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It’s been about two years since Chetrit Group broke ground on the long-stalled — and also big and ambitious — mixed-use hotel/apartment/retail complex at 500 Metropolitan Avenue in Williamsburg, and not much has happened since. But when we stopped by yesterday, we saw hardhats working on the foundation. Last time we peeked, it was just dirt, so this is a major advance.

In the meantime, after already changing once before, it seems the architect has switched again, from Gene Kaufman to Kutnicki Bernstein, and the design has also changed – we are now on Version No. 5. About a month ago, Curbed dug up interior renderings on the website of Raad Studio, which appears to be handling the inside.

The renderings are pretty mind blowing. How do you like the sexy siren hanging out at the indoor-outdoor fire pits, above? There’s also a babe in a pool — and a pretty good looking bathroom — with a shower that strikes us as roomy enough for two. (See them all here, in full size glory.)

Click through for lots of construction-site photos and to see a progression of exterior renderings over seven years. This should be quite the development, if it ever gets built. What do you think of it?

500 Metropolitan Avenue Coverage [Brownstoner]
502 Metropolitan Avenue Coverage [Brownstoner]
Rendering by Raad Studio

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210 pacific street cobble hill 22015

The first of the Passive House condos at 210 Pacific Street in Boerum Hill went up for sale last month, and now the seven-story building is getting its windows. Both the teaser site and the construction fence proclaim, “The future of the City of Brooklyn begins here.”

While we’re not sure about that, the 10-unit building will include sustainable features like an electric car charging station, solar hot water heaters, triple-glazed windows, extensive insulation and energy recovery units. Designed by SBLM Architects and developed by Nava Companies, the building will be clad in custom brass tiles, according to the listing copy (you can see a closeup on the teaser site). We hope they don’t sizzle in the sun.

The development now has three listings online – two three-bedrooms and a four-bedroom — starting from $2,425,000. One asking $2,495,000 is already in contract.

210 Pacific Street [Official]
510 Pacific Street Listings [Brown Harris Stevens]
210 Pacific Street Coverage [Brownstoner]

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It looks like a sizable brick apartment building, but 22-28 Troutman Street, on a prominent corner of Bushwick Avenue near Myrtle, is actually five townhouses on five tax lots with two units each, according to permits. They looked close to complete and we could see workmen finishing up the interiors when we stopped by a few weeks ago.

Each house consists of an upper triplex and a lower duplex, spread across four levels labelled as a basement, two floors and a penthouse. The square footage of each is just under 2,200, which seems improbably small. But permits call them three-story buildings, and that’s what they look like in person.

Owner Pine Realty Corp. of Brooklyn bought the property in 2012 for $900,000, according to public records. The architect is Bahram Tehrani.

146 pierrepont street brooklyn heights

The wrecking ball is coming for a five-story apartment building and a nine-story office building on adjacent properties on Pierrepont and Montague Streets in Brooklyn Heights. Developer Jonathan Rose Companies filed demolition applications last month to take down 189 Montague Street and 146 Pierrepont Street (pictured above). Situated between between Cadman Plaza West and Clinton Street, the buildings are some of the few in the Heights that are not landmarked.

A hotel may be in the works, but no new-building applications have been filed under these or any other addresses that we could find. Last year, the Eagle wrote there was talk of a hotel coming at 189 Montague, pictured after the jump.

146 Pierrepont currently houses seven apartments and ground floor commercial space, which used to be a Quest Diagnostics lab. The building is only 6,775 square feet, but zoning allows up to 24,830 square feet of development on the site. Jonathan Rose snapped up the site in January for $5,750,000, public records show.

Meanwhile, 189 Montague is a 75,000-square-foot office building that stretches all the way through the block to Pierrepont Street, and it has 25,000 square feet of unused development rights, according to PropertyShark.

Air rights from 146 Pierrepont were transferred to 189 Montague back in 2000, according to public records, as the Eagle also noted. Tenants in the two buildings were asked to move or their leases were not renewed last year, said the Eagle.

We reached out to the developer for comment but have not yet heard back.

Photos by Nicholas Strini for PropertyShark

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The industrial warehouse at 29 Ryerson across from the Navy Yard in Wallabout has changed hands yet again, nearly doubling in price. Madison Realty Capital paid $45,000,000 for the storage facility, according to The Real Deal. The previous owner, 11-45 Ryerson LLC, now revealed to be headed up by real estate investor Chaim Miller, bought it in 2013 for $26,400,000.

