Social service agency Brooklyn Community Services has struck a deal with developer Louis V. Greco Jr. to redevelop its downtown Brooklyn headquarters. The plan will add seven stories to the existing seven-story building while preserving its historic facade, according to a press release sent out by the firms and New York City Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Alicia Glen Thursday.

BCS will retain its offices in the form of a condo, and Greco will own the rest, including 106 apartments, some of which will be affordable. How much Greco is paying to buy the property was not revealed, and nothing has hit public records yet. BCS said it will use the proceeds to “serve its broader mission throughout Brooklyn.”

Some aspects of the plan had already leaked out in the form of Building Department filings and a rendering, above, which New York YIMBY published last month. The Wall Street Journal also wrote about the deal Thursday.

YIMBY didn’t like the PTAC units, but on the whole we think the addition looks pretty decent, and won’t be all that noticeable from the street anyway. (Click through to see a photo of the building in 2007.) What do you think of it?

Rendering from Heights Advisors via NYY; photo below by Scott Bintner for PropertyShark


city point phase 2 downtown brooklyn 12015

Construction of City Point’s Phase 2 appears to be chugging along, with the tallest residential tower reaching 30 stories out of a planned 43. Workers have installed facade and windows on several of the lower floors and part of the retail base.

By the time construction wraps, Phase 2 will include a five-story, 650,000-square-foot mall and 690 apartments, 125 of which will be affordable. The smaller of the two Cook Fox-designed towers will reach 19 stories and is being developed by BFC Partners. Brodsky Organization is developing the 30-story tower.

The first part of the megaproject at 1 Dekalb Avenue opened in 2012 with Century 21 and Armani Exchange as anchor tenants. The all-residential Phase 3 portion is supposed to wrap by 2020, The New York Observer said in September.

A few more photos after the jump.

City Point Coverage [Brownstoner]



Developer Rabsky Group has chosen ODA Architecture to design the first of at least 10 mixed-use buildings planned for the massive Rheingold Brewery redevelopment in Bushwick, according to the first application for permits, filed yesterday. ODA is known for its designs featuring assemblages of boxes, and is quickly becoming one of the top firms designing in Brooklyn, with numerous projects in Williamsburg, Fort Greene, Clinton Hill and Crown Heights.

No renderings are out for this project yet, but the permit specifies a seven-story building with 398 units at 10 Montieth Street, as New York YIMBY was the first to report. The building will take up nearly an entire block, with about 270,000 square feet of space, including 265,000 square feet for apartments and 5,000 square feet for retail.

That leads YIMBY to speculate the apartments, with an average of less than 700 square feet each, will be rentals. There will also be parking for 204 bikes and 224 cars, a gym, a screening room, and outdoor space. The Schedule A specifies 26 apartments will be in the cellar, which if it’s not a mistake is certainly unusual.

ODA Project Planned for Rheingold Brewery Site in Bushwick [NYY] GMAP
Bing map via NYY


Italian developer Est4te Four, which is buying into Red Hook in a big way, has released more renderings for the massive office complex it plans at 202 Coffey Street, and also closed on more property.

In December, its purchase of 62 Ferris Street closed for $16,000,000, The Brooklyn Eagle reported. The Eagle also published these additional renderings. Click through to see more.

We previously reported 62 Ferris Street was in contract here, and published three other renderings here.

What do you think of these new renderings? Will Est4te Four soon become to Red Hook what Two Trees is to Dumbo?

Est4te Four Buys Yet Another Red Hook Development Site [Eagle]
Est4te Four Coverage [Brownstoner]



Construction in New York City is booming, with the number of new building permits filed in 2014 almost double 2013, and Brooklyn is leading the way, according to a year-end report from New York YIMBY:

While supply still clearly falls short of demand, and prices remain at astronomical levels, permit activity at the Department of Buildings shows a massive increase for last year, with the number of units planned to rise nearly doubling. In 2014, permit applications were submitted to construct 44,825 units across the five boroughs, which is a dramatic increase from 2013′s 22,915 housing units. Brooklyn, the city’s most populous borough, led the way, with the number of new units entering the pipeline jumping from 8,473 to 19,355.

And unsurprisingly, all the construction is pushing up the cost of land. The average price per buildable square foot for development property in Brooklyn increased 19 percent to $154 from $129 in the year, according to a TerraCRG report written up by The Real Deal. Prices are highest in north Brooklyn, such as Williamsburg, with an average of $241 per buildable square foot and some property trading for as much as $539 per buildable square foot.

