The mixed-use building at 85 Flatbush Avenue Extension has topped out, reaching its full height of 12 stories, although we don’t see the bulkhead for the mechanicals on the roof (depicted in the rendering) yet. Exterior cladding and windows have gone up in places, and the side that faces Tillary, above, is looking quite finished. The inside space, on the bottom floor at least, is still totally raw, though.

When we stopped by last weekend, workers were busy with a crane at the back of the building, on Duffield Street, presumably at work on the facade. The rendering posted on the construction fence said the project was supposed to wrap winter 2014.

Although plans have been in the works for the site since 2005, construction only started in 2013, following a change of owner and architect. It seems the architect has changed yet again, in fact: Permits show that Daniel Berstein of Kutnicki Berstein Architects is currently the architect of record, replacing Gene Kaufman, who replaced Ismael Leyva. Read Property Group is the developer, as previously reported.

When it’s done, the building will house 69 apartments, 171 hotel rooms, and ground-floor retail.

Click through to see a (previously published) rendering and lots more construction-site photos.

85 Flatbush Avenue Extension Coverage [Brownstoner]  GMAP


217 livingston street aka 11 hoyt street rendering

Macy’s has been working on a plan to redevelop its Downtown Brooklyn properties since last summer, and YIMBY has unearthed renderings for one proposal. Apparently Brookfield is one of the contenders, and the developer brought on architects Beyer Blinder Belle to design its plans for a parking garage at 11 Hoyt Street and a big Art Deco building at 450-458 Fulton Street (not the flagship Macy’s, which is at 422 Fulton).

Macy’s wants any developer to build a new 300,000-square-foot store or rehabilitate the old flagship at 422 Fulton plus create a small Bloomingdale’s Outlet on Fulton. Under Brookfield’s plan, the garage would become a huge, glassy structure with a Macy’s on the ground floor, a tower of apartments above, and an address at 217 Livingston Street. However, a local family who ran the Young World retail stores still owns part of the Hoyt Street garage, complicating plans for sale or development.

Meanwhile, the landmarked A.I. Namm & Son Department Store would get a facelift, and Macy’s would expand into its base at 450-458 Fulton Street. As far as we know, the building was not mentioned in the original RFP, but it is attached to the 11 Hoyt Street garage. The ground floor is currently a Modell’s.

Presumably, all this moving around would pave the way to sell or redevelop the Macy’s flagship at 422 Fulton into a mixed-use building. (That one is not landmarked, by the way.)

Click through to see the rendering for the old A.I. Namm store building. What do you think of the designs?

First Look: Potential Macy’s Redevelopment at 450-458 Fulton Street, in Downtown Brooklyn [NYY]
Macy’s Shopping Around Brooklyn Properties, Requests Proposals [Brownstoner]
Renderings by Beyer Blinder Belle



We’re amazed to read that a Manhattan buyer has purchased a new-construction townhouse at 832 Dean Street in Crown Heights for $3,450,000, setting a new record for the price of a townhouse sale in the neighborhood. The sale closed recently, according to the New York Post, but has yet to hit public records.

Built in 2013, the house has three units and three stories, for a total of 3,960 square feet, according to PropertyShark. So that works out to $871 per square foot — reasonable compared to the square foot cost of condos in prime Brooklyn neighborhoods, which are now over $1,000, but pricey for a Crown Heights townhouse, even a top-of-the-line one. The house is close to Washington Avenue and the Prospect Heights border, where real estate is more expensive.

The buyer sold a townhouse in Chelsea, according to the Post.

Renderings on the Douglas Elliman listing show a typical new-construction interior, similar to a Williamsburg luxury condo, but with fairly high-level finishes and somewhat traditional styling, including floors that look old and have borders. Each unit is a two-bedroom, two-bath floor-through, except the top apartment, which is a duplex with an additional bedroom and bath in a hidden setback with a roof deck.



New York YIMBY found two so-far-unpublished renderings for 247 Bedford, perhaps best known as the future home of Apple’s first Brooklyn store. The renderings shows an additional story at the north end and, notably, big square windows. The building previously had distinctive arched windows. These also appear in a previously published rendering.

It’s not clear which of the designs will actually be built — or if both sets of renderings are obsolete. BTW, Apple will occupy the southern corner of the building, closest to Metropolitan Avenue, at one time home to a bagel store. The late, lamented mom and pop shop Kings Pharmacy until recently occupied a large space on the northern end of the building.

Marin Architects is the designer. The firm has designed Duane Reade pharmacies and a Muji store, among other retail projects.

When we stopped by the construction site in late December, the unoccupied southern part of the building had been completely demolished. The part of the building that houses a Corcoran real estate office and former apartments above was still standing. A green construction fence and scaffolding covered the building.

Click through to see more renderings as well as a photo of the property we took in December.