It sounds like plans to redevelop the property into offices focused on tech tenants with retail below have not changed. “We are planning on renovating and bringing it to the level that a tech tenant would demand,” a Madison exec told The Real Deal. At one time, former owners planned to turn it into a hotel with a rooftop bar. Madison is also developing two large mixed-use apartment buildings nearby at 490 and 504 Myrtle Avenue, as the story noted.

Madison Buys Brooklyn Warehouse for $45 Million From Chaim Miller [TRD]
29 Ryerson Coverage [Brownstoner] GMAP

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The Department of Buildings is overwhelmed by the number of filings for building permits and can’t keep up, reported The New York Observer. The City is taking almost twice as long to review first submissions of applications for new-building permits — an average of 15.7 days vs. 8.5 last year, according to a report from the Mayor’s Office of Operations. Alt-1 permits average 13.3 days, vs. 11.5 days last year.

The delays are costing big developers big money, said one of Brooklyn’s busiest architects, Gene Kaufman. One day behind schedule for a big project “costs $15,000 to $20,000 in expenses and $30,000 to $60,000 in lost income, depending on project size, so $45,000 to $80,000 a day,” he told the paper. Part of the slowdown can be attributed to code changes at the end of the year.

There’s also the building boom. Filings increased to 3,132 in 2014, vs. 2,549 in 2013. Permits issued increased 11 percent last year to 98,302, vs. 88,290 issued in 2013.

The building department is also down 16 employees, following recent arrests in widespread bribery schemes. The Building Department needs to hire more employees, said the story.

Have you had a problem? What do you think the City should do?

DOB Overwhelmed by Construction Demand [NYO]

19-29-Clay-Street rendering 1

6sqft dug up these renderings of a glassy apartment building for 19-29 Clay Street in Greenpoint, which sits a stone’s throw from the Newtown Creek waterfront in an area booming with development. The design from AB Architekten calls for a 12-story, 70,000-square-foot development across the street from the planned Box Street Park. It would have “three sensitively-scaled volumes,” as well as a parking garage, swimming pool and roof deck.

The site, which is up for sale (price undisclosed), is right next to the just-finished six-story development at 1133 Manhattan Avenue. It’s currently home to a single-story warehouse and a two-story warehouse. However, we’re not sure this development will happen anytime soon.

The owners, Pace Plumbing Company on nearby Box Street, told us they don’t have any plans for the property because they have tenants in place for the next five years. A tenant also confirmed that he has five years remaining on a lease. The owners are going to take the plot off the market soon, according to the broker marketing it.

Click through to see more renderings, including the pool, and what the site looks like now.

Even if it’s not happening, what do you think of the look? It seems clean and modernist, albeit out of scale and character with the neighborhood.

Revealed: AB Architekten’s 29 Clay Street to Bring Manhattan Modernism to Greenpoint [6sqft]

Renderings by AB Architekten

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For years it seemed the murder rate couldn’t go any lower, but it just kept on dropping and dropping. Now the City reports it’s up 20 percent since the beginning of the year, vs. the same period in 2014. New York Police Department Commissioner Bill Bratton blamed pot dealers, DNAinfo reported.

Here are the stats, released at a press conference Monday: There have been 54 murders so far in 2015, vs. 45 during the same period last year. Murders involving drugs ticked up 15 percent so far this year. Of those murders, 60 percent were related to marijuana specifically. The head of detectives said most of the drug-related murders are not turf wars, but rather robberies.

Most of the violence took place in only five of the City’s 77 police precincts, including three in Brooklyn: the 67th, 63rd and 75th precincts — aka Flatbush, Flatlands and East New York.

Shootings were also up 20 percent, reported the Daily News. There have been 149 shootings so far this year, vs. 126 during the same period in 2014.

But, the paper continued, crime is down 11 percent in other categories, including rape, robbery, burglary, grand larceny and auto theft.

Do you think this means we’re going to see a serious rise in crime in Brooklyn, or is this just a one-time statistical fluke that will even out later this year? And what do you think of the marijuana explanation?