The trade in commercial buildings was also brisk, with a total of 1,964 deals and dollar volume reaching $6.7 billion at the end of 2014, vs. $5 billion in 2013. The average price per apartment leapt 29 percent to $210,832.

Click through to see a chart from TerraCRG breaking down dollar volume growth by neighborhood.

The YIMBY Report: 2014 Adds a San Francisco’s Worth of Skyscrapers [NYY]
Price Per Buildable Square Foot in Brooklyn Surges in 2014 [TRD]


100 willoughby street downtown brooklyn far away 12015

Windows have gone in on the first several floors of Avalon Willoughby West, the 57-story tower rising at 100 Willoughby Street. The monolithic apartment building will surpass 388 Bridge Street as Brooklyn’s tallest high rise and bring 861 apartments to Downtown Brooklyn. It’s also sprouted very quickly, hitting about 35 stories so far. Eventually, the SLCE-designed tower will reach 595 feet. But it won’t remain the borough’s tallest tower for long. JDS and SHoP are planning a 775-foot tower at 345 340 Flatbush Avenue Extension (across from next to Junior’s), and a 674-foot tower is in the works next to City Point at 420 Albee Square, as YIMBY noted in the fall.

Click through for more photos.


462 halsey street community garden

The city is looking to develop hundreds of vacant lots, including 15 community gardens, throughout the five boroughs into affordable housing. By our count, the list of properties includes 122 Brooklyn sites, at least seven of which are community gardens. Yesterday, the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) released the list of the publicly owned sites. Last month, it issued a Request for Qualifications (RFQ), inviting developers who would like to build small affordable housing projects on the sites.

Developers can choose to build small affordable rental buildings, co-ops, condos or one- to four-family townhouses. The affordable condos or co-ops can’t be larger than 14 units, and may qualify for financing through the New Infill Homeownership Opportunities Program (NIHOP). Co-ops and townhomes built through NIHOP are aimed at families making 80 to 130 percent of the Area Median Income ($83,900 to $109,070 for a family of four), with one-third set aside for those making 80 to 90 percent AMI.

Through the Neighborhood Construction Program (NCP), developers can build rental buildings ranging from 15 to 30 units. Only renters making less than 165 percent AMI can qualify ($138,435 for a family of four).

Here’s our possibly incomplete list of the gardens slated for redevelopment:

451 Bedford Avenue — La Casita Verde
615 Saratoga Avenue — Isabaliah Ladies of Elegance
120 Jefferson Street — El Garden
659 Willoughby Avenue/267 Throop Avenue — Tranquility Farm
1680 Pacific Street — Green Phoenix
462 Halsey Street — 462 Halsey Street Community Garden
119 Vernon Avenue — New Harvest
142 Patchen Avenue — Patchen Community Square
774 Halsey Street — Halsey, Ralph and Howard Community Garden

Photo via 462 Halsey Street Community Garden/Facebook

The Broadway Triangle Community Coalition is planning to protest ” ‘illegal and racist’ construction and permits at the Broadway Triangle,” on the steps of City Hall this morning, according to the group’s website. The Broadway Triangle Community Coalition is a group of 40 community organizations, including tenant associations, that successfully sued to stop the construction of affordable housing there aimed at the Hasidic community, a plan championed largely by former State Assemblyman Vito Lopez — and which may have contributed to his downfall.

The group is calling for Mayor de Blasio and the city to stop issuing building permits for private development aimed at the Hasidic community by private developers on privately owned land in the Broadway Triangle area.

“The Coalition demands that the de Blasio administration stop authorizing the construction of discriminatory housing and stop fostering neighborhood segregation,” execs for the group told us in an email. “For every private site in the Broadway Triangle that has been or is being developed, the City of New York has granted permits to the developers for building and construction. The City has authorized the ongoing development of discriminatory housing, exacerbating existing residential segregation in these neighborhoods. This practice must stop.”

As far as we are aware, all the private development happening there now is “as of right,” meaning no variance is required. The building department considers only building regulations when issuing permits. It would be unprecedented for the DOB to consider the potential for housing discrimination after a building is constructed as well.

It’s perfectly legal to build apartments aimed at a particular market, although refusing to rent or sell to someone on the basis of religion or race is not. But it is notoriously difficult to sue Hasidic landlords for housing discrimination against non-Hasids, since apartments are never advertised.

