Downtown Brooklyn Economic Flow

Downtown Brooklyn, a college town?

According to a study conducted by the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, the neighborhood’s economic flow has been significantly bolstered by activity from its nine higher education institutions.

The nine schools, which are densely packed into the neighborhood, include Pratt Institute, Brooklyn Law School, St. Francis College, and NYU, among others. Carnegie Mellon will bring that number to 10 once it has completed its expansion to the Navy Yard next fall. NYU is planning to further expand into the modernist building at 370 Jay Street.

In 2013 alone, the roughly 60,000 students in attendance at the colleges and graduate programs downtown generated nearly $3 billion in economic activity for the area. The largest portion of the sum came from a calculated $1 billion in labor compensation — a.k.a. jobs — according to the study’s findings.


Brooklyn Strand Project: Fort Greene Residents Voiced Concerns In Community Workshop

They had to find more chairs. On Monday evening, a group of more than 70 people — architects, city representatives and Brooklyn residents — met at Fort Greene’s Willoughby Senior Center to talk about the future of the neighborhood’s public spaces.

Hosted by Community Board 2 and the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, the workshop was part of the Brooklyn Strand. The multi-year, multi-part effort is spearheaded by the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership and WXY Architecture, and seeks to improve public space around the Brooklyn Bridge and BQE from Borough Hall to Commodore Barry Park.


Fort Greene Condos Planned At 570 Fulton Property Purchased For $23MDevelopers Slate Property Group, Meadow partners, and an unidentified third party purchased a former foster-care nonprofit building at 570 Fulton Street in Fort Greene for $23,000,000, reported The Real Deal.

When Brownstoner wrote about 570 Fulton last year, the estimated asking price was $2,000,000 higher. The new owners are likely planning condos for the property. According to The Real Deal, the trio of developers will probably not combine 570 Fulton with One Flatbush — an adjacent condo building planned by the same team and slated for completion in 2017.


Downtown Brooklyn Grand Opera House History

A look at Brooklyn, then and now.

Many of the grand store buildings built during the height of Downtown Brooklyn’s days as a pre-eminent shopping mecca are still with us. The Offerman Building, the buildings of Abraham & Straus, Namm’s, Loeser’s, Woolworth’s and Oppenheim & Collins still stand, even though all are now inhabited by new stores and businesses.

But if you look at old maps and photographs of the Fulton Street corridor, between Court Street and Flatbush Avenue, there’s one category of businesses that is totally gone: the theaters.

The only remaining vestiges of Brooklyn’s large theater district are those around and including the Brooklyn Academy of Music — but in the hundred years between the end of the Civil War through the 1960s, they were scattered along Fulton Street and its nearby side streets.

Some were later movie theaters, like the Albee, the Duffield, the Fox and Loews, but a fair number were legitimate stage theaters. One of the finest of these long-gone theaters was the Grand Opera House. (more…)

Brooklyn Strand Cadman Plaza

It’s no secret that the Brooklyn-side pedestrian entrance to the Brooklyn Bridge is terrible. Tourists from around the globe set foot in our borough for the first time beneath a dank and dreary overpass with little to no idea where to go from there.

The Brooklyn Strand project, conceptualized by WXY Architecture + Urban Design hopes to change all that by knitting together downtown Brooklyn’s green spaces and bringing some of Brooklyn’s vibrancy to the area. WXY’s Claire Weisz presented the first phase of the Brooklyn Strand proposal in March, and Borough President Eric Adams recently allocated $1,500,000 for two of the proposal’s recommendations: reopening the Brooklyn War Memorial as an education and Veterans center, and redoing Borough Hall Plaza.

But Phase II of the design — concerning the area under the BQE from the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges to Commodore Barry Park — is still in flux. Community Board 2 is soliciting ideas tonight at a public workshop.



