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This weekend marks the return to New York City of Come Out and Play, an annual festival showcasing whimsical, inventive street and live-action games. Much of it takes place Saturday on Governors Island, but for the second year, the festival will include “Come Out and Play After Dark,” a Friday evening event in Dumbo that “will turn the streets into an arcade, with social party games, large physical video games and wild new street games.”

Said games include:

Chirp Club: “a twitchy competitive local multiplayer video game that combines Joust-style movement and combat with elements of field sports.”

Urban Werewolf: A live-action game in which “players must work together to keep their city safe while dealing with the threat that one of them is a werewolf trying to take them down.”

RainboDisko: Both “an homage to the Dada and Fluxus art movements” and “a game of speed, dexterity and anarchy,” it’s “a tabletop game for two-plus players to be played on an operating record player.” (more…)

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Workers were putting in the foundation at 181 Front Street in Dumbo when we passed by recently. Retaining walls are up in some places, and workers were fashioning the rebar reinforcements throughout the site.

This is a large and prominent project that will transform this block of Dumbo when it’s finished. It takes up a good chunk of the block and will rise 12 stories with 105 luxury rentals and retail on the ground floor.

Twenty percent of the units will be affordable, according to The Real Deal. It will also house a gym and children’s playroom, according to permits.

The foundation of the building is so deep, in part, to make room for a parking garage — a rare amenity in this neck of Brooklyn, where the cost of parking has reached $425 a month.

181 Front Street is actually part of a bigger project to convert a landmarked day light factory at 200 Water Street, on the other side of the block, into condos. The architect on both projects is Ariel Aufgang and the developers are Megalith Capital Management and Urban Realty Partners. Both properties belonged to the Jehovah’s Witnesses, as we have reported. (more…)

jah_panDumbo under the arch

Enjoy free concerts every Thursday evening through October in the archway under the Manhattan Bridge in Dumbo. Acts playing Live at the Archway include Nadia Ackerman and the Harold Pinter Orchestra this Thursday, June 25, and Jah Pan, pictured above, on July 9.

Other acts this month and next include an all-female worldbeat dance jam band called Paprika, the Williamsburg Salsa Orchestra, Throw Vision and more. (more…)

Southwest corner from John Street.

The condo building going up at 1 John Street in Dumbo has almost topped out and curtain wall installation has begun. A joint venture between Alloy Development and Monadnock Development, the 42-unit, 12-story condominium is one of three projects currently under construction within the confines of Brooklyn Bridge Park.

While the larger project to the south, the Pierhouse and 1 Hotel, has drawn vehement criticism and lawsuits — now resolved — 1 John Street has flown somewhat under the radar. (more…)

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More units at Two Trees’ rental building at 60 Water Street in Dumbo are hitting the market this week. We toured the glassy building Friday and got an eyeful of its incredible views of the Brooklyn Bridge as well as a look at the garden being built on the roof, above, and one of the new units.

Click through for a new rendering of the garden and its water feature. The unit we toured is a two-bedroom, two-bath apartment on the 16th floor.

Coming this week are studios, one-bedrooms and two-bedrooms on the 16th, 17th and 18th floors. Also, there is a deal: Two months’ rent will be free the first year. (more…)

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At 31 stories high, 100 Jay Street holds the title for tallest building in Dumbo. The almost 10-year-old luxury condominium towers above its neighbors and offers panoramic views of Brooklyn and Manhattan.

This one-bedroom, one-bath apartment features 789 square feet of high-ceilinged, indoor living space plus its own sizable 500-square-foot outdoor terrace. Both the bedroom and living room open onto the terrace, which looks out at the Manhattan Bridge.

Counters are granite and floors are hardwood. There’s plenty of closet space, including two large ones in the bedroom, and a third in the entryway. A large deeded storage unit is also a part of the deal, and building features include a parking garage and bicycle room.

Residents have access to plenty of amenities, such as a 2,000-square-foot gym, media room and children’s play area.

The ask is $1,100,000. Do you think it’s a good deal for Dumbo, considering this unit is on one of the building’s lower levels?

100 Jay Street, #4M [Stribling] GMAP
Photos by Stribling & Associates (more…)

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After requesting some changes, the Landmarks Preservation Commission yesterday approved this striking crystalline facade design for an adaptation of a 19th century factory in Dumbo, The Real Deal reported. The commissioners shot down a similar version of the design for 10 Jay Street last month, and ODA Architecture returned yesterday with a few tweaks.

