2015_05_17 Pierhouse 47

You may have thought the movement to save the view of the Brooklyn Bridge from the Promenade was dead, since the lawsuit over the Pierhouse development was decided in Brooklyn Bridge Park’s favor in June, but community group Save the View Now is hoping to resurrect its case. Last week the organization filed a motion to amend its complaint and renew its motion for a preliminary injunction based on what claims is newly discovered evidence that the developer, Toll Brothers and others involved in the project misrepresented the use of the controversial 30-foot bulkhead that blocks the view of the Brooklyn Bridge.

The City, Empire State Development Corp, Toll Brothers and Starwood Capital have always contended that the bulkhead, which exceeds the legally mandated building height of 100 feet but is not counted as part of the building, was needed to house the building’s mechanicals since, in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, they could no longer be located in the basement. Save the View Now says it has uncovered plans that show that the bulkhead will be used for more frivolous purposes than housing mechanicals. (more…)


A group of seven 19th century buildings on Atlantic Avenue close to the water, including the home of the last of the longshoreman’s bars, Montero’s, is for sale for $56,000,000. However, despite a wave of development on this gritty stretch by the BQE on-ramp, the chances of the row being razed and turned into condos — or even selling at all, at this price — are slim, because they are all landmarked.

Just across the street is the former Long Island College Hospital campus, where two 40-story condo towers are brewing, and a block away near the water Brooklyn Bridge Park is preparing for two more towers on Pier 6. (more…)

194 Columbia Hts, B Eldredge 1

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Row House
Address: 194 Columbia Heights
Cross Streets: Pierrepont and Clark streets
Neighborhood: Brooklyn Heights
Year Built: 1860
Architectural Style: Italianate
Architect: Unknown
Landmarked: Yes, part of Brooklyn Heights Historic District (1965)

The story: Brooklyn Heights is one of the most desirable neighborhoods in New York City. A historic row house on Columbia Heights, with rear Promenade and Manhattan views, is quite alluring, so it’s no wonder that a neglected, boarded-up house in that location would be the subject of curiosity and desire.

Unfortunately, this report does not solve that mystery. The property has been owned by Dr. Austin Moore since 1969. For whatever reason, he’s been unable or unwilling to do anything with it, other than emergency repairs. He has also refused to sell. But today’s BOTD is not about that.

Rather, it’s a look at the original owner and his family – a family that had the house built and lived in it for at least 80 years. (more…)

Brooklyn Heights Public Library1

At its meeting tonight, Brooklyn Community Board 2 will vote on the controversial plan to sell the Brooklyn Heights Library site to a private developer, Hudson Companies, which aims to build a 36-story condominium tower that will include a new library on the ground floor.

As we’ve covered extensively, there are strong partisans on both sides of this one: Those who call it a prime opportunity to upgrade the ailing facility at 280 Cadman Plaza West and generate much-needed cash for the borough’s libraries and those who call it an unconscionable handoff of public land to a private developer.

Whichever way the board goes, “CB2’s vote will be momentous,” judges the group Citizens Defending Libraries, which strongly opposes the $52,000,000 sale, believing it would “set the table for future developers to feast on public assets.” (more…)


It’s hard to find a whole lot of fault with this five-story brownstone, at 44 Grace Court in Brooklyn Heights. It’s palatial, it’s gorgeous, it’s on a block as nice as any in Heights, and it looks to be in fantastic condition.

One word this house brings to mind is “abundance.” Space? There’s around 5,500 square feet. Bedrooms? There are eight, half of them king-sized. Marble fireplaces? There are eight of those as well. Ceilings, high; windows, tall. A lovely landscaped garden and a deck on the fourth floor.

There’s detail all over the place — original moldings, beauteous parquet floors, walnut and mahogany woodwork, the works. There’s a sleek, modern kitchen on the garden level that looks great, and backs up the claim in the listing that the house “has successfully blended its significant history and architectural details with modern living.” (more…)


This one-bedroom co-op at 24 Monroe Place in Brooklyn Heights has a classic, elegant look. It’s got picture rail moldings and oak parquet floors that look to be in fine shape.

