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Council Member Brad Lander released his Bridging Gowanus framework this afternoon (we were expecting it Monday), condensing a year of community meetings. The document lays out a vision for development in Gowanus that hinges on high-rise apartments to help fund improvements residents demand, including anti-flood measures, more parks, more schools, affordable housing, and ways to protect artists and manufacturing businesses.

It proposes a “mandatory mixed-use zone” that will “require a balance of light industry, cultural and artistic uses,” a special manufacturing zone, and mandatory inclusionary zoning to require affordable housing in new developments. (The first two are new types of zoning districts proposed by the City Council in a report Wednesday.) The document includes a list of buildings that should be considered for landmarking, as well as alternative approaches to preserving Gowanus’ historic buildings.

He’ll present the plan at a public meeting on Monday, November 24 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at P.S. 32, at the corner of Hoyt and Union streets. Residents can submit comments through the end of the year and read the full framework on the Bridging Gowanus site. You can also read the press release and summary here.

Lander Offers Gowanus Trade: High Rises for Flood Upgrades [Brownstoner]
New Zoning Districts Could Dramatically Change Bushwick, Gowanus and Other Nabes [Brownstoner]

50-66 Nevins St. Harriet Judson, NE, PS

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Former Harriet Judson Residence, now an adult care residence
Address: 50-66 Nevins Street
Cross Streets: Between State and Schermerhorn streets
Neighborhood: Boerum Hill
Year Built: 1912-1913
Architectural Style: Transitional Renaissance Revival/Colonial Revival
Architect: Frank Freeman
Other Buildings by Architect: Eagle Warehouse, Brooklyn Fire HQ, Behr mansion, Crescent Athletic Club, Brooklyn Union Gas HQ, Germania Club (demolished), Thomas Jefferson Building (demolished), Brooklyn Savings Bank (demolished)
Landmarked: No, but should be

The story: The Young Woman’s Christian Association in Brooklyn was founded in February of 1888. It immediately elected officers, all prominent Brooklyn society women, and secured a meeting and office space in a building on Fulton Street, near Flatbush. The goal of the organization at its inception was to provide a meeting place for young women who were employed in retail stores, as office workers and other occupations throughout Brooklyn. These young ladies could listen to lectures, concerts, enjoy the reading room, and receive Christian instruction, if so desired. It was the first major organization of its kind in Brooklyn to be entirely run by women. (more…)

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We happened to snap a few photos of Starbucks’ second Williamsburg store, which opened at 154 North 7th Street earlier this month. Unlike the first one, which opened in east Williamsburg on the other side of the BQE, this location is right in the heart of North Williamsburg, just a few doors down from the corner of Bedford and North 7th, the Bedford L train stop and Dunkin’ Donuts.

When we stopped by at 9:30 am on Thursday last week, it didn’t seem super busy. This is the location that has applied for a liquor license, which the community board voted not to support. The interior features artwork from locals, according to DNAinfo. Click through to see. GMAP (more…)

Times Plaza, Composite

A look at Brooklyn, then and now.

Wow, Brooklyn’s changed in the last 64 years! Well, Downtown Brooklyn certainly has. This is one of Brooklyn’s busiest intersections, where Flatbush and Atlantic Avenues cross. Our “Past” photo from the Brooklyn Collection at the Brooklyn Public Library is from 1950. The Korean War was on the front page of the newspapers, the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel opened that May, and the Cold War and Russia’s nuclear capability was on everyone’s minds.

Communists were seemingly everywhere, and Jay Leno, Samuel Alito, Bill Murray and Britain’s Princess Anne were born that year, among many others. Had any of them been taken for a ride up Flatbush Avenue that year, they would have seen what the camera saw here. And like many of us, they may not have known what they were looking at. (more…)

colony 1209 bushwick 062014 bushwick daily

Spruce Capital Partners wants to flip the recently opened Colony 1209 in Bushwick, asking $81,500,000 for the five-story luxury rental building at 1209 Dekalb Avenue, according to The New York Observer. Spruce bought the 127-unit development in April from developer Read Property Group for $58,000,000. Rents are high for Bushwick, ranging from $1,775 for a studio to $2,975 for a two-bedroom at Colony, where amenities include a “speakeasy,” a gym, screening room, common roof terrace and a shared backyard.

The building’s marketing team has caught some flak for the name of the building and its marketing copy, which bills the development as “homesteading, Bushwick-style” and a place where one can find “like-minded settlers.” The building is located in an area of Bushwick that has been densely residential for more than 100 years, and is lined with 19th century row houses and mansions, not a “vibrant industrial setting,” as the copy claims. Massey Knakal is marketing the 120,000-square-foot building, which has 41 parking spaces and 12 years left on a 421-a tax abatement.

