The Brooklyn Greenway is expanding to Columbia Street between Degraw and Kane, and a desolate stretch of waterfront is about to get much greener. There’s already a protected bike lane on Columbia Street, but the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative is going to begin landscaping the first part of the Columbia Waterfront Park.

They’re looking for enthusiastic volunteers to help with spreading compost, laying seed, and covering the seeded area with jute mats. Volunteers will work under the direction of landscape architect and ecologist Bryan Quinn.

The park is part of the Initiative’s effort to restore native plant communities and the ecosystems they support. Interested volunteers can find RSVP details here on BGI’s website. Gardeners will meet Sunday morning at 10 am at the BGI offices at 153 Columbia Street. To see what the Columbia Street part of the Greenway looks like now, click through the jump.

Rendering by Rogers Marvel Architects for Brooklyn Greenway Initiative


The Brooklyn Home Company broke ground recently on a four-unit condo building at 84 Congress Street in the Columbia Street Waterfront District. A joint venture with MESH Architectures, this project looks nothing like Brooklyn Home Company’s conversions in historic buildings we wrote about last week, as a rendering on the fence shows.

Designed by Mesh Architecture, the 6,720-square-foot building between Columbia and Hicks Streets will have four duplexes, basement storage, a one-car garage and a private roof terrace for the penthouse. Although the rendering shows six stories, including a set back, the permit specifies five.

A new building application was filed over a year ago, but the DOB didn’t issue permits until January 24. Brooklyn Home snapped up the small property for $1,550,000 in October 2012, public records show, with a one-story factory on the lot, now demolished.

A few blocks away there is a green condo building under construction. The building at 84 Congress will take nine months to a year to complete. Thanks to a tipster for sending in the rendering. What do you think of the design? GMAP

Development and architectural firm The Brooklyn Home Company has seven projects under construction in various Brooklyn neighborhoods, including brownstone condo conversions, new condo developments and townhouse renovations. Brooklyn Home principal and developer Bill Caleo sent us a full list of the developments, their progress and renderings for four of them:

  • 256 Cumberland Street, a condo project (gut renovation with addition) will be complete in the next two weeks to a month. The brownstone facade has been fully restored. Attorney General approval is in process/imminent.
  • 77 Douglass Street, a condo project (gut renovation) will be complete around May 1. AG approval is in process.
  • 27 Lincoln Place, a luxury two-family townhouse (gut renovation and addition) will be complete around April 15.
  • 27 7th Avenue is a luxury two-family townhouse with garden rental and owner’s triplex (pictured above). The partial gut renovation will be complete around May 1. The front facade, which has details featured in the Landmark Preservation Commission handbook, has been restored.  The unusual building was designed by the same architect who built the church on Lincoln Place and 6th Avenue in Park Slope. There is lots of original detail on the interior as well, which has been restored.
  • 340 Dean Street, a condo project, broke ground recently. Brooklyn Home is currently building the foundation and estimates 11 to 14 months to completion.
  • 559-563 Carroll Street, a condo project broke ground recently. They are finishing up the foundation. Will finish up in 11 to 14 months.
  • 84 Congress Street, a condo project (and a joint venture between The Brooklyn Home Company and MESH Architectures) has broken ground. Will take nine months to a year to complete.
More renderings after the jump!
Renderings by Lily Barberich

Construction is chugging along at 255 Columbia Street, a Passive House boutique condo development with 13 units in the Columbia Street Waterfront neighborhood. Six of the building’s planned seven stories have risen so far, and alteration permits indicate the finished product will be 19,700 square feet.

HPI Development began marketing four of the units in October, and prices will range from $900,000 to $2,000,000. Designed by Loadingdock5, the super-insulated building will feature triple-paned windows and mechanical ventilation with heat recovery.

Each condo has its own balcony. High-end details include 4-inch-wide American walnut flooring, honed white Carrara marble mosaic tile floors and Calacatta marble counters in the master baths.

255 Columbia [Building Site]
Sales Launch at Forthcoming Green “Boutique” Condo Building on Waterfront [Brownstoner]
Sokol Brothers Building on Columbia Street Leveled [Brownstoner] GMAP

A new farm to table cafe called Orchard is opening this spring at 257 Columbia Street in the Columbia Street Waterfront area. Owner Julie Solovyeva says the cafe will sell farm fresh produce,  locally sourced and homemade products and a selection of publications focusing on food, art and culture.

And to engage its neighbors in food policy discussion, the cafe will host a workshop program addressing issues like food sustainability and urban farming. Community Board Six has already green lighted the cafe’s liquor license application, which awaits approval from the state. Although Solovyeva had originally planned to open in March, she expects to open later in the spring. GMAP

A reader wrote in with this picture to tell us that the DOT opened Van Brunt and Degraw Streets to two-way traffic in the Columbia Street waterfront neighborhood yesterday after nearly a decade of “temporary” one-way street changes. Our tipster, a longtime neighborhood resident, said the project began about 10 years ago when the city started upgrading all the utilities and roads in the Columbia Street waterfront area.