It all looks to be in fine shape, actually. That includes the kitchen, which looks tiny, but is nicely renovated. There’s no picture of the bathroom, but the listing promises that it’s been “elegantly restored to its original luster.”

The place isn’t gigantic at 630 square feet, but the living room and bedroom are reasonably sized. And they appear to get a fair amount of light. (It’s on a high floor, and a sliver of skyline can apparently be seen from the bedroom window.) (more…)


A new ice cream shop is coming to 115 Montague Street, almost directly across from the country’s first Haagen Dazs. Emack & Bolio’s is a rock-n-roll themed chain originating in Boston.

They’ve taken the space that was vacated by Connecticut Muffin earlier this year after the rent got too d*mn high. Curious peepers can see purple-painted columns above the brown paper. (more…)


There aren’t a lot of bells and whistles attached to this one. No landscaped roof deck, no on-site yoga studio, no marble-countered kitchen in which to “unleash your inner Wolfgang Puck.” What we’ve got here is a straight-up, modest one-bedroom in prime Brooklyn Heights in decent shape for under $2,000.

They’re calling the bedroom “good-sized” — “not very big” would be another way to describe it. Without a floor plan we can’t tell if there’s a closet in there — if so, presumably we’re not talking about a walk-in. The kitchen is small and drab, though serviceable. (more…)


The site at 153-157 Remsen Street is finally seeing some action, with construction workers buzzing all around the lot where three decrepit buildings were demolished this past year. A rendering for the 19-story residential “Remsen Apartments,” designed by Perkins Eastman affiliate S9 Architecture, was posted nearby along with a projected completion date of December 2016. (more…)


RAL Development’s Robert Levine, far left; ODA New York’s Eran Chen. Photos by RAL and ODA

Brooklyn Bridge Park Corp. has chosen developer-architect team RAL Development Services, Oliver’s Realty Group and architect firm ODA New York to design and build two controversial residential towers on Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park, park officials announced Tuesday afternoon.

The winning proposal was selected from 14 submissions, and the process was held up by a lawsuit. That lawsuit has concluded, but now the plan must go through a public review process.

The winning design is more restrained than is typical for ODA but still shows its signature theme of assemblages of boxes. It also matches the existing condos right next to the sites at One Brooklyn Bridge Park, aka 360 Furman Street, a former 1920s Jehovah’s Witnesses industrial building that winning developer RAL Development Services converted to residential use a few years ago.

Significant details of the development have changed, thanks to Mayor de Blasio’s call for affordable housing on the site, the lawsuit and controversy over the height of a development in another corner of the park, at the Pierhouse condos and 1Hotel. (more…)


Developer David Kramer’s Hudson Companies has released renderings of the Clinton Hill affordable housing it plans at 1041-1047 Fulton Street and 911-917 Atlantic Avenue. As readers will recall, both buildings are part of a deal struck to redevelop the Brooklyn Heights Cadman Plaza branch library at 280 Cadman Plaza West, next door to 1 Pierrepont Plaza, where Hillary Clinton has her campaign headquarters.

The renderings, more details of the project, and additional renderings of the condo building were revealed on a new website about the project last week. (more…)

70 Henry Street1

The Landmarks Preservation Commission is moving quickly through its Brooklyn backlog. In a highly anticipated vote yesterday, the LPC approved a design for a long-in-the-works proposal to convert the Brooklyn Heights Cinema building at 70 Henry Street into condos. It also designated the M.H. Renken Dairy building on Myrtle Avenue in Clinton Hill, also in the works for years, and the Henry and Susan McDonald House in Wallabout.

The plan to add a three-story condo building on top of the existing building at 70 Henry Street in Brooklyn Heights comes after similar plans for the building were rejected twice before by the commission. This design by Morris Adjmi Architects (designer of the Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg) creates a 50 foot tall building — the maximum allowed on that site. (more…)