300 livingston street 33 bond street downtown brooklyn 32015

The block-long parking lot with shops at 300 Livingston Street in Downtown Brooklyn has been completely demolished. As readers may recall, developer TF Cornerstone is planning a 25-story apartment building here.

Several chains in the building — including IHOP, Subway and Papa Johns — shut their doors last summer before scaffolding went up around the garage in the fall. (IHOP plans to reopen across the street at 276 Livingston.) (more…)

305 Livingston St. SB, PS


Name: Mixed use retail and residential row house
Address: 305 Livingston Street
Cross Streets: Nevins and Bond streets
Neighborhood: Downtown Brooklyn
Year Built: Before 1880
Architectural Style: Probably Italianate wood frame, now neo-Classical
Architect: Unknown
Landmarked: No

Nowhere is Brooklyn changing faster than downtown. The pace is astounding.

Many of the new buildings replace parking lots and banal government buildings that were built in the mid-20th century. But others replace much older building stock. Some of it was pretty ordinary, and some of it is a real loss. This block of Livingston Street is one of the last of the old-time small store blocks on the avenues behind Fulton Street.

Most of Livingston and Schermerhorn streets looked like this block 100 years ago. Both streets began their lives as purely residential, with rows of brownstones and wooden row houses dating mostly from the 1840s to 1860s.

As Brooklyn grew, and this area became part of the Fulton Street shopping and theater district, some of the row houses were converted into mixed-use storefronts with apartments above, and many more were torn down and replaced with commercial buildings.

305 Livingston is a holdout from the very old days. (more…)

art along the waterfront conference

Artists, developers, gallery owners and community leaders will gather at Brooklyn Borough Hall Friday morning for a conference on creating and preserving art along the Brooklyn waterfront. The event, “Spaces and Places,” will explore the history of art in the borough. Artists and gallery owners will discuss how art has been made, shown and sold along the Brooklyn waterfront and the issues facing those who make and display art there.

Speakers include Tom Finkelpearl, commissioner of NYC’s Department of Cultural Affairs; Deborah Schwartz, president of the Brooklyn Historical Society; Borough President Eric Adams; Anita Durst, artistic director of chashama; Kathleen Gilrain, executive director of Smack Mellon; Lisa Kim of Two Trees; and Greg O’Connell Jr. of the O’Connell Organization.

See the full list of speakers here. The Brooklyn Historical Society and CUNY’s Brooklyn Waterfront Research Center are organizing the free event, which you can register for through Eventbrite.


Chase is opening a branch at 276 Livingston Street in Downtown Brooklyn, we noticed when we passed by a few weeks ago. It’s the same building where the International House of Pancakes is reopening, although it’s on a different corner.

We’re not sure what the exact address will be, since Chase doesn’t list the branch yet on its map, but it sits on the corner of Fulton and Bond, right across from the now closed-for-construction City Point mall. GMAP


Tangerine Hot Power Yoga is limbering up to open a custom-built hot yoga studio at 225 Schermerhorn Street on Monday, March 23. It will feature radiant heating panels, and there will also be a hot and cold water station and freshly laundered towels.

The space was designed by Ivana Martinovic and Nikola Martinovic of INM Architects.

A few items will also be available for purchase: Liquiteria raw and cold-pressed juices, scented eco-friendly candles from Brooklyn Candle Studio, organic body products from Plant Brooklyn and clothing from Good hYOUman, a spokesperson told us.

Click through to see a sketch of the interior. GMAP

Drawing by INM Architects

Weck composite

Every day we read about small companies relocating to Brooklyn. Inventive people in all kinds of ways are bringing their businesses to Brooklyn, attracted to available space, abundant public transportation and the possibilities of making their fortunes in the great city of Brooklyn. Everyone wants that Brooklyn name. Hopefully, we will once again be a city of makers. Our history is one of great manufacturing within our borders. We used to make everything imaginable, most of it in factories that were not tucked away in the outer fringes of the city, but with walking distance of some of the most desirable neighborhoods in that city.

I like to look at maps, and can spend hours examining our streets, and it never ceases to amaze me what used to be manufactured here. We were a self-contained city, capable of making everything we needed, except perhaps fresh food. And even that was possible well into the 20th century, in the outer parts of Southern Brooklyn and Flatbush. If you drive or walk around what was our industrial core – all of the waterfront areas, plus Gowanus, the border areas of Bedford/Clinton Hill and Crown Heights/Prospect Heights, Greenpoint and Bushwick, you can get an idea of what once was, and has since gone.

