301-309 Schermerhorn St. Odd Fellows Memorial, Google Maps 2

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Originally Odd Fellows Memorial Hall
Address: 301-309 Schermerhorn Street
Cross Streets: Nevins and Bond Street
Neighborhood: Downtown Brooklyn
Year Built: 1924-25
Architectural Style: Colonial Revival
Architect: Unknown
Landmarked: No

The story: The Odd Fellows can trace their origins back to the minor trade guilds of Europe in the 14th century. The name comes from the fact that some trades did not have enough members in a town to have their own guild, so they joined together – a membership of odd fellows. In addition to social activities, these organizations provided financial services for members, especially for the elderly. Many began as burial societies for members. By the late 19th century, they were one of many fraternal societies that were very popular in the United States. Brooklyn was home to chapters of just about every society possible, for every group possible, and some of those societies are still very active today.

After World War I, Brooklyn’s Odd Fellows decided to honor the members of their fellowship who had died during the war. They began collecting funds to build a memorial hall in 1920, and by 1923 had collected over $300,000. Odd Fellow lodges from all over the country contributed to the fund, as this was the only Memorial Hall for Odd Fellow war dead in NY State. The Hall would also serve to honor the over 7,000 Odd Fellows in New York who served in the war. (more…)

365 bridge street downtown brooklyn 102014

The price of this penthouse unit at the Belltel Lofts in Downtown Brooklyn has come way down since hitting the market in August. It started at $2,250,000 and is now asking $1,850,000. What do you get for your money? Great views of New York Harbor and 1,645 square feet of living space. Unfortunately there’s no outdoor space, something that many other higher-floor units in this building have. Monthly charges are still low — $1,290 a month. What do you think this’ll end up going for?

365 Bridge Street, #23A [Corcoran] GMAP

365 jay street downtown brooklyn 102014

The topmost layers of scaffolding at 365 Jay Street have come down, revealing a bit of the restored tower of the old Brooklyn Fire Headquarters. The building has been shrouded in scaffolding for more than a year now, as the Pratt Area Community Council repairs the roof, windows, terra cotta archway and foyer. The 1892 Romanesque Revival building had been neglected and also suffered severe roof damage and flooding two years ago.

The building was designed by prolific Brooklyn architect Frank Freeman and designated an individual landmark in 1966. In 1987, the city agreed to turn it into affordable housing for low-income people displaced by construction of the nearby MetroTech complex.

MDG Design and Construction and Nomad Architecture are leading the restoration, which is scheduled to wrap by spring 2015.

Thanks to a reader for the photos and tip. Click through to see another shot of the tower.

Building of the Day: 365 Jay Street [Brownstoner]
Scaffolding up at Jay Street Firehouse [Brownstoner]



Slate Property Group plans to build a 19-story tower with 157 apartments at the very prominent corner of Flatbush and Fulton in Downtown Brooklyn, according to a new building application filed yesterday. The photo above shows the triangular shape of the lot, now occupied by a partly empty one two-story commercial building. (Five Guys has replaced Sleepy’s.)

The new building will have a total of 160,000 square feet of space, including more than 123,000 square feet for apartments. Twenty percent of the apartments will be affordable, and the building will most likely be a rental, according to New York YIMBY, which first spotted the new-building application.

That leaves 20,000 square feet for retail. Goldstein Hill & West Architects are the architects of record on the permit. In December 2012, an LLC associated with Capstone Equities bought the property from Kansas Fried Chicken for $14,250,000, according to public records.

We think a tall mixed-use building at this location, the entrance to the Fulton Mall, makes a ton of sense. We hope it will be an attractive one.

Permits Filed: 19-Story Building at 1 Flatbush Avenue [NYY]
Photo by Scott Bintner for PropertyShark

96 SchermerhornCombo

This new one-bedroom listing at 96 Schermerhorn Street in Downtown Brooklyn is looking good. The prewar bones — lots of windows, 12-foot ceilings and generously proportioned rooms — got a very handsome updating recently, including a new kitchen, bathroom and ceiling. Really gorgeous. Asking price is $750,000 and the monthly maintenance is $1,156.

96 Schermerhorn Street, #8F [Corcoran] GMAP

Oro double

This two-bedroom in the Oro condominium in Downtown Brooklyn is big – 1,320 square feet — and seems to have spectacular views from its wall of windows in the living room.

