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It was a long winter, and nothing much happened at 645 Union Street in Gowanus, the future site of the Gowanus Inn & Yard.

The quaint, vintage-style hotel and restaurant is being built on an empty lot by Matt Abramcyk — founder of the Beatrice Inn, “the hippest nighttime destination in all of Manhattan” —  and two partners. Back in 2013, we reported that Gowanus was becoming a hotel district, and there are currently three other hotels located within five blocks of the Gowanus Inn, and more on the way.

Over the last few months, the site’s made progress. The cellar is nearing completion, with a number of internal walls dividing future rooms, as you can see in the photos above and below. (more…)

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Chetrit’s M500 hotel. Rendering by Kutnicki Bernstein

There’s going to be plenty of room at the inn. Among the development projects that have lately made hard hats as plentiful in Williamsburg as bushy beards are no fewer than a half-dozen hotels slated to open in the coming two years.

You can thank local zoning in part for the trend. Half of them are slated for the area around North 11th and North 12th Street that is zoned for commercial and industrial uses, making hotels an obvious choice for developers looking to capitalize on the neighborhood’s heat.

Hoping to follow the success of the pioneering Wythe Hotel, which has packed them in since its debut in 2012, these hotels will bring hundreds of new rooms to the neighborhood, along with rooftop gardens, public spaces, restaurants, bars and nightspots. (more…)

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Steps leading to the rooftop amenity space

We recently took a hard hat tour of the under-construction William Vale hotel, rising in the heart of hipster Brooklyn and its nightlife district at 55 Wythe Avenue in Williamsburg.

With the success of the Wythe Hotel, located a block south, and the increasing cultural cachet of Brooklyn, developers are eyeing the borough as a destination for tourists and a home for businesses seeking to tap into the hipster credentials of its neighborhoods.

Riverside Developers is betting on this location, a 10-minute walk from the nearest subway or ferry stop, as a destination in its own right. The plan is to offer a full-service resort-level experience to guests willing to venture out from the typical Manhattan hotel locales. (more…)

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We found three previously unpublished renderings of the huge Chetrit hotel-apartment-retail complex going up at 500 Metropolitan. They reveal the complex has a name: The M500. Sounds like something out of a Bond film. Should go well with the smoldering interior renderings interior designers Raad Studio released earlier this year.

The new renderings are at least the fourth set from as many architects. Kutnicki Bernstein has stuck with the basic concept — a wedge-shaped complex — and given it more definition.  (more…)

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One of Brooklyn’s most unusual new buildings is up to the second story at 55 Wythe Avenue, and its distinctive Jetsons-like tower over a block of one-story shops can already be discerned, we saw when we stopped by over the weekend.

Formerly known as the Level Hotel, the William Vale Hotel will have 183 “four star” rooms, according to its website. The developer is Riverside Developers and the architect is Albo Liberis, The Wall Street Journal reported last month. (more…)

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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 question of a variance for the planned 13-story Ace Hotel at Bond and Schermerhorn streets moves on to the Board of Standards and Appeals next week, according to a public agenda posted on the BSA’s website. At issue is whether developer GFI Capital can build 50,000 square feet larger than as-of-right zoning allows, enough room for 285 hotel rooms instead of only 169.

Community Board 2’s full board voted against the variance last November, because they were concerned about traffic on Bond Street and the hotel’s lack of parking. Currently, the property is a big parking lot at 51-63 Bond Street, or 252-270 Schermerhorn Street, pictured above.

The hearing will take place Tuesday, February 10, at 1 pm at Spector Hall at 22 Reade Street in Manhattan. Anyone can attend and testify or file notarized objection forms with BSA via email (submit@bsa.nyc.gov), mail, or in person.

Ace Hotel Coverage [Brownstoner]
Photo by Google Maps via NYY

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Developer Synapse Group has chosen HWKN to be the architect of the 14-story Yotel planned for 280 Meeker Avenue in Williamsburg, and the design is a major departure for the area. HWKN sent us renderings and new details about the out-of-the-ordinary building, which will be topped by condos next to the BQE.

“The sculptural qualities of the building [connect] with Williamsburg’s artistic bent,” said HWKN principal Matthias Hollwich, and the design “will position the new Yotel as one of the most iconic buildings in New York,” according to the firm’s press release.

The level of the base is designed to “negotiate” between the BQE and the rest of the neighborhood. The stories rising above feature a “cascading, shingle effect façade that gradates in tone and finish.” Then that facade gives way to the shiny, glassy condos at the top, wrapping and revealing them.

