Twin apartment buildings designed by prolific Queens-based architect Gerald Caliendo are rising at 9 and 11 Orient Avenue in East Williamsburg. The site was previously home to a 19th century Italianate wood-frame house and garage.

Like the development now sweeping Flatbush, many apartment buildings have replaced older frame houses on large lots in this section of East Williamsburg in the last decade. The most notable to meet the wrecking ball was a Second Empire mansion on the same block at 59 Orient Avenue that starred in the film “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” then was taken over by squatters.

The film’s director, Michael Gondry, reportedly lived on the block, but didn’t save it. It was demolished in 2010 and is now an eight-unit rental building. (more…)


Brick veneer and window glass are marching up the sides of the Oosten, the international luxury development surrounded on three sides by Hasidic apartment buildings on the waterfront in South Williamsburg. Designed by rising Dutch superstar Piet Boon, developed by Beijing-based Xinyuan Real Estate Co.’s U.S. subsidiary XIN Development, and marketed to overseas Chinese, the building at 429 Kent Avenue occupies the entire block, with a total of 216 units, including 15 townhouses.

Since launching sales 10 months ago, in September, exactly half of the units — 108 — are now in contract or closed, a spokesman for the Oosten let us know when we inquired. Four are townhouses.

The in-land units — the ones with no water views — are furthest along, construction wise, and cluster along South 8th Street and Wythe Avenue. Their views are of neighboring massive brick apartments with the tell-tale stepped balconies for celebrating the harvest festival of Sukkot characteristic of this area.

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A Hasidic development under construction next door to The Oosten last year



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…)


A 100 percent affordable building development that seemed to be stalled recently broke ground, only to be hit with a stop worker. The project, at 816 Washington Avenue in Prospect Heights, is a rebuild of a rent-regulated mixed-use building that burned down in 2010.

A new building has been in the works here since at least 2012, but construction didn’t start until late spring. In early June, the DOB issued a stop work order for the site because digging for the foundation was undermining the building next door, records show.

The digging was “contrary to plan” and the “sides of the excavation [were] not protected,” according to the DOB. The owner, developer Larry Hirschfield of ELH Management, was ordered to backfill “as needed” and install monitoring equipment at the site. (more…)


After a few months of slow progress while the foundation was going in, the first floor is poured and the steel skeleton has reached its full height of two stories at 247 Bedford Avenue, the putative future site of Apple’s first Brooklyn store.

As readers will recall, Apple reportedly signed a long-term lease for a 20,000-square-foot store at the corner pictured above in December, according to the New York Post.

In May, a sign advertising retail space available in the building went up on the corner of the site, causing a Brownstoner reader to wonder if Apple’s plans had changed. We reached out to the brokers at Lee & Associates for comment but never heard back. (more…)


Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams tweeted that more than five miles of “unattended” sidewalk shedding has been dismantled at 17 NYCHA developments in Brooklyn over the past 18 months.

If you live in New York, you know sidewalk sheds. They’re the pipe-and-plywood structures built to protect people on the street (from accidents like this fatal one at Christ Church several years ago) while a building is under construction. (more…)


Workers were putting in the foundation at 181 Front Street in Dumbo when we passed by recently. Retaining walls are up in some places, and workers were fashioning the rebar reinforcements throughout the site.

This is a large and prominent project that will transform this block of Dumbo when it’s finished. It takes up a good chunk of the block and will rise 12 stories with 105 luxury rentals and retail on the ground floor.

Twenty percent of the units will be affordable, according to The Real Deal. It will also house a gym and children’s playroom, according to permits.

The foundation of the building is so deep, in part, to make room for a parking garage — a rare amenity in this neck of Brooklyn, where the cost of parking has reached $425 a month.

181 Front Street is actually part of a bigger project to convert a landmarked day light factory at 200 Water Street, on the other side of the block, into condos. The architect on both projects is Ariel Aufgang and the developers are Megalith Capital Management and Urban Realty Partners. Both properties belonged to the Jehovah’s Witnesses, as we have reported. (more…)


The site at 153-157 Remsen Street is finally seeing some action, with construction workers buzzing all around the lot where three decrepit buildings were demolished this past year. A rendering for the 19-story residential “Remsen Apartments,” designed by Perkins Eastman affiliate S9 Architecture, was posted nearby along with a projected completion date of December 2016. (more…)

Concrete workers belonging to the New York City District Council of Carpenters went on strike today at roughly 30 sites around the city, including Brooklyn’s nearly complete Ava DoBro at 100 Willoughby Street and the future Pod Hotel at 626 Driggs Avenue.

The Council is protesting what they say is an unfair contract proposed by the Cement League, a group of contractors who hire Council workers to build the concrete skeletons of high-rise structures. These two Brooklyn buildings got caught in the middle.

Brownstoner reached Elizabeth McKenna, a spokesperson for the NYC District Council of Carpenters, by phone. McKenna said that the Cement League was not sensitive to the Council’s needs, even after being offered a 25 percent decrease in Council wages. (more…)

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21 Commercial Street

After years of debate and a lengthy approval process, Greenpoint Landing is starting to take shape on the Brooklyn waterfront. Developer Greenpoint Landing Associates has tapped Handel Architects with the master plan and the design of the buildings in the first phase of the project. L + M Development is a development partner on the first three affordable buildings under construction.

The first site, 21 Commercial Street, has topped out. More on that below. Immediately to the south, construction appears to be imminent on the third affordable building, at 5 Blue Slip.

The green construction fence is up, and a previously unpublished rendering has been posted. Read and see more below.

Greenpoint Landing Coverage [Brownstoner] (more…)


The Lefferts Place Mews, a collection of old-school-looking townhomes that are actually condominium apartments, is coming along nicely at 76-88 Lefferts Place in Clinton Hill, we saw when we stopped by recently to snap some photos.

The brownstone and red brick façade has gone up, the windows are in, and workers were just starting on the cornice. The collection of four buildings with a total of 31 units launched sales in October, starting at $625,000, as we reported at the time. (more…)

Southwest corner from John Street.

The condo building going up at 1 John Street in Dumbo has almost topped out and curtain wall installation has begun. A joint venture between Alloy Development and Monadnock Development, the 42-unit, 12-story condominium is one of three projects currently under construction within the confines of Brooklyn Bridge Park.

While the larger project to the south, the Pierhouse and 1 Hotel, has drawn vehement criticism and lawsuits — now resolved — 1 John Street has flown somewhat under the radar. (more…)