It’s hard to tell what condition the unit is in since the images appear to be from a model unit, but this apartment was purchased by its most recent owner just a little over a year ago. The building, of course, has amenities that you don’t usually find in a rental — a gym, basketball court, swimming pool, screening room and a full-time doorman. What do you think of it for $4,400 a month?

306 Gold Street, #33C [Elliman] GMAP

86 fleet place rendering 92014

After filing permits for its fourth and final building on Myrtle Avenue last month, billionaire John Catsimatidis’ Red Apple Group has released a rendering of the 32-story tower at 86 Fleet Place in Downtown Brooklyn. New York YIMBY first published the rendering, along with some new details that differ from the permits. The high-rise will have 440 apartments spread among 385,000 square feet and 10,000 square feet of ground floor retail.

The building between Fleet Place, Fair Street and Prince Street joins Red Apple’s first three developments on the block — 218 Myrtle Avenue (the already completed Andrea), 180 Myrtle Avenue and 160 Myrtle Avenue (both still under construction). Dattner Architects designed all of those, but the architect of record on 86 Fleet is Goldstein, Hill and West.

What do you think of the design?
Revealed: 86 Fleet Place, 32-Story Downtown Brooklyn Tower by Red Apple Group [NYY] GMAP
Plans Revealed for Last and Biggest Tower in Catsimatidis’ Myrtle Avenue Complex [Brownstoner]
Red Apple Group Coverage [Brownstoner]

Rendering via Red Apple Group and NYY

81 fleet place downtown brooklyn 92014

The brick facade is up and most of the windows are in at 81 Fleet Place, the 15-story development that supermarket mogul John Catsimatidis is building in Downtown Brooklyn. Construction on the 205-unit rental building is supposed to wrap in the first quarter of next year, and leasing is scheduled to begin then as well, as the Brooklyn Eagle noted in a story earlier this month.

Next door at 180 Myrtle, where Catsimatidis’ Red Apple Group is developing its third and final rental building on Myrtle between Fleet and Ashland places, construction is just starting. When we stopped by, the lot was being cleaned and excavated. A 15-story tower with 213 units and 129 parking spaces will rise on the plot.

These two buildings join the Andrea at 218 Myrtle, Red Apple’s first rental development on the block. It was finished in 2010. Dattner Architects designed all three, and you can click through to see their master plan for the block and a look behind the fence at 180 Myrtle.

Fleet Place Coverage [Brownstoner]  GMAP
Rendering below by Dattner Architects


420 albee square downtown brooklyn

The latest tower-tastic addition to Downtown Brooklyn’s skyline is a 65-story high rise headed for 420 Albee Square, across the street from the City Point megaproject. Developed by JEMB Realty, the 679-foot-tall development will have 620 units, per new building applications first spotted by New York YIMBY.

YIMBY notes that the building will be one of the tallest in the borough, surpassed only by the 800-foot-tall tower in the works at 340 Flatbush Avenue Extension. SLCE Architects is designing the tower, which will have 480,345 square feet of residential space and 271,203 square feet of retail on the first two floors. JEMBY Realty paid $38,500,000 for the site, currently a parking lot, in March, according to public records

Permits Filed: 65-Story Tower Coming to 420 Albee Square, Downtown Brooklyn [NY YIMBY] GMAP
Image via Google Maps


The last piece of developer Red Apple Group’s big Myrtle Avenue development in Downtown Brooklyn has fallen into place with the filing of an application for a new building permit for 86 Fleet Place.

The last and largest tower will be 346 feet tall with 32 stories, New York YIMBY reported. That will make it just slightly shorter than its next-door neighbor Toren, said YIMBY.

Permits Filed: 32-Story Tower Coming to 86 Fleet Place in Downtown [NYY]
Rendering by Dattner Architects via NYY


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.


brooklyn book fest

The Brooklyn Book Fest is descending on the park behind Borough Hall in Downtown Brooklyn this Sunday, and it’s bringing a full slate of Bookend events throughout the borough every night this week. Literary discussions and events on everything from comic books to parenting will take place from 10 am to 5 pm on Sunday. The slate of speakers includes Zadie Smith, James McBride, Jonathan Lethem, Joyce Carol Oates and Salman Rushdie. Check out the full list of Sunday’s festival events and Bookend events happening throughout the week.

Photo via Brooklyn Book Fest