Most people don’t realize that downtown Brooklyn also had a lot of manufacturing going on, too. This part of town has been built up, plowed under, and built up again so often, it takes a look at maps, advertisements and old city directories to realize what a forgotten industrial hub parts of downtown once were. Two major bridges, ramps, highway exits and entrances, Metrotech, housing projects, hotels and college campuses have all but decimated the industrial parts of downtown. There were all kinds of interesting companies located there. One of them was Edward Weck & Company. (more…)


When we passed by 253 Livingston Street in Downtown Brooklyn recently, we noticed big signs in the windows promising “IHOP coming soon 2015.” Another International House of Pancakes nearby, at 276 Livingston Street, shut down in 2014 to make way for TF Cornerstone’s big development at 33 Bond Street. The new location was slated to open in November, according to an article in the Brooklyn Eagle last year. GMAP

city point downtown brooklyn closed 22015

The entire City Point mall at 1 Dekalb Avenue is shut for construction until 2016, a guard told us yesterday when we stopped by. Armani Exchange moved out two weeks ago, he said.

Armani Exchange was the first tenant in the building and opened in 2012. Century 21, CityTarget, and Alamo Drafthouse have also signed leases, but have not yet opened. A sign in front of the building lists Century 21, Alamo Drafthouse and A/X as tenants.

A taco stand outside in front, the only thing open when we stopped by, seemed busy.

We have reached out to City Point PR and will update if we hear anything more. Click through for more photos.

Update: We received this statement from Paul Travis, managing partner of Washington Square Partners and co-developer of City Point:
“Armani Exchange’s short-term lease expired and Century 21 Department Store is taking possession to begin construction of its multi-level, 145,000-square-foot space. We’d like to thank Armani Exchange for playing a significant role in promoting City Point and for its commitment to hiring local residents, which falls in line with our philosophy of ‘By Brooklyn, For Brooklyn.’ We’re looking forward to the possibility of them returning to City Point in the future.”


Brooklyn Paper created this awesome interactive map of construction in Downtown Brooklyn, which has 62 buildings under way, according to a report from the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership. The neighborhood will have 18,701 new apartments when all the planned construction finishes, and 43.5 percent of apartments in the pipeline will be affordable. But only 9.9 percent of completed apartments are subsidized now.

Public schools in the area are already crowded, and there aren’t any new public schools planned to support the residential boom, according to the paper. Also under construction are six hotels with a planned 1,730 rooms. If Brooklyn hosts the 2016 DNC Convention, only half those rooms will be ready in time.

Map: Downtown Construction, All of It [BK Paper]


The Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn is fairly far along with its conversion of a two-story church and community building into 84 apartments at 200 Nassau Street in Downtown Brooklyn, despite a penalty and DOB violation for failure to correct hazardous conditions related to crane and digging work, according to DOB files. The building appears to be up to about five stories already; plans call for four stories, plus a penthouse, with parking for 31 cars and 42 bicycles, according to an alteration permit filed in 2013. (A partial permit was issued in September 2014.)

The architect is Nataliya Donskoy of ND Architecture & Design, as we’ve reported before. The cost is estimated to be $1,250,000, according to the alteration permit. The property is held by the church’s real estate trust, Rocklyn Ecclesiastical Corp. Click through to see the rendering, which appears to show at least six stories.

Rendering for Planned Church Conversion on Nassau Street in Downtown Brooklyn [Brownstoner] GMAP


147 prince street downtown brooklyn 22015

The two-story addition to Green Desk coworking space has most of its windows at 147 Prince Street in Downtown Brooklyn. The company run by landlord Jack Guttman is doubling the size of its two-story building, for a total of four stories and 52,694 square feet, per alteration permits.

Besides the corner of Prince and Fleet Streets, Green Desk has locations in Williamsburg and Greenpoint, as well as three different buildings in Dumbo. How do you like the look here?

Greendesk Coworking Space Gets an Addition in Downtown Brooklyn [Brownstoner] GMAP


The question of a variance for the planned 13-story Ace Hotel at Bond and Schermerhorn streets moves on to the Board of Standards and Appeals next week, according to a public agenda posted on the BSA’s website. At issue is whether developer GFI Capital can build 50,000 square feet larger than as-of-right zoning allows, enough room for 285 hotel rooms instead of only 169.

Community Board 2′s full board voted against the variance last November, because they were concerned about traffic on Bond Street and the hotel’s lack of parking. Currently, the property is a big parking lot at 51-63 Bond Street, or 252-270 Schermerhorn Street, pictured above.

The hearing will take place Tuesday, February 10, at 1 pm at Spector Hall at 22 Reade Street in Manhattan. Anyone can attend and testify or file notarized objection forms with BSA via email (submit@bsa.nyc.gov), mail, or in person.

Ace Hotel Coverage [Brownstoner]
Photo by Google Maps via NYY