Around that time, the DOT made several blocks in the hood one-way: Degraw between Van Brunt and Columbia and Van Brunt from Degraw to Hamilton. They also changed the direction of traffic on Summit Street between Hamilton and Columbia. But as of yesterday, the preconstruction traffic patterns have been restored. And recently, the city started building the greenway along Columbia Street, which is nearly finished.

“They even installed permanent traffic lights just last year at that intersection on Columbia, only to take them down a couple of days ago and replace them with a four-way stop,” said our tipster. “This affected truck traffic too, since all trucks must go on Van Brunt.”

The notice also indicates the B61 will return to its normal route, and there will be no more parking along that section of Van Brunt and on the northern side of Degraw.

Breuckelen Berber 1

Handmade rug retailer Breuckelen Berber, located on the Columbia Street Waterfront, offers far more than an in-and-out shopping experience. Owners Nathan Ursch and Brin Reinhardt have created a space in which vintage Moroccan Berber carpets and other furnishings find a true home in a Brooklyn storefront. They had looked for a spot on Atlantic Avenue when expanding their business a year and a half ago, but Columbia Street was more affordable and, fortuitously, has since become a walking destination in its own right. (more…)

The triplex penthouse at 29 Tiffany Place in the Columbia Waterfront District has just hit the market with a price tag of $2,495,000. That’s pretty expensive based on the interior square footage of 1,880 — but don’t forget that this place has four terraces, including a wrap-around number on the top floor with panoramic views. The main living space also sports 23-foot ceilings and a gigantic wall of windows. Another bonus: You’re just around the corner from Pok Pok NY. Yum.

29 Tiffany Place, #PH2 [Elliman] GMAP


Sales and marketing have started up for 255 Columbia, a Passive House boutique condo building that is going up on Columbia Street in the Columbia Street Waterfront area. Move-in is expected in winter of 2014, according to developer HPI Development LLC. The 13-unit building was designed by Loadingdock5, which specializes in Passive House design. The super-insulated building with triple-paned windows and mechanical ventilation with heat recovery will be energy efficient and also quiet. There will be a “steady stream of fresh filtered air,” according to the building’s website.

The building comes with some other pretty high end features too, including 4-inch-wide American walnut flooring, Bosch washer/dryers, and white Carrera honed marble mosaic floors and Calacatta marble counters in the master baths. The kitchens will have white lacquer and walnut cabinetry and Corian counters. While the building is located on a stretch of Columbia Street that does not directly overlook the East River, some of the higher units will have views of Manhattan and the water. Units will range in price from about $900,000 to $2,000,000. The four units now on the market start at $1,095,000 for a two-bedroom and go up to $1,250,000 for a three-bedroom. Click through to the jump to see renderings of the building exterior and a bathroom.

255 Columbia [Building Site]
Passively Designed 255 Columbia Launches Sales From $900K [Curbed]
Sokol Brothers Building on Columbia Street Leveled [Brownstoner] GMAP (more…)

Summit Garden 1

Summit Garden in Columbia Street Waterfront contributes cooperative green space to the neighborhood.

Greenest Block 1

Lincoln Road between Bedford and Rogers avenues won the title “The Greenest Block in Brooklyn” in 2012.


The summer in Brooklyn reveals itself in lush gushes of green, throughout the borough. There are the community gardens on many city corners, one of which, Summit Garden in the Columbia Street Waterfront area, offers a perfect example of tranquility in the midst of urban life. And once a year in August, the Greenest Block in Brooklyn is announced to great acclaim. In 2012, a block on Lincoln Road in Lefferts Gardens was given the title, and we had a chance to photograph it in all its glory. (more…)

At the beginning of this month the restaurant Cesar’s Garden opened at 192 Columbia Street, off Degraw Street on the Columbia Street Waterfront. Cesar’s Garden is open everyday from 8 am to 10 pm and serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It’s a diner-style menu with lots of salad, sandwich, pasta, hamburger, and egg options. Check it out here. Have any readers tried it out yet? GMAP

This new listing at Columbia Commons in the Columbia Waterfront District is a combination of two units that were purchased from the developer in 2011 for a combined $800,000. The resulting floor plan works very well, which is not always the case with these combos, and the 1,293-square-foot apartment is styled to sell. So unless interest rates continue their climb we won’t be surprised if this place fetches within spitting distance of its asking price of $1,295,000, ground-floor location be damned. $1,000 a foot is the new $700 a foot!

110 Warren Street, #B103/B104 [Corcoran] GMAP P*Shark