226 Nevins Street, SSPellen 1

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Former City of New York Water Supply-Distribution, Gowanus Station
Address: 226 Nevins Street
Cross Streets: Corner of Butler Street
Neighborhood: Gowanus
Year Built: Around 1911 for Butler St. Nevins street building, after 1916.
Architectural Style: Late 19th-early 20th century brick factory style buildings
Architect: Unknown
Landmarked: No

The story: Everyone who loves all kinds of industrial architecture should wander around Gowanus. Perhaps you should do it sooner rather than later, if recent rumors of mass construction prove to be true, especially in the outer parts of the district, away from brownfields and the canal. In a car, Gowanus can be a maze of one-way streets and short streets with familiar names that are suddenly blocked off by other streets, the canal, or housing projects. But walking – that’s where you can really get a feel for the Gowanus that was, a hub of industry and manufacturing, with layers of history stacked on top of each other, with buildings that span the businesses that thrived from the last quarter of the 19th century, to the present day.

As times change, so too do the functions of these buildings. Some are easily converted into new kinds of businesses, while others don’t do so well. Some could be, and have been, converted into new housing, or event spaces, restaurants and galleries, while others can’t be imagined as anything but an empty lot upon which new buildings can be built. I always enjoy wandering around Gowanus, because I don’t know it well, and am always surprised when I run across a building that I’ve never seen before. Like this one, the former City of New York Water Supply, Distribution – Gowanus Station. (more…)

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Developer Sam Boymelgreen last week filed permits for a 162-room hotel at 255 Butler Street in Gowanus. The building will not be new, but rather an enlargement of the four-story factory to seven stories. The density (square footage) will remain the same, according to New York YIMBY, which first reported on the plans.

Boymelgreen does not own the property but rather has a 49-year lease, as we reported previously. In February, a story in The Real Deal about Boymelgreen’s Windsor Terrace development The Kestrel noted 255 Butler Street would be a hotel or office. Not quite a decade ago, the city refused a variance that would have permitted the owner to convert the property to residential.

On the first floor will be stores, a restaurant, coffee shop, terrace, gym, library and event space, according to the application. Rooms will be located on the second through seventh floors, with another restaurant, a pool and terrace on the fifth floor. The applicant of record is SBLM Architects.

Also, the site, an old printing plant, is contaminated. We’re not sure if this alteration requires a brownfield cleanup.

Plans to rezone the area were put on hold pending the EPA cleanup but could be revived following a year-long series of public meetings about the future of Gowanus in which residents said they did not want tall buildings but the report said they did.

Hotels are a popular type of development in industrial areas where residential development is not permitted. In an effort to preserve factory jobs and the character of industrial neighborhoods, the City Council recently recommended a change to city’s factory zoning that would not permit hotels.

Permits Filed: 162-Key Hotel at 255 Butler Street in Gowanus [NYY]
255 Butler Coverage [Brownstoner]
Photo by Kate Leonova for PropertyShark

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Lower East Side mainstay Fringe Salon opened its first location in Brooklyn Tuesday, at 298 Bond Street in Gowanus. Owner Amy Schiappa has lived in nearby Carroll Gardens for years. Some of Fringe’s customers are well-known musicians, including the three members of Rainer Maria, which contributed music to a video about the new space.

Fringe Brooklyn offers the usual services as well as the salon’s own line of hair care products and makeup. It also hosts ever-changing exhibits of art for sale.

Up in the Brooklyn space now are works from Ash Ferlito, Marcie Paper, Ben Pederson, and Sophia Flood. Click through to the salon’s blog to see photos and the video showing the interior and the art. GMAP

Photo by Fringe Salon

610 warren street gowanus rendering

Developer Adam America has released a rendering for its latest project in the Gowanus/Park Slope borderlands along 4th Avenue. The seven-story apartment building at 610 Warren Street will be stucco with large divided windows. We like the top of the building but wish there were a bit more going on at the street level, such as more windows or doors or stores rather than blank walls.

Building design along 4th Avenue has been much criticized for its lack of stores or other features at ground level that would make the area more inviting and pleasant to walk. This building is not directly on the avenue, but just off it, between 3rd and 4th avenues in Gowanus.

New York YIMBY first published the design for the 31-unit development, which has 16 parking spots on the ground floor and 36,000 square feet of residential space. Architects Issac and Stern first filed permits in late September. The property is currently home to a one-story garage and car rental business, and demolition permits have not yet been filed to knock down the garage.

What do you think of the design?

Revealed: 610 Warren Street, Boerum Hill [YIMBY]  GMAP
Adam America Plans Seven Stories of Apartments in Gowanus [Brownstoner]

586 3rd avenue park slope 122014

If you’re looking for a big, unique loft space and have money to burn, this two-bedroom duplex in Gowanus is worth a look. The living room on the lower floor seems huge, and the bedroom pictured upstairs looks sizable as well. The renovation is a little odd, but we like the exposed brick and the staircase. But there’s one caveat: The current rent is $3,600, and it will increase to $3,800 next April. Do you think it’ll rent for that price?

586 3rd Avenue, #6 [Town Residential] GMAP

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At the final Bridging Gowanus meeting Monday night, reaction was mixed to a presentation of findings after a years-long series of meetings about the future of Gowanus, but many residents said they do not want tall buildings.