Controversial Bushwick Rental Building Hits the Market for $81.5 Million [NYO] GMAP
1209 Dekalb Avenue Coverage [Brownstoner]
Image via Bushwick Daily

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High-rise apartment buildings with affordable housing, more parks, more schools, protected artists’ spaces, a special “super manufacturing zone” to protect factories — these are all part of a plan to redevelop Gowanus that Council Member Brad Lander will unveil Monday, according to a story in DNAinfo. “The Bridging Gowanus plan lays out a broad set of goals including flood-fighting infrastructure upgrades, affordable housing and a rezoning that would bolster manufacturing and allow new residential development, including high-rises in some places, for the first time since 1961,” the story said.

The vision, which Lander plans to present to the de Blasio administration, came out of a series of public meetings Lander convened over the last year called Bridging Gowanus. Most area residents support tall buildings from eight to 18 stories if other criteria are met, according to Lander. (more…)

Photo by Pixonomy http://www.flickr.com/photos/pixonomy/5216274523/

Another round of voting takes place tonight to determine how $19,500,000 in settlement money from the Exxon-Mobil oil spill will be spent on Greenpoint environmental projects. There are 13 projects looking for a piece of the settlement, including a tidal wetland project along Newtown Creek and an educational community garden in McCarren Park. Other projects include an environmental education center at Greenpoint Library, the planned Box Street Park, and developing a new city park on Bushwick Inlet.

You can head over to the Greenpoint Community Environmental Fund to read detailed proposals with the grant amounts for each project. Residents get to vote on which projects deserve funding tonight from 6 to 8:30 pm at the Polish and Slavic Center at 177 Kent Street, and on Saturday from 10 am to 3 pm at the Polish National Home at 261 Driggs Avenue.

Greenpoint Community Environmental Fund Coverage [Brownstoner]
Photo by Pixonomy

291 Cumberland St. NS, PS

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Row house
Address: 291 Cumberland Street
Cross Streets: Lafayette and Greene Avenues
Neighborhood: Fort Greene
Year Built: 1892
Architectural Style: Renaissance Revival
Architect: Parfitt Brothers
Other Buildings by Architect: St. Augustine RC Church, Grace Methodist and row houses in Park Slope, apartment buildings, office buildings, row houses, churches in Bedford Stuyvesant, Stuyvesant Heights, Crown Heights North and Brooklyn Heights.
Landmarked: Yes, part of Fort Greene HD (1978)

The story: This house is the architectural equivalent of “pimp my ride,” or I suppose a better word might be “McMansioning.” Only this time, our 19th century poseur hired one of the best firms in Brooklyn to do the deed. Is it grossly inappropriate to celebrate a house that is clearly out of context, or does the resume of the architect make this just hunky-dory? How come it’s perfectly great to celebrate this, and then turn around and damn those who do it today? What’s the difference of a hundred years? Well, taste and talent, for one thing.

Ok, if I were around back then, and this was going to happen, I probably wouldn’t be a champion. The row of vernacular wood framed houses on this block is great. There are several different styles here, by several different builders, and to the right and the left of 291 Cumberland, these are very nice clapboard houses. What’s not to like? Wide generous porches, Classical style columns and capitals, the once-high stoops on 293 and its neighbors, and gracious proportions. 291 Cumberland was also one of these; an 1850s clapboard vernacular house. (more…)

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The original details are a little too rococo for our tastes, and we don’t think the lovely and somewhat Japanese feeling kitchen works in this context, but we’re sure someone will go for this grand Italianate in move-in condition.

The 22-foot-wide house is set up as an owner’s triplex over a garden rental. It was gut renovated in 2009, according to the listing, and has all new mechanicals, a finished basement, original wide plank floors, radiant heat in the bathrooms, and zoned central air. Most unusually, it has an elevator.

It was a House of the Day in 2008 and sold for $2,400,000. Now the ask is $4,650,000. Do you think they will get it?

162 Bergen Street [Corcoran] GMAP

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This new listing at 39 Remsen Street in Brooklyn Heights looks like a floor-through of a brownstone but it’s actually only half the width of a larger building. Just a block from the promenade, the location can’t be matched and there are lots of beautiful original details in the front and back rooms.

The middle, where a marble entry and new kitchen have been constructed, is not as compelling to us. In particular, the kitchen detailing (the floor tiles and the style of subway tiles) feel a little out of place.

But if you can afford the asking price of $2,875,000, chances are you can afford to tweak the kitchen to your liking. Otherwise, the scale and historic nature of the place are amazing.

39 Remsen Street, #1ABC [Brown Harris Stevens] GMAP

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Anyone searching for original detail in Crown Heights will appreciate this 2.5-bedroom on Kingston Avenue, which features original moldings, pocket doors, inlaid floors and mirrored wooden mantels. The kitchen and bathroom aren’t anything to write home about, but there is a washer/dryer in the kitchen. The small bedroom over the entry could be used as a baby room, office or storage. The 3 train is about four and a half blocks away and the A/C is seven and a half blocks. Do you think it’ll fly for $2,100 a month?

189 Kingston Avenue [Fillmore] GMAP