Meanwhile, Eric Adams has called for the city to restart the development of affordable housing on city-owned land in the area, an idea the group enthusiastically supports.

“The Broadway Triangle is a perfect opportunity for the current administration to start achieving this vision and break from the troubling practices of its predecessor. It’s truly baffling why the City has not seized on this. The Coalition advocates for all land in the Broadway Triangle to be developed in a way that is consistent with fair housing laws and maximizes affordable housing in an area of Brooklyn that desperately needs it. So far, that has not happened.”

Shocker: Borough Pres Wants to Revive Broadway Triangle Development [Brownstoner]
Image via Urban Omnibus


red hook container terminal manuel ascano

A new report says the Port Authority should sell off two of its Brooklyn ports to developers to build housing and help generate some cash, Bloomberg reported. Selling the two money-losing shipping terminals would help the bloated agency make up the $80,000,000 in revenue it lost last year while operating New York City’s ports.

The two ports are the Brooklyn-Port Authority Marine Terminal, just south of Brooklyn Bridge Park, and the Red Hook Container Terminal next door, according to the report by nonprofit watchdog group Citizens Budget Commission. Both are located in the Columbia Street Waterfront District, west of Cobble Hill, and the Red Hook Container Terminal also extends south into Red Hook. They lost $205,718 and $184,788 per acre last year, respectively, but only support 9 percent of New York’s cargo volume.

Obviously any housing built right on the water would go for megabucks and raises the possibility of a variance for extremely tall luxury towers, a la Williamsburg and Greenpoint. No doubt affordable housing will be part of the mix — somewhere. There’s also the question of flooding.

The CBC also suggested the Port Authority could convert some of its existing buildings to a “modern industrial park” with space for light manufacturing, like the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

What do you think?

Port Authority Should Sell Brooklyn Marine Terminals, Group Says [Bloomberg]
Photo by Manuel Ascano

1059 manhattan avenue greenpoint 12015

The long-stalled seven-story apartment building at 1059 Manhattan Avenue in Greenpoint now has windows, and it looks like balconies are in the works. When it’s finished, there will be 23 units spread across 19,867 square feet of space. The ground floor will host medical offices and retail, according to Schedule A filings. Plans were first filed in 2003, and we’ve been watching the empty lot since 2007. Construction finally began last summer. Asher Herkowitz is the architect.  

1059 Manhattan Avenue Coverage [Brownstoner] GMAP


A tipster sent us this article and rendering showing a luxury rental building planned for 410-416 Tompkins Avenue in Bed Stuy. The rendering has been circulating on private email lists and Facebook groups for days, and local residents and preservationists had few kind words for the design.

“I must say the cracked looking windows is weird,” said one.

The plans call for 35 units on four lots, currently home to three two-story buildings. It will be called Hancock Manor, said the story. Last year, developer Vasco Ventures paid $2,625,000 for the properties, according to public records.

The rendering is one of several to appear lately that has local preservationists and residents concerned that the booming pace of development may be threatening to change the character of the neighborhood, one of the largest areas of intact 19th century row houses in the country.

What do you think of the design?

Vasco Ventures to Build 35 Luxury Units in Bed Stuy [Multi-Housing News]
Rendering via Multi-Housing News


Call us naive, but we always thought brownstones in Bed Stuy, at least the habitable ones, were pretty much immune from development. (We’re not quite sure why we thought that — perhaps because, in the past at least, the numbers wouldn’t pencil out for a developer?) But now, with construction booming all over the place, we see that is totally false.

Take, for example, this two-story Neo-Grec with a bay window at 580 MacDonough Street, close to Ralph Avenue. If you click through to see the rendering on the construction fence, you will see that the owners are planning to add one more story and completely redo the facade so it looks like a modern “Fedders”-type building. There will be a balcony, and the facade will jut out in a triangle above the bay window (that is not a wrinkle in the rendering).

It’s unfortunate for the block and, we think, a wasted opportunity. The developer could have kept the original facade and maximized FAR with a setback. And not only that, if he had, the house would be more valuable and he would reap a bigger profit, we bet.

The house is in the proposed Stuyvesant East Historic District. Until about a year ago, this area was nothing but row upon row of mostly well-preserved historic homes, almost all dating from the 19th century — including quite a few early wood-frame ones. Now that intact streetscape is quickly being lost. GMAP