Some attendees thanked Council Member Brad Lander and the Pratt Institute facilitators, and some said the process was better than they had expected. Others said the process was manipulative and designed to build a false appearance of consensus in favor of a rezoning that would allow luxury high rise buildings in exchange for much-needed infrastructure improvements that should be made anyway.

About 100 local residents and representatives from community groups and nonprofits gathered at P.S. 36 in Carroll Gardens to hear Pratt Institute facilitators summarize findings about sewage infrastructure, the economy, mandatory mixed-use zones, historic preservation, and affordable housing, among other things.

The report and Councilmen Brad Lander, Steve Levin and others acknowledged past rezonings in Williamsburg, Greenpoint and 4th Avenue had favored developers to the detriment of neighborhoods. (more…)

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Council Member Brad Lander released his Bridging Gowanus framework this afternoon (we were expecting it Monday), condensing a year of community meetings. The document lays out a vision for development in Gowanus that hinges on high-rise apartments to help fund improvements residents demand, including anti-flood measures, more parks, more schools, affordable housing, and ways to protect artists and manufacturing businesses.

It proposes a “mandatory mixed-use zone” that will “require a balance of light industry, cultural and artistic uses,” a special manufacturing zone, and mandatory inclusionary zoning to require affordable housing in new developments. (The first two are new types of zoning districts proposed by the City Council in a report Wednesday.) The document includes a list of buildings that should be considered for landmarking, as well as alternative approaches to preserving Gowanus’ historic buildings.

He’ll present the plan at a public meeting on Monday, November 24 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at P.S. 32, at the corner of Hoyt and Union streets. Residents can submit comments through the end of the year and read the full framework on the Bridging Gowanus site. You can also read the press release and summary here.

Lander Offers Gowanus Trade: High Rises for Flood Upgrades [Brownstoner]
New Zoning Districts Could Dramatically Change Bushwick, Gowanus and Other Nabes [Brownstoner]

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High-rise apartment buildings with affordable housing, more parks, more schools, protected artists’ spaces, a special “super manufacturing zone” to protect factories — these are all part of a plan to redevelop Gowanus that Council Member Brad Lander will unveil Monday, according to a story in DNAinfo. “The Bridging Gowanus plan lays out a broad set of goals including flood-fighting infrastructure upgrades, affordable housing and a rezoning that would bolster manufacturing and allow new residential development, including high-rises in some places, for the first time since 1961,” the story said.

The vision, which Lander plans to present to the de Blasio administration, came out of a series of public meetings Lander convened over the last year called Bridging Gowanus. Most area residents support tall buildings from eight to 18 stories if other criteria are met, according to Lander. (more…)

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Lightstone Group is holding a community meeting tonight to discuss its plans for the next phase of construction at 363-365 Bond Street, the 700-unit megadevelopment on the shores of the Gowanus Canal. Reps from the developer will present the upcoming construction timeline and take questions from neighbors, according to an announcement sent out by Council Member Brad Lander.

“The meeting is no doubt a small concession to the community, which had to deal with months-long pounding noise and vibration from pile driving during phase one of the project at 365 Bond Street,” noted Pardon Me For Asking, which published the announcement.

The meeting will happen from 6:30 to 8:30 pm tonight in the Community Room at Mary Star of the Sea, located at 41 1st Street in Gowanus.

Rendering by Goldstein Hill & West

Council Member Brad Lander has condensed a year’s worth of feedback from the “Bridging Gowanus” meetings and plans to present the highlights at a meeting later this month. He calls it a “draft community planning framework” on his website, and told Brooklyn Paper that ideas included protecting manufacturing and improving transportation and environmental infrastructure in the area, although the list of recommendations isn’t finalized yet.

Lander and other pols first organized the Bridging Gowanus meetings last year to solicit feedback from the community about development. Neighborhood groups criticized the process for being “undemocratic” and having a hidden agenda to create a consensus — or the appearance of one — to rezone the area for residential, as we reported at the time.

The meeting will happen Monday, November 24 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at P.S. 32, located at 317 Hoyt Street, between President and Union Streets. Those who won’t be able attend can email their comments to info@bridginggowanus.org.

345 carroll street 1

After listings went up for 345 Carroll Street in Gowanus in September, the still-under-construction luxury building is already 40 percent sold out, according to Curbed. Asking prices for the 32 units at the old Regency Carts site start at $1,645,000 for a two-bedroom, two-bath and go up as high as $2,950,000 for a four-bedroom, three-bath, as reported.

We’re not sure if the building is in the flood zone, but it’s extremely luxurious, with seven penthouses, six garden duplexes, a wildflower meadow, bocce courts, vegetable plots, a dog washing station, and rooftop cabanas for purchase. The developer is Sterling Equities and the architect is Gluck+.

345 Carroll Street 40 Percent Sold Out [Curbed]
Regency Carts Coverage [Brownstoner]
Rendering by Gluck+

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At first we thought we’d seen this rendering for 535 4th Avenue before, which The New York Observer published yesterday. But then we realized that’s because it looks so similar to the building some of the same developers are planning down the street at 470 4th Avenue.

Here at 535 4th Avenue, developers Slate Property Group, Adam America and AEW Capital Management are developing a mixed-use property with 148 apartments, as reported. Down the street at 470 4th Avenue, Adam America, Slate and the Naveh Shuster Group are putting up a mixed-use building with 105 apartments. Aufgang Architects is designing both.

Click through to compare the two designs. What do you think of them?

Renderings Revealed for 535 4th Avenue in Park Slope [NYO]
Renderings by Aufgang Architects (more…)