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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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When we stopped by 265 State Street last week, workers were very busy putting in the rebar for the foundation for the forthcoming The Boerum hotel and condo. The big pit fronts Smith, State Street and Atlantic Schermerhorn Street in Boerum Hill. The name of the complex was all over the construction fence and the side of a neighboring building. Sales for the Flank-designed luxury condos launched last week, as we noted. Click through to see more construction shots. GMAP

265 State Street Coverage [Brownstoner]

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265 state street boerum hill rendering 112014

The Times has published the first full rendering and pricing for The Boerum condo-hotel headed for 265 State Street. Asks will start at $825,000 and go as high as $4,250,000 for condos ranging in size from a 765-square-foot one-bedroom to a 2,800-square-foot five-bedroom.

Developer and designer Flank aims to fit into the brownstone neighborhood with prewar-style interior floor plans, according to the Times story. We can get behind that. The exterior looks nice too. Making the brick divisions appear to weave over and under each other is a nice touch. What do you think of it?

A New Brooklyn Condo With a Prewar Aesthetic [NYT]
Boerum House and Home Shuts as Condo-Hotel Preps to Launch Sales [Brownstoner]
Rendering by Flank

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Community Board 2′s full board voted last night to oppose the 13-story Ace Hotel proposed for Bond and Schermerhorn Streets in Downtown Brooklyn, Curbed reported. The developer, GFI Capital, wants a variance to build 50,000 square feet larger than as-of-right zoning allows, and the board’s Land Use committee voted against it last month. Almost the full board agreed, citing concerns about increased traffic on Bond Street and the hotel’s lack of parking. GFI can’t include underground parking or a basement because the hotel will sit directly over the A/C/G stop at Hoyt-Schermerhorn. Although the developer conducted a traffic study, the board said it wasn’t convinced.

Permits were filed in July for the development at 53-61 Bond Street, which specified 285 rooms distributed across 156,984 square feet. By contrast, an as-of-right building would have 169 rooms spread over 107,760 square feet. The board’s vote is only advisory.

Local Board Opposes Possible 285-Room Ace Hotel in DoBro [Curbed]
Ace Hotel Coverage [Brownstoner]

265 state street boerum hill 102014

After fewer than four months in business, retail mogul Andy Spade’s home goods store Boerum House and Home at 312 Atlantic Avenue in Boerum Hill has shut its doors. Meanwhile, nearby at 265 State Street, a combo hotel-condo, known as The Boerum, is getting ready to launch sales in mid-November, a spokesperson for the development told us. The space that housed Boerum House and Home will become the Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group sales gallery for the condos.

Boerum House and Home was founded by Partners & Spade, a partnership of Andy Spade and Anthony Sperduti, in partnership with architecture and development firm Flank, which designed the store. The store debuted in late June or early July, as we reported at the time. In an email to us, a spokesman for The Boerum called it “the acclaimed housewares and furnishings store designed and curated by Flank and Partners & Spade” and noted that Partners & Spade is a creative agency whose clients include Warby Parker, Shinola and J.Crew. Flank is also the developer and the designer of The Boerum, its first and biggest project in Brooklyn.

The Boerum, which apparently will take up all of one side of Smith Street between State and Schermerhorn, has put up a teaser site. The site also goes by the addresses 71 Smith Street and 140 Schermerhorn, and The Carlyle Group is also involved, according to Crain’s. The hotel will occupy the first six stories, and floors seven through 19 will hold 128 one- to five-bedroom apartments, including four penthouses, with a focus on larger units catering to families, the PR rep said. The red brick and cast stone building will offer family-friendly amenities such as art classes for kids staffed by teachers from the Children’s Museum of the Arts in the Village, according to The Wall Street Journal. Pricing has not yet been announced.

Corcoran may not even have to change the sign at 312 Atlantic Avenue, which just says “Boerum.”

The Boerum [Official] GMAP
Andy Spade Debuts Home Store on Atlantic Avenue in Boerum Hill This Month [Brownstoner]
Rendering by Flank

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The developer of the Ace Hotel at 61 Bond Street in Downtown Brooklyn is requesting a variance from the city to build it. There will be a public hearing tonight at a meeting of Community Board 2′s Land Use Committee to consider the request. This will be the only opportunity the public will have to comment on the matter, according to a letter that went out to neighbors earlier this month (click through to see the letter).

Confusingly, the letter did not state what exactly the developer is seeking the variance for. The rumor is the developer wants to build higher than current zoning permits, and put a bar and pool on the roof, according to a tipster who sent us the letter. The neighbors are worried, our tipster said, adding, “I was excited by Ace developing the site (vs. the typical schlock hotels that tend to get developed in Downtown Brooklyn) and remain hopeful it will be a positive.”

If you want to speak at the meeting, you must call the community board district office at 718-596-5410. The meeting will take place at 6 pm tonight in Room LC400 at the Dibner Building at the NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering at 5 MetroTech Center.

The hotel will replace a parking lot, above. An application for a new building permit was disapproved in August.

Permits Filed for Brooklyn’s Ace Hotel [Brownstoner]
Photo by Google Maps via NYY

Update: The developer would like to add density (more square feet), not height. Anyone who wishes to testify tonight can do so by signing in before the hearing, CB2 District Manager Robert Perris let us know in a comment below.

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We found this schematic for a hotel on the fence at 3rd Avenue and 6th Street, a block from Whole Foods in Gowanus. Globiwest Hospitality is building the six-story boutique hotel at 399 Third Avenue, as DNAinfo reported last year. It will have 58 rooms spread across 19,127 square feet, as well as four parking spaces, an exercise room and a meeting room, according to new building permits filed a year ago. Michael Kang Architect is the architect of record.

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