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The mudslinging has begun over construction delays at Atlantic Yards, with Skanska and Forest City Ratner trading lawsuits today over issues at the first tower, B2. Forest City accuses Skanska of massive delays and cost overruns amounting to tens of millions of dollars, according to a complaint filed today in Manhattan Supreme Court. Last week, Skanska shut down its modular apartment factory at the Navy Yard and halted construction on Dean Street. Work began on the 32-story, 363-unit modular B2 tower in December 2012, and it’s risen to about 10 stories so far.

Forest City wants a judge to order Skanska to restart construction and re-open the factory. The work suspension has left 150 union employees out of work and — here’s a juicy detail revealed in the lawsuit — the project’s construction lender has temporarily stopped giving funds for a loan until it receives a new anticipated completion date, the Daily News reported. (more…)

crown heights carnival

If you live in Crown Heights, you’ve seen the bright, elaborate costumes, the stiltwalkers and the steel drums that herald the coming of the West Indian Day Parade, which happens Monday along Eastern Parkway. There’s a full schedule of events happening all weekend at the Brooklyn Museum, starting tonight with a “Caribbean Woodstock” concert featuring a long list of popular Caribbean and West Indian musicians. Tomorrow there’s a free showcase of young reggae, steel-pan, rap, dance and spoken word performers in the afternoon, and a big brass and reggae concert is slated for the evening. (more…)

higgins hall 61 st james place pratt bryan chang

Pratt is kicking off the launch of its new MFA writing program with performances and readings from local artists tomorrow. Performers include Jacques Servin, cofounder of the Yes Men; LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs, interdisciplinary poet and sound artist; Celina Su, author and Associate Professor of Political Science at CUNY; Mendi Obadike, poet and a member of Pratt’s writing faculty; and Keith Obadike, composer and sound designer teaching at William Patterson University. The event will take place tomorrow from 6 to 7:30 pm at the auditorium in Pratt’s Higgins Hall at 61 St James Place (pictured).

Photo by Bryan Chang

4th avenue 9th street

The MTA announced last week that the lengthy renovation of the 4th Avenue – 9th Street subway station will continue with the closure of the northbound R train stairway on the northeast corner for three months, beginning September 1. It’s going to replace the staircase. After that work finishes, the MTA will close the southbound R train entrance on the northwest corner, in order to replace that staircase.

Councilmember Brad Lander released a statement about it today, chastising the MTA for blowing all of its deadlines and not communicating with the community about construction plans.“While I am glad that the MTA is making necessary investments in our public infrastructure, I am disappointed that the delays plaguing the Culver Viaduct Rehabilitation will now cause more commuters to regularly traverse a construction zone,” Lander said in the press release.

Photo by Gryffindor via Wikimedia Commons

kings theater restored ceiling matt lambros

After forty years of abandonment, the Loew’s Kings Theatre in Flatbush will re-open in January 2015 with newly restored interiors and 3,000 seats, according to a press release spotted by Gothamist. The theater will host more than 200 performances a year across a variety of genres, including comedy, theater, dance, and popular music. Designed by Rapp and Rapp, the theater opened in 1929 and featured high curved ceilings, ornate plater walls, gold-leaf ornament and crystal chandeliers, all of which have been restored or faithfully recreated.

Martinez+Johnson Architecture, who have restored historic theaters across the country, are leading the two-year-long restoration project. The theater closed its doors in 1977, was acquired by the city in 1983, and sat collecting dust at 1027 Flatbush Avenue until restoration work began last year. GMAP

Loew’s Kings Theatre In Brooklyn Will Reopen Next Year [Gothamist]

Photo by Matt Lambros of After the Final Curtain via Facebook

groundswell esteban del valle 8202014

Young artists from Brownsville teamed up with local muralist Esteban del Valle to paint a mural about the “prison industrial complex” on the side of a supermarket on Junius Street. The all-male crew of teen artists spent three weeks in July developing the mural’s themes and designing it, and then another three weeks painting the wall with del Valle’s help.

Arts non-profit Groundswell organized the project as part of its Summer Leadership Institute, which brings together young artist and professional muralists to create powerful murals in neighborhoods across the city. This mural “aims to inspire a sense of self-empowerment and agency by engaging youth as agents of social change and active community contributors,” according to Groundswell. The young artists and del Valle will gather to dedicate the mural on August 28 at 2 pm at 417 Junius Street.

green-wood cemetery battle of brooklyn

Brooklyn Bridge Park and Green-Wood Cemetery are both holding re-enactments and activities to commemorate the 238th anniversary of the Battle of Brooklyn, the largest battle of the American Revolution. On Saturday afternoon, reenactors from Glover’s Marblehead Regiment will show how sailors saved George Washington’s army during the battle. You can watch them from 12 to 2 pm on Pebble Beach in Brooklyn Bridge Park.  (more…)

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When we biked down Cadman Plaza East in Brooklyn Heights today, Department of Environmental Protection workers were tearing up the road to repair the sewers. Workers onsite told us that they expect the project to take anywhere from three to six months. They also said they’re going to repaint the bike lane that runs next to the courthouse.

Later in the year, they plan on doing work on Red Cross Place and the southbound section of Adams Street, next to the Brooklyn Bridge approach. This section of Cadman Plaza East is closed to traffic. Cyclists who take it to get out of Dumbo will have to find an alternate route for the next few months.

74 kent street greenpoint

Developer Caerus Group is in contract to buy one of the landmarked Eberhard Pencil Factory buildings at 74 Kent Street in Greenpoint for “close to” $8,000,000, according to a company spokesperson. They plan to restore the vacant building and convert it to office space, much like the Kickstarter HQ next door at 58 Kent.

(more…)

south brooklyn shakespeare

Take a walk down 5th Avenue in Park Slope Friday night, and you’ll find a free performance of Romeo and Juliet, lots of food and drink from local restaurants, live music and sales at shops on 5th and 7th avenues. The Park Slope 5th Avenue BID is hosting a Summer Stroll between Dean and Sterling Streets from 5 to 9 pm tomorrow and next Friday. And South Brooklyn Shakespare will perform Romeo and Juliet for free at 5th and Dean, tomorrow at 7 pm.

coney island whip postcard

Green-Wood Cemetery will host an exhibit next month celebrating the life of William F. Mangels, the master mechanic and designer of several turn-of-the-century Coney Island rides, including The Whip, The Tickler, The Wave Pool, and The Human Roulette Wheel.

“William F. Mangels: Amusing the Masses on Coney Island and Beyond” will feature plenty of historical Coney Island artifacts, such as a Marcus Illions carousel horse, original sketches and vintage photos,  a 22-foot-long shooting gallery, a Whip car, a Pony Cart, a Speed Boat, and fire engines. The exhibit will open September 7 in Green-Wood’s chapel and run through October 26.

Image via Green-Wood Cemetery

856 washington avenue prospect heights

Trader Joe’s is supposedly planning to open in the old Greenpoint Savings Bank building at 856 Washington Avenue between Lincoln Place and Eastern Parkway, according to an anonymous source in the neighborhood who blabbed to FIPS. Apparently the Capital One there now is closing.

As well, Key Food across the street will become a Duane Reade, the source told FIPS. Trader Joe’s does love an old bank, as FIPS points out — its Cobble Hill location is in the former South Brooklyn Savings Institution on Court Street. What do you think? Have you heard anything?

Rumorsville: Trader Joe’s Coming to Washington Avenue? [FIPS] GMAP
Photo by Google Maps