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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.”

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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]

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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

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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

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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

Cyclorama in Brooklyn, Scientific American, 1886

The Battle of Gettysburg, in 1863, was one of the pivotal turning moments in American history. Those who took part in the battle, on both sides, were affected by it for life. So too were the families of all who died, or came home maimed and tortured by the experience. The Pennsylvania battleground became a powerful symbol of the horrors of war, especially civil war, where the enemy is not a foreign nation or ideology, but one’s own countrymen. The battle had moved a President to its fields to honor those who fought, and those who gave their all. Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address is one of the few speeches schoolchildren still memorize today.

Twenty-some years after the end of the war, its effects were still on the national psyche. In Northern cities like Brooklyn, the generals and officers in the war came back and became politicians, city officials, bankers, heads of railroads and utilities, lawyers and businessmen. The veterans of the war were everywhere, in every walk of life. The G.A.R, the Grand Army of the Republic; the Union veteran’s organization, was a popular meeting place for men to meet and be with the only people who really understood them.

The public was fascinated by the war in general, and the Battle of Gettysburg, in particular. There were lectures given by former soldiers, as well as military strategists. They talked about troop movement, charges, the generals and their mistakes or brilliant moves, and always, the wounded and dead. One man was so fascinated by the war that he decided to illustrate it in such a way that it could be understood by a wider audience of people. In this day before motion pictures, he decided that the best way to show this battle of battles was to paint some of the major moments and paint them large. (more…)

81 fleet place downtown brooklyn 22015

Most of the windows are in and the ground floor commercial space is emerging at 81 Fleet Place, the 15-story high rise developed by billionaire John Catsimatidis in Downtown Brooklyn. Known as “The Giovanni,” the 205-unit rental is the second building out of four planned for Myrtle Avenue between Fleet and Ashland places. Last we heard, construction was scheduled to wrap in the first quarter of 2015, but now it looks like the building won’t finish until summer or fall.

Catsimatidis’ Red Apple Group built the Andrea at 218 Myrtle Avenue in 2010, and excavation and foundation work is under way next door at 180 Myrtle Avenue, the third building. Eventually, the former parking lot at 180 Myrtle will become a 15-story tower with 213 apartments, 20 percent of which will be affordable. Click through for another shot of 81 Fleet Place.

What do you think of the look so far?

81 Fleet Place Coverage [Brownstoner] GMAP

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The mixed-use building at 85 Flatbush Avenue Extension has topped out, reaching its full height of 12 stories, although we don’t see the bulkhead for the mechanicals on the roof (depicted in the rendering) yet. Exterior cladding and windows have gone up in places, and the side that faces Tillary, above, is looking quite finished. The inside space, on the bottom floor at least, is still totally raw, though.

When we stopped by last weekend, workers were busy with a crane at the back of the building, on Duffield Street, presumably at work on the facade. The rendering posted on the construction fence said the project was supposed to wrap winter 2014.

Although plans have been in the works for the site since 2005, construction only started in 2013, following a change of owner and architect. It seems the architect has changed yet again, in fact: Permits show that Daniel Berstein of Kutnicki Berstein Architects is currently the architect of record, replacing Gene Kaufman, who replaced Ismael Leyva. Read Property Group is the developer, as previously reported.

When it’s done, the building will house 69 apartments, 171 hotel rooms, and ground-floor retail.

Click through to see a (previously published) rendering and lots more construction-site photos.

85 Flatbush Avenue Extension Coverage [Brownstoner]  GMAP

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217 livingston street aka 11 hoyt street rendering

Macy’s has been working on a plan to redevelop its Downtown Brooklyn properties since last summer, and YIMBY has unearthed renderings for one proposal. Apparently Brookfield is one of the contenders, and the developer brought on architects Beyer Blinder Belle to design its plans for a parking garage at 11 Hoyt Street and a big Art Deco building at 450-458 Fulton Street (not the flagship Macy’s, which is at 422 Fulton).

Macy’s wants any developer to build a new 300,000-square-foot store or rehabilitate the old flagship at 422 Fulton plus create a small Bloomingdale’s Outlet on Fulton. Under Brookfield’s plan, the garage would become a huge, glassy structure with a Macy’s on the ground floor, a tower of apartments above, and an address at 217 Livingston Street. However, a local family who ran the Young World retail stores still owns part of the Hoyt Street garage, complicating plans for sale or development.

Meanwhile, the landmarked A.I. Namm & Son Department Store would get a facelift, and Macy’s would expand into its base at 450-458 Fulton Street. As far as we know, the building was not mentioned in the original RFP, but it is attached to the 11 Hoyt Street garage. The ground floor is currently a Modell’s.

Presumably, all this moving around would pave the way to sell or redevelop the Macy’s flagship at 422 Fulton into a mixed-use building. (That one is not landmarked, by the way.)

Click through to see the rendering for the old A.I. Namm store building. What do you think of the designs?

First Look: Potential Macy’s Redevelopment at 450-458 Fulton Street, in Downtown Brooklyn [NYY]
Macy’s Shopping Around Brooklyn Properties, Requests Proposals [Brownstoner]
Renderings by Beyer Blinder Belle

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Social service agency Brooklyn Community Services has struck a deal with developer Louis V. Greco Jr. to redevelop its downtown Brooklyn headquarters. The plan will add seven stories to the existing seven-story building while preserving its historic facade, according to a press release sent out by the firms and New York City Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Alicia Glen Thursday.

BCS will retain its offices in the form of a condo, and Greco will own the rest, including 106 apartments, some of which will be affordable. How much Greco is paying to buy the property was not revealed, and nothing has hit public records yet. BCS said it will use the proceeds to “serve its broader mission throughout Brooklyn.”

Some aspects of the plan had already leaked out in the form of Building Department filings and a rendering, above, which New York YIMBY published last month. The Wall Street Journal also wrote about the deal Thursday.

YIMBY didn’t like the PTAC units, but on the whole we think the addition looks pretty decent, and won’t be all that noticeable from the street anyway. (Click through to see a photo of the building in 2007.) What do you think of it?

Rendering from Heights Advisors via NYY; photo below by Scott Bintner for PropertyShark

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city point phase 2 downtown brooklyn 12015

Construction of City Point’s Phase 2 appears to be chugging along, with the tallest residential tower reaching 30 stories out of a planned 43. Workers have installed facade and windows on several of the lower floors and part of the retail base.

By the time construction wraps, Phase 2 will include a five-story, 650,000-square-foot mall and 690 apartments, 125 of which will be affordable. The smaller of the two Cook Fox-designed towers will reach 19 stories and is being developed by BFC Partners. Brodsky Organization is developing the 30-story tower.

The first part of the megaproject at 1 Dekalb Avenue opened in 2012 with Century 21 and Armani Exchange as anchor tenants. The all-residential Phase 3 portion is supposed to wrap by 2020, The New York Observer said in September.

A few more photos after the jump.

City Point Coverage [Brownstoner]

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