Murders up 20 Percent in 2015 in Year-to-Year Comparison, NYPD Says [NY Daily News]
Bratton Blames Marijuana for Surge in Murders [DNA]

domino-site-e-rend-030215

Two Trees has broken ground on the first building in the Domino Sugar complex, according to a press release we just received. It’s Site E, above, where the temporary Havemeyer Park was located, on the east side of Kent Avenue between South 3rd and South 4th streets. (Click through to see a rendering showing all the buildings.)

The 16-story building at 317 Kent Avenue will have 500 rental units, including 105 affordable units. It is expected to wrap in 2017. The developer also started rebuilding the waterfront pier, which will eventually house a five-acre public part, it said.

The reconstruction of the bulkhead and pier will take about 12 to 18 months. The James Corner Field Operations-designed park will include lawns, gardens, playing fields and better streets to make it easier to get to the waterfront. There will also be an elevated “artifact walk,” as previously reported, “modeled after the High Line,” with such finds as syrup tanks and cranes from the factory.

The SHoP-designed building will be clad in zinc and copper, with many terraces, a “dramatic courtyard,” views, and careful siting framed by pubic spaces, said the release. There will also be “small scale neighborhood” shops on the ground floors.

The affordable units will be aimed at residents earning 60 percent of the area median income, aka $33,560 to $50,340 for a family of four.

By the way, the now-closed pop-op Havemeyer Park will be relocated and open again somewhere on the Domino site this summer!

Renderings by SHoP (more…)

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We were amazed to see the spiffy new look at 156 Broadway when we happened by recently during a snowstorm. Brookland Capital has been remaking the dilapidated 19th century building, at one point a cabinet factory, for about two years.

The first three units, out of a total of eight, went on the market in late December. Then three more listings went up two weeks ago, and now two of the units are in contract.

The units are pricey, but they look good. They are all studios, but with unusual double-height ceilings and lofted bedrooms. The four units on the second floor have two levels and the four units on the top floor have three levels.

The firm does not typically develop in Williamsburg, where prices are among the highest in the borough. Brookland Capital purchased the building in 2012 for $2,650,000. The asks for the units range in price from $750,000 to $985,000.

Curbed wrote about the building when sales launched in December. Bel Air Design Group is the architect.

Click through to see what the building looked like before. What do you think about the transformation of the exterior?

156 Broadway, #3C [Aptsandlofts.com] GMAP
Condo Conversion of Long-Derelict South Williamsburg Building Almost Done [Brownstoner]

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306-314 Park avenue clinton hill 32015

New building applications were filed last week for five three-story townhouses on Park Avenue, next to the BQE in Wallabout. The houses at 306-314 Park Avenue will have three units each and range in size from 1,525 square feet to 1,750 square feet. It’s not the most optimal location for housing, but with three units each (and small ones at that), they’re probably intended as rental investment properties.

The applicant of record is BTE Design Services, and Moses Guttman is the developer. It looks like Guttman bought up the series of vacant properties at Park Avenue and Ryerson Street for a combined $210,000 over the last two years, according to public records. GMAP

Image via Google Maps

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Community Board 5 has cancelled all presentations by developers and city agencies and requested an emergency meeting with the mayor’s office and local pols as part of an effort to slow down the mayor’s plan to rezone East New York, we were intrigued to read in DNAinfo.

“We still have a lot of questions that have gone unanswered. That’s why the board reached this decision,” CB5 Chair Andre Mitchell said. The biggest mystery is the percentage of affordable units vs. market rate. About a year ago, the de Blasio administration said the ratio would be different for each neighborhood. City Planning has issued its environmental impact documents but did not specify the mix, a surprising omission so late in the process. The publication of those documents kicked off the official uniform land review process, or ULURP. The first stage is review at the community board level.

We know from our own sources that the board opposes any aspect of the rezoning that would increase rents in the area and displace current residents or businesses, but welcomes revitalization, and would like to see a balanced mix of income levels in any new housing that is built.

DNAinfo portrayed the slowdown as coming from longtime East New York City Councilman Charles Barron, whose wife Inez Barron now holds that office, because both the chair of CB5 and the head of the land use committee are longtime Barron associates.

It’s our understanding of the ULURP process that each agency gets a set time of about two months to review, and if they don’t, the process moves on without them. But can the community — or anyone — legitimately review the plan without knowing the mix of affordable vs. market units? What do you think?

Charles Barron’s Associates Lead Push to Slow Down East New York Rezoning [DNA]
Map by City Planning