The updated rendering, above, has more steel panels and added brick slab edges peeking through between the metal and glass facade pieces. (more…)

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After a year of community workshops, architecture firm WXY Studio has presented its recommendations to link the waterfront, courthouses and the Navy Yard with a series of green spaces — an effort known as the Brooklyn Strand. The Strand would create more public space and easier walking around areas that have been neglected by the Parks Department or made inaccessible by the BQE. During a Community Board 2 meeting on Monday, which we attended, WXY principal Claire Weisz offered improvements and renderings for Borough Hall Park, Cadman Plaza Park, Commodore Barry Park and the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges.

Here are the recommendations:

The parking lot next to Borough Hall could be moved underground, freeing up space to build a covered cafe with seating and space for events. Another plan calls for renovating the Brooklyn War Memorial and transforming it into a visitors center. Weisz also suggested adding bike lanes around Cadman Plaza Park, making it more accessible and establishing a better link with the Brooklyn Bridge.

(more…)

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Alloy Development’s concrete-clad townhouses at 55-57 Pearl Street in Dumbo are almost finished and looking good. The five modern townhouses have been in the works for nearly a year, and they hit the market with renderings for $4,100,000 a pop back when the corner site was just a garage. Now they’re all sold out, according to the development’s website.

The five-story homes share a facade made of one-foot-deep concrete ductal fins. The ground floor facade will be wood, but it hasn’t been installed yet. Each house will have four bedrooms, three baths, a one-car garage and private outdoor space.

Dumbo Townhouses [Official]
55 Pearl Street Coverage [Brownstoner]

60 water street 3d tour

Dumbo developer Two Trees has added a neat 3-D virtual tour to their website for 60 Water Street, allowing you to look inside most of the 290 rental apartments. (You move around the outside of the building like a bird to select which apartment you wish to view, based on location.)

There’s also a panoramic view of the waterfront from the top floor and some new renderings of interiors and amenity spaces. Leasing for the 232 market-rate apartments kicked off in October with studios starting at $2,964 a month. The glassy 17-story tower includes a smaller nine-story section, which will eventually host a 300-seat public middle school.

Update: PR reps for Two Trees just let us know 60 Water Street is 20 percent leased, and the middle school is on track to open in fall 2016. 

60 Water Street Coverage [Brownstoner] GMAP

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The Brooklyn Children’s Museum is getting pushback from employees and pols over growth plans they say are cutting out longtime local, black supporters — in particular, its plan to open an outpost in One John Street, one of the very swanky new condo buildings going up in Brooklyn Bridge Park. Higher admission fees (they have nearly doubled, from $5 to $9) are also unpopular, reported The New York Times, and the racial diversity of the staff has declined dramatically, among other things. Here’s a sample snippet:

“How are you going to service there when you can barely staff your own building?” said Anne Smith, a former public relations manager at the museum. “Why has there never been a satellite office for black communities, Hispanic communities?” Ms. Smith complained that an administrator had lamented that events at the museum had too much of a “local feel,” and asserted that managers wanted to market to predominantly white, upscale Brooklyn neighborhoods like Park Slope and Carroll Gardens.

The Crown Heights museum, over 100 years old, was hard hit by the downturn in 2008 and is trying to fix its balance sheet. Meanwhile, the demographics in the area are changing, according to census data: From 2000 to 2010, the last year it’s available, whites increased 89 percent while blacks decreased 15 percent, the story said. What do you think the museum should do?

With Expansion, Brooklyn Children’s Museum Is Accused of Forsaking Its Community [NY Times]

(more…)

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Vinegar Hill House and Pizza East will open restaurants inside Empire Stores at 55 Water Street in early 2016, a spokesperson for the conversion project told us today. Pizza East will be located in the space at left pictured in the rendering above, with the schist wall. Vinegar Hill House will be on the right, in the space with the glass wall.

Both will have indoor and outdoor seating, although the outpost of the popular and nearby Vinegar Hill House will be “primarily grab and go and casual,” he said. The Vinegar Hill counter — apparently there will not be table service — will have its own menu and will serve breakfast, lunch, early dinner, coffee, and juices. It will also offer catering.

This will be Pizza East’s first New York location. The upscale eatery was created by private club Soho House and has locations in London and Chicago, all with different menus and decor. This one will offer ciabatta-crust pizzas baked in a wood-burning oven, as well as other dishes, according to a press release. Both restaurants will focus on “responsibly” and locally sourced ingredients. 

Empire Stores Coverage [Brownstoner] GMAP