Name: Former Majestic Quality Products Company Factory and Warehouse Address: 537 Sackett Street Cross Streets: Corner of Nevins Street Neighborhood: Gowanus Year Built: around 1950 Architectural Style: Industrial Moderne Architect: Unknown Landmarked: No, but part of proposed National Register of Historic Places Gowanus Industrial District.
The story: We get so many products from all over the world now, especially from China, so it’s hard to imagine where the things we put in our homes are made. If we were living in the 1950s, and we wanted lighting fixtures for our homes, we might have purchased them from a company like Majestic Quality Products, which had its factory right here in Brooklyn, at 537 Sackett Street, in Gowanus. (more…)
This weekend is the 18th annual Gowanus Open Studios, when neighborhood artists open their doors to allow the public to visit their studios, learn about their art and the creative process and to buy artworks. This year 315 artists and arts organizations are participating, including a huge range of types of artists: painters, sculptors, performers, printmakers, photographers, installation artists and many more.
Those planning to attend can check out a list of participating artists here and can find a map of studio locations here. In addition to visiting studios, those attending can sign up for curated tours which will take place on Saturday, October 18 and Sunday, October 19. There will also be a panel discussion on how to build an art collection on Saturday and a walking tour of murals on both days. For more information about the event, visit the Arts Gowanus Open Studio page.
The new headquarters for state parole operations should be downtown, not in Gowanus, according to Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. The proposed location at 15 2nd Avenue is too difficult for parolees to reach.
“When you’re on parole, cab fare can be the difference between violating and not violating,” he told The Brooklyn Paper. “We shouldn’t make it more challenging.”
Three other pols have also questioned the location of the new headquarters and the secrecy surrounding its selection. Another issue is the area’s protected industrial zoning, which doesn’t allow office space.
The state department lost its previous headquarters downtown several years ago to development and has been housed in three different downtown locations since then. The offices serve about 5,000 parolees, or 400 a day.
But it may already be too late. The state signed a contract over a year ago and construction is well under way. Above, the industrial building at 15 2nd Avenue in 2006. An addition is going up on the site now. Construction is supposed to finish in January, and the building is supposed to open in April.
If you’ve got the scratch, we could see turning this classic brick row house back into a one-family house and restoring its simple Italianate interior, which includes arched marble mantels. Otherwise, the two-family at 244a 7th Street looks livable as is, although we’re not sure about the condition of the mechanicals, which the listing doesn’t mention.
It’s configured as a small two-bedroom duplex over a ground floor rental. The property is 15.58 feet wide and 35 feet deep with a total of 1,575 square feet, according to PropertyShark.
The trendy industrial-rustic exposed brick and beams aren’t really working for us, but those are easily fixed. The floors look like they could use some work though.
For what it is, do you think the ask of $1,645,000 is ambitious?
Will Gowanus be the next Dumbo? A story in the Times over the weekend suggests yes. The fact that it is home to one of the largest Superfund sites in the country has not deterred development there. The story gives an overview of all the development happening there, which will be familiar to Brownstoner readers, including the 700-unit rental project Lightstone Group is building and the condo development at 345 Carroll Street, as well as all the retail that has opened lately, such as Whole Foods and Ample Hills.
Two interesting factoids: Councilmember Brad Lander is working to change the zoning of the area from industrial to mixed-use, which would mean more housing could be built. And Gowanus Green, Hudson Companies’ affordable 774-unit development on 5th Street, is “stalled until the site’s former owner, National Grid, completes a voluntary environmental cleanup.”
The EPA has been warning since 2012 that the Gowanus Canal Superfund cleanup might require digging up Gowanus’ only public park and swimming pool to install tanks to catch overflow sewage. That scenario is looking more likely — and neighbors are not pleased – following an announcement Tuesday by the City’s Department of Environmental Protection that it has narrowed the list of possible sites for the sewage tanks to just two. Those are Thomas Greene Park and Double D Pool or the “salt lot” on 2nd Avenue and 5th Street next to the Gowanus Canal.