Trader Joe’s has signed a lease for a 13,800-square-foot store at City Point in Downtown Brooklyn, City Point developers Acadia Realty Trust and Washington Square Partners announced today. The popular discount grocery will open in 2016.

It will be located on the concourse level in the cellar next to the DeKalb Market Hall food court, which will have some two dozen or more food sellers. Previously announced tenants in the massive mixed-use development at 1 Dekalb Avenue include CityTarget, Century21 and Alamo Drafthouse Cinema. (more…)


A look at Brooklyn, then and now.

A search through the photo archives of the Brooklyn Public Library’s Brooklyn Collection can often turn up mysteries. Take today’s period photograph, dated 1937. It shows the side elevation of a large brick building in the Queen Anne style, located on a crowded street.

The caption notes that this is the Adams Street Courthouse and Police Station, near Myrtle Avenue in downtown Brooklyn. The wooden tracks of the El train that snaked up from the Brooklyn Bridge to swing around Borough Hall and on to Fulton Street can be seen in the foreground.

We know that this building is long gone, but exactly where was it? A look at the maps reveals the answer.

This was 318-322 Adams Street, just down and across the street from the post office, between Myrtle Avenue and Johnson Street. Today, this address is part of the block-long Supreme Court Building site at Cadman Plaza. (more…)

Tudor Renovation At 93 Court Street In Brooklyn

The whimsical Tudor building at 93 Court Street in Downtown Brooklyn is getting some work done, Brownstoner noticed on a recent visit. When Montrose Morris wrote about the building in 2012, commenters wished someone would return the one-time architect’s office to its former glory.

The permits don’t indicate whether the building’s facade will eventually be restored. Rather, they list structural repairs, including removing second-floor joists and interior stairs, repairing the roof, and installing structural steel lintels on the first and second floors. Records state that the renovation will cost $370,000.


356 Fulton St. CapOneBank, CB, PS

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Downtown Brooklyn is full of wonderful old 19th century buildings of all kinds. It also has a small collection of more modern bank buildings, most of them built in the 1960s and ’70s. Here’s one of them.

Name: Former Equitable Federal Savings and Loan, now Capital One Bank
Address: 356 Fulton Street
Cross Streets: Corner of Red Hook Lane
Neighborhood: Downtown Brooklyn
Year Built: 1967-1968
Architectural Style: Neo-Formalism (perhaps stretching it a bit)
Architect: Goldberg-Epstein Associates
Other works by architect: Lincoln Savings Bank in Gravesend, public housing
Landmarked: No

Downtown Brooklyn is layered with architectural history, making it one of Brooklyn’s more interesting neighborhoods. A single block can span the distance between the years before the Civil War up until the present.

This bank building is a bit of mid-20th century suburbia right in the heart of the city.

Mid-20th Century Neo-Formalism

Adolf Goldberg and his firm, Goldberg-Epstein Associates, built suburban banks like this, as well as more anonymous-looking housing developments and other buildings. Goldberg retired in 1967, so this is one of his last buildings. (more…)

2015_08_23 333 Schermerhorn 02

There has been steady progress at The Hub, aka 333 Schermerhorn Street, the 53-story rental tower from developer Douglas Steiner of Steiner Studios. One of the current crop of tall towers going up in downtown Brooklyn, the 581-unit building has reached the half way mark of its 577-foot final height.

Along with the progress in height, installation of the red brick cladding and windows for the tower has begun as well. When we last checked in, the tower portion of the development has risen to about the fifth floor. (more…)


Photo by Nicholas Strini for PropertyShark

Downtown Brooklyn will soon get a thoroughly modern Macy’s. The department store and commercial real estate firm Tishman Speyer announced a $270,000,000 deal Wednesday that will let Macy’s downsize, remodel and take cash out of its antiquated real estate holdings downtown.

Thankfully, the historic building at 422 Fulton Street will not be sporting a giant condo tower on its roof anytime soon. And Macy’s will continue to own and operate the first four floors and the lower level as a store.