First Look: Williamsurg Apple Store, 247 Bedford Avenue [NYY]
241 Bedford Coverage [Brownstoner]
First two renderings by Marin Architects via NYY; third rendering via The Real Deal

Update: We’re thinking the two new renderings may actually show the North 4th Street side of the building. That would explain why the smokestack is missing.


1525 bedford avenue crown heights 122014

A Crown Heights gas station and car wash at Bedford Avenue and Eastern Parkway has just sold for the jaw-dropping price of $32,500,000, and is already being dismantled to make way for an eight-story apartment building. Developer Adam America was the buyer of the 24,000-square-foot property at 1525 Bedford Avenue, as The Real Deal was the first to report. The new development will have 133 units spread across 91,337 square feet of residential space, and 20 percent of the apartments will be affordable, according to new building applications filed yesterday. Issac and Stern are the architects of record.

There will also be 14,669 square feet of commercial space, 42 underground parking spots, a gym, roof deck and basketball court, according to broker TerraCRG. The gas station closed last month, and a construction fence went up around the site a few weeks ago. The photo above shows workers taking down the BP sign in December. 

Adam America’s first project in Crown Heights was a seven-story rental building at 500 Sterling Place, which began leasing last summer and sold last week for $48,000,000, according to The Real Deal.

Adam America Developing 130-Unit Crown Heights Building [TRD] GMAP


Surprisingly, work has temporarily stopped on the southern Pierhouse condo building at 130 Furman Street. The Department of Buildings issued a partial stop work order on the construction site while the developer and the DOB investigate whether the height violates the Brooklyn Heights Scenic View District, at the request of Brooklyn Bridge Park Corp., New York YIMBY reported.

“Minor adjustments such as the alteration of bulkheads or parapets are among the type of alterations that may be necessary to bring the structure into full compliance,” Brooklyn Bridge Park President Regina Myer told YIMBY. “We take our responsibility to protect the Scenic View District very seriously.”

It sounds very dramatic, but even if a problem is found, any adjustments are likely to be minor, as Myer said. If anything, it will only reinforce the legality of the 30-foot addition on top of the nearby 1Hotel at 60 Furman Street, part of the same development, which has angered preservationists and spawned a new group, “Save the View Now.”

A lot of misinformation has circulated since we broke that story in September, but to summarize: The hotel at 60 Furman Street is 30 feet higher than expected, and when viewed from the south end of the Promenade, a portion above the roadbed of the bridge that was not blocked back in the days of the Cold Storage Warehouse is blocked now. So while it does violate an agreement hammered out between park officials and preservationists, it doesn’t appear to be violating any building codes or the Scenic View. (In fact, it’s not even in the Scenic View.)

Above, an old photo of the now-demolished Cold Storage Warehouse found on the website of the Bridge and Tunnel Club shows the road of the bridge visible just above the roof of the warehouse, when viewed from the southern end of the Promenade. Click through for more images.

Update: BBP contacted us this morning to clarify a few things: The Pier 1 development consists of three buildings, 60 Furman, 90 Furman, and 130 Furman — and technically, the BBP refers to the residential buildings at 90 and 130 Furman as “Pierhouse” and the hotel at 60 Furman as 1Hotel, a spokeswoman said. The first two buildings (Nos. 60 and 90) have topped out, and workers are in the middle of pouring the first floor at 130 Furman, BBP’s vice president of real estate told us. Back when the developers first applied for permits for 130 Furman, the DOB wasn’t reviewing them for compliance with the Scenic View District. The BBP requested that the DOB do so, and Tuesday, the developer submitted a post-approval amendment to show the building is in compliance and to bring it into compliance on some minor points, the BBP exec said. These include lowering a staircase bulkhead by a few inches and removing a few potentially questionable parapets.

Work Halted at Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 1 Over Height Questions [NYY]
Pierhouse Addition Angers Preservationists [Brownstoner]
Photo above by Bridge and Tunnel Club; rendering below by Marvel Architects


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 


We are excited to bring you the first look inside the nearly completed apartments at 232 Adelphi Street in Fort Greene, the church conversion we have been following for years, where leasing launches Wednesday. We thought the 12 apartments would be condos, but it turns out they are rentals. We don’t have too many details on prices yet, but we do know they will start at $2,995 a month and go up as high as $11,500 a month.

As you can see from the photos above and below, the apartments incorporate lots of original church architecture, such as stained glass windows and vaulted ceilings. Exposed brick lovers will have a field day.

“No two homes at the property are alike or similar to what else is currently on the market in Brooklyn for that matter,” said the press release. The units have open floor plans, high end appliances and finishes, and vaulted steel-beam ceilings.

All the apartments will be duplexes or triplexes, including two studios, four one-bedrooms, four two-bedrooms, and two three-bedrooms. There is also a shared garden in back, and storage in the basement.

The formerly crumbling but landmarked 1888 Gothic Revival structure was saved by the conversion. The exterior was restored with the approval of Landmarks.

