August 2016. Click through to see the construction fence rendering by Ten Arquitectos.

BAM South Coverage [Brownstoner] GMAP



The city and a group of developers are planning to spend $3,000,000 on fancy sidewalks to demarcate the newly renamed Brooklyn Cultural District, aka the area around Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) in Fort Greene. The new sidewalks will have moody footlights embedded in them and, in some areas, a design scored into the tinted cement. Above, before-and-after images showing the new sidewalks. There will also be new tree pits, trees and benches.

The idea is to let people know they’re in the Brooklyn Cultural District, both The Brooklyn Paper and Crain’s reported. The sidewalk revamp will take several years.

The Downtown Brooklyn Partnership helped push the proposal through the review process, said Brooklyn Paper. Half the cost will be fronted by developers who are putting up new buildings in the area. The other half will come from the city.

Do you think this will enhance the area?

Fort Greene Gets Fancy-Schmancy Sidewalks [Brooklyn Paper]
Brooklyn Cultural District Will Get a Makeover [Crain’s]
Image by WXY Architecture and Urban Design via Brooklyn Paper

The Downtown Brooklyn Partnership is looking for civil engineers and landscape architects to redesign and reopen the currently closed BAM Park at Fulton and Lafayette, according to an RFP issued Monday. The 14,000-square-foot triangular park sits on top of the Fulton Street G train top, which has apparently made the park unsafe for pedestrians.

The chosen engineers and architects will have to come up with a plan to repair the “subsurface conditions” which currently make the park unsafe to walk on. The plan should also strengthen the park’s visual link to the surrounding neighborhood and create welcoming places for pedestrians and possible performance space.

Plans should include measures to protect the subway infrastructure and the existing adult trees. The Department of Housing Preservation and Development will oversee design and construction, and the Parks Department will maintain the space. The revamp will take about nine months, according to HPD. Proposals are due by February 6.

Ismael Levya Architects recently filed new building applications for Two Trees’ 31-story residential tower at the BAM South site on the corner of Lafayette and Flatbush Avenue. The plans for the wedge-shaped tower development at 286 Ashland Place pretty much line up with what the City Council approved back in June. The 364-foot building will have 381 units, 83 enclosed parking spaces and 280,346 square feet of residential space. There will also be 21,928 square feet of commercial space on the lower floors and 45,148 square feet of community space, which could become a new location for the Brooklyn Public Library. Two Trees has promised the building will have 60 affordable apartments and a 10,000 square foot public plaza, which is scheduled for a hearing before the Public Design Commission today.

Rendering by Ten Arquitectos

The architects for BAM North Site 1 unveiled the plans for a city-sponsored 52-story tower last night in the BAM Cultural District at a Community Board 2 meeting. The high rise at 598 Fulton will have 586 apartments total: 281 “affordable” residences, including 117 inclusionary housing units, and 305 market rate units. The building will be made of three different-colored materials to make it blend in better with the neighborhood. It will also have a podium that extends out from the base tower (close up pictures after the jump). There will be 10,800 square feet of ground-floor retail on Fulton Street, and 8,000 square feet of cultural office space on the second floor. The building won’t have a garage because it’s being built directly on top of the subway.

Builder Gotham Organization is expected to break ground on the site by the end of this year or early next year, and construction will last three years. Gotham wants the project to meet the criteria for Enterprise Green Communities, a green building program that’s somewhat similar to LEED.

FXFOWLE Architects designed the building, which will be located between Rockwell and Ashland Place, next to Theater for a New Audience. The developer is BAM Go Developers LLC, a subsidiary of Gotham. Jonathan Rose Companies, chosen yesterday to develop BAM North Site II, may also consult on the building process.

The city chose the income levels for the affordable units, which are 65 percent of Area Median Income, 135 percent AMI, and 165 percent AMI. They range from studios to three-bedrooms. Some community board members voiced objections to the city’s definition of “affordable” and “middle income,” which ranged from a studio for someone making $30,000 (65 percent AMI) to a three- or four-bedroom for a family of six making $178,000 (165 percent AMI).

During construction, neighbors can report complaints through a hotline or an email address, and a website will have construction updates and notify residents if something unusual is planned. Gotham expects to close one lane of traffic on Fulton, Rockwell and Ashland Place and close the sidewalk on Rockwell during construction.

The picture above is the building’s front (from Fulton), but click through to see more renderings and angles of the proposed building. GMAP



The City yesterday announced a developer for the last undeveloped property in the BAM Cultural District, and the City’s Housing Preservation and Development posted renderings of the planned building on its Facebook page. The somewhat playful looking boxy building has projections and set backs; windows of varying sizes create a geometric pattern on the facade. The developer for BAM North Site II is Jonathan Rose Companies; Dattner Architects, Bernheimer Architecture, and SCAPE Landscape Architects are handling the design.

The building, located on Lafayette between Ashland Place and Rockwell Place in Fort Greene, will house 109 apartments, as well as Chelsea nonprofit Eyebeam Art + Technology Center, Science Gallery International, and a Craft-branded restaurant, Curbed reported. Forty percent of the units will be “affordable” and 60 percent market rate.

Tonight at 6 pm, FXFOWLE Architects will present its building plans for BAM North Site I at 598 Fulton Street to Community Board Two. What do you think of the above design?

Developer Chosen for Final DoBro Cultural District Site [Curbed]
Bloomberg Taps Team to Spearhead BAM North Development [Crain’s]
Rendering by Dattner Architects and Bernheimer Architecture via HPD

The historic Strand Theater at 647 Fulton in Fort Greene will re-open tomorrow as the BRIC Arts/Media House, a 40,000-square-foot multi-disciplinary arts and media center. Architect Thomas Leeser, who also designed the expansion of the Museum of the Moving Image in Long Island City, supervised the $35,000,000 renovation of the 94-year-old theater. The new space includes a 3,000-square foot contemporary art gallery, a flexible performance space that can accommodate 240 to 400 people, a glass-walled television studio visible from the lobby, an artist work studio, a public lobby with a café and a state-of-the-art TV broadcasting center. The lobby cafe is an outpost of Park Slope’s Hungry Ghost, and the lobby opens onto a series of cement steps furnished with cushions called The Stoop, which will feature free programming for all ages. And Urban Glass, an organization dedicated to giving artists access to glass-making facilities, has a 17,000-square-foot glass-making studio inside the BRIC House. Strand Theater was originally built in 1919 and has gone through various incarnations as a bowling alley, movie theater and a print shop.

Click through to see more pictures of the ultra-modern interior and the new art exhibitions inside!

Building of the Day: 647 Fulton Street [Brownstoner]
Progress on BRIC Arts Center Near BAM [Brownstoner]
Transformation of the Strand Theatre Coming Soon [Brownstoner]
Photos two, five, six, eight, 11, 12 and 13 by Jenna Salvagin for BRIC


BAM President Karen Brooks Hopkins today unveiled a new mural and a bike park at 31 Lafayette Avenue, next to the BAM Howard Gilman Opera House. The mural was designed by Brooklyn artist KAWS; the bike rack, which spells out the words “Bold winK” in front of the mural, is the work of David Byrne, formerly of the Talking Heads. Fiedler Marciano Architecture designed the 20-foot-wide-by-24-foot-high temporary wall, which will feature installations by various local artists after KAWS. GMAP