We read it as a visual metaphor for the history of neighborhood, whose many wood frame and shingle buildings have ceded to shiny glass towers in recent years.

The 110-unit hotel will have a total of 100,000 square feet, which will include 20,000 square feet of retail, a rooftop garden at the level of the BQE, a separate parking deck and six to eight condos on the top floors. The trapezoidal site is located between Withers and Lorimer streets.

CetraRuddy was also in the running, and we published their concept drawings last month. The Wall Street Journal was the first to publish the winning design but did not name the architect. The Real Deal wrote more about the design yesterday.

Click through for another rendering that shows the colorful facade and stores at street level. We think this is one of the most interesting building designs we’ve seen in years. In fact, we think it’s brilliant. What’s your opinion? — By Rebecca Baird-Remba and Cate Corcoran

This Unusual Design Will Not Be Williamsburg’s Future Yotel Hotel [Brownstoner] GMAP
Renderings by HWKN
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Construction has started, and all the financing is in place for one of Brooklyn’s most unusual projects, the Level Hotel at 55 Wythe Avenue in Williamsburg. Loans for the $130,000,000 project were completed earlier this month, according to The Real Deal.

The story also revealed that the architects for the Jetsons-like design are Yohay Albo and Nicholas Liberis. The 20,000-square-foot rooftop garden will be open to the public, the story said. The hotel will open in early 2016, according to financial backer Madison Realty Capital.

Located between North 12th and North 13th Streets, close to the Wythe Hotel, the development from Zelig Weiss will include office and retail space, as previously reported.

Zelig Weiss Gets $81 Million Loan for Level Hotel Project [TRD]
55 Wythe Coverage [Brownstoner]
Rendering via Shopping Center Group

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When we last checked in at the construction of the Pierhouse hotel and condo development going up in Brooklyn Bridge Park, the hotel portion at 60 Furman Street had topped out but it looked like the condo part had not yet begun. Now it looks like the condo section, which is closer to Atlantic and appears in the foreground of the photo, at 90 Furman Street, is up to about eight stories, out of a total of 10. Thanks to a reader for the photo.

Pierhouse Coverage [Brownstoner]

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Developer Sam Boymelgreen last week filed permits for a 162-room hotel at 255 Butler Street in Gowanus. The building will not be new, but rather an enlargement of the four-story factory to seven stories. The density (square footage) will remain the same, according to New York YIMBY, which first reported on the plans.

Boymelgreen does not own the property but rather has a 49-year lease, as we reported previously. In February, a story in The Real Deal about Boymelgreen’s Windsor Terrace development The Kestrel noted 255 Butler Street would be a hotel or office. Not quite a decade ago, the city refused a variance that would have permitted the owner to convert the property to residential.

On the first floor will be stores, a restaurant, coffee shop, terrace, gym, library and event space, according to the application. Rooms will be located on the second through seventh floors, with another restaurant, a pool and terrace on the fifth floor. The applicant of record is SBLM Architects.

Also, the site, an old printing plant, is contaminated. We’re not sure if this alteration requires a brownfield cleanup.

Plans to rezone the area were put on hold pending the EPA cleanup but could be revived following a year-long series of public meetings about the future of Gowanus in which residents said they did not want tall buildings but the report said they did.

Hotels are a popular type of development in industrial areas where residential development is not permitted. In an effort to preserve factory jobs and the character of industrial neighborhoods, the City Council recently recommended a change to city’s factory zoning that would not permit hotels.

Permits Filed: 162-Key Hotel at 255 Butler Street in Gowanus [NYY]
255 Butler Coverage [Brownstoner]
Photo by Kate Leonova for PropertyShark

yotel 280 meeker avenue williamsburg cetra ruddy

YIMBY unearthed this unusual cantilevered rendering for the planned Yotel at 280 Meeker Avenue in Williamsburg, but architects CetraRuddy told the blog that this design wasn’t chosen. Yotel announced developer Synapse Capital will build a 110-unit hotel with 100,000 square feet and stores in a press release last week.

Since the building will rise on a trapezoidal site next to the BQE, this look would certainly have been eye-catching from the highway. CetraRuddy said the design lent itself to creating amenity spaces for the condos and public areas for the hotel: “The project scope included developing several schemes to accommodate micro-unit layouts, designed to minimize private/room space while maximizing public/amenity space.”

The hotel may have “as many as eight condominiums on the top floor,” and construction will finish in 2016, according to a Bloomberg story that ran last week.

Click through for a few more renderings.

Vision: Yotel Planned for Williamsburg at 646 Lorimer Street [NYY] GMAP
Renderings by CetraRuddy

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