Open houses are planned Saturday and Sunday. One of the units has been staged by furniture retailer Lazzoni USA. Listings for the apartments are not yet available online and will go up Wednesday. WIRE International Realty is handling leasing. Scaffolding still shrouded part of the exterior when we stopped by Sunday.

The current owner is Serabjit Singh of Beards LLC, according to public records, and the renovation was designed by RSVP Studio.

Click through to see lots more photos. What do you think of the design?

232 Adelphi Coverage [Brownstoner]
Interior photos by WIRE International Realty


city point phase 2 downtown brooklyn 12015

Do new, so-called “luxury” apartments seem to be getting smaller? It’s not your imagination. Land costs in Brooklyn are rising quickly, and so developers are squeezing more apartments in per building to make the profits pencil out, The New York Times reported over the weekend. (Sorry, we’re just getting to the story today.) To justify keeping the rents the same, they are adding ever-more baroque amenities.

We’ve noticed lots of high-end apartments (condos as well as rentals) that have strip kitchens in the living room, a space-saving move that seems more reminiscent of “SRO” than “luxury” to us. At the same time, the bathrooms keep getting bigger and more numerous.

Curiously, there’s a technical reason for that: The building code has changed and now requires more clearance for things like doors, resulting in larger bathrooms.

The lion’s share of new apartments in the City is going up in Brooklyn, with 6,500 new rental units and 134 buildings expected to open this year. (That’s double last year’s count of 2,981 units in 36 buildings.)

The story mentioned a few forthcoming big Brooklyn buildings: AvalonBay’s 100 Willoughby Street, City Tower at 336 Flatbush Avenue Extension (City Point Phase 2, pictured above), 247 North 7th in Williamsburg, and Madison Realty Capital’s 490 Myrtle Avenue in Clinton Hill.

In addition to the now-standard amenities in new luxury buildings, such as lounges, fitness centers and even roof decks, some buildings will also feature a basketball court, a lawn, and, at  100 Willoughby Street, “a dog run with separate places for small and large dogs to play and a heated pergola for owners.”

We expect land will only continue to get more expensive.

New York’s New Rentals: Smaller Apartments, More Perks [NY Times]


The old Weinstein hardware store, which had long dominated a prominent corner in Bed Stuy, will be torn down to make way for  – well, not a shiny new building, but a glassy and rusty one. We’re not sure what the materials shown in the construction fence rendering at 420 Tompkins Avenue will be, but it looks like concrete, steel, glass and rusty Corten steel paneling.

The overall effect is a mix of the industrial with the glitzy that would play well in Williamsburg but looks jarring in largely 19th century Bed Stuy and, not surprisingly, already has Bed Stuy residents and preservationists upset, going by the emails and Facebook posts over the past week.

The puzzling lack of retail on the ground floor is a mistake, in our opinion. (more…)


The new housing generated by the de Blasio’s rezoning of East New York will be mostly subsidized, according to new details revealed by the administration Saturday. Other than that, the plan follows the same pattern carved out by Amanda Burden and the Bloomberg administration, as New York YIMBY pointed out: Upzone the avenues, downzone the residential side streets.

That means an upzone for Atlantic Avenue from Sheffield Avenue to Euclid Avenue, with buildings as high as 12 stories. It looks less sweeping than we were expecting, a much smaller area. Surprisingly, a wedge of Ocean Hill is also included.

The area, nestled around Atlantic between Broadway, Eastern Parkway and New York Avenue, will be upzoned and downzoned on a block-by-block basis, with affordable housing up to 12 stories going in along Broadway but downzoning planned for several blocks of low-density, 19th century houses between Herkimer and Atlantic. Interestingly, no rezoning for the manufacturing areas is planned, according to YIMBY.

Click here to see the map in more detail.

We’re wondering which particular projects and developers will benefit from the plan, but so far it looks good to us. What do you think of it?

De Blasio Administration Unveils Details of East New York Plan [NYY]


Batten down the hatches. A “crippling” and “potentially historic” blizzard, to quote news reports, has already started. (Will it eclipse the blizzard of 1888, we wonder? That one dropped three feet of snow officially, although pictures show drifts over people’s heads and up to parlor floors in places.)

Today’s blizzard has already been downgraded from three feet to two feet, but the mayor says subways could close by 3 pm and the subways look likely to stay open this afternoon, though Cuomo has warned public transportation shutdowns could start earlier than anticipated. Transit officials will update at 1 pm.

We’re wondering if Community Board 9 will postpone its meeting to reword the request for a zoning study tonight, a meeting everyone has been waiting for. Tonight’s Gowanus Canal CAG meeting has been postponed, according to an email we just received from the group.

Are those of you with a commute to work or school thinking of putting in a half day or are you just staying put?

Brooklyn Prepares for Historic, Dangerous Blizzard [Eagle]
Crippling and Potentially Historic Blizzard Targets Brooklyn [News 12]
Brooklyn’s Great White Hurricane [Brownstone Detectives]
Photo from Brooklyn Museum via Brownstone Detectives