The Friends of Douglass Greene Park issued a statement today, not its first, against the siting of the tanks in the park and is again circulating its petition to save the pool. But if the EPA does decide to dig up the public space, the community group demands a “seamless transition” to park and pool facilities somewhere nearby.
Developer Adam America has just filed new building applications for its fourth project on the Gowanus/Park Slope border, a seven-story development at 610 Warren Street. As is the case with most of Adam America’s projects, the architects are Issac and Stern. The 70-foot-tall building will house 31 units among 35,756 square feet of residential space, along with 16 ground-floor parking spots and 16 bike storage spaces.
A one-story parking garage with a car rental business currently occupies the 10,000-square-foot lot between 3rd and 4th avenues. It’s worth noting that Adam America doesn’t own the lot, which hasn’t changed hands since 1993. Demolition permits haven’t been filed yet for the garage. The developer is also working on buildings nearby at 275 4th Avenue, 470 4th Avenue and 595 Baltic Street, and six more throughout Brooklyn.GMAP
When we first saw this listing asking $4,395,000, we thought it was for the whole house. Then we realized it’s a condo. For that kind of money, you could buy a whole brownstone, renovated, with details, in Carroll Gardens. (more…)
Name: Originally Rogers Memorial Building for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), now Retrofret Vintage Guitars, and musical instruments repair shops Address: 233-237 Butler Street Cross Streets: Nevins and Bond Streets Neighborhood: Gowanus Year Built: 1913 Architectural Style: Renaissance Revival Architect: Renwick, Aspinwall & Tucker Other Buildings by Architect: American Express Building at 65 Bway, Grace Church Neighborhood House, 4th Ave, Provident Loan Building, 25th St., all Manhattan. Landmarked: No
The story: The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was founded in Manhattan in 1866. It was established by Henry Bergh, and is the oldest animal protection society in the Western Hemisphere. Bergh believed that animals were entitled to respectful and kind treatment at the hands of people, and had to be protected under the law from those who acted differently. His initial efforts were in protecting horses from abuse, as well as trying to reform slaughterhouses and stop cock fighting. His cause was soon taken up by many. Only nine days after officially announcing his organization, Bergh was able to get the first anti-cruelty laws passed by the City.
The laws enabled the ASPCA to enforce those anti-cruelty laws, and with only a staff of three, the organization set out to do so, concentrating at first on those who abused horses and livestock. In 1867, they had special ambulance wagons for aiding and rescuing horses on the city streets, and also for rescuing cats, dogs and pigeons. By the time Henry Bergh died in 1888, 37 of the 38 states in the Union had ASPCA chapters and anti-cruelty laws on the books. (more…)
In a major turn of events for the Gowanus area, Lightstone has agreed to spend $20,000,000 helping to clean up its corner of polluted Gowanus, the EPA announced yesterday. Since the developer broke ground on its controversial 700-unit apartment complex at 363-365 Bond Street, neighbors have complained of “petroleum waste” fumes that reportedly cause “light-headededness, nausea and dizziness,” according to the blog Gowanus Your Face Off.
Part of the remediation includes the removal of 17,500 cubic yards of polluted soil, DNAinfo was the first to report. Crews have already been replacing contaminated soil with fresh soil and gravel at 365 Bond Street, above, but whenever they stir up the existing soil, fumes are released, according to Gowanus Your Face Off.
The construction site was once home to dry cleaners, oil terminals, warehouses and factories, which spewed suspected carcinogens such as heavy metals and PCBs into the soil. Another part of the agreement is that Lightstone will work with the EPA on a sewage and stormwater plan so future flooding will not release contaminants.
Lightstone agreed to the cleanup in exchange for the EPA promising not to sue the company in the future for any additional cleanup work — or impact from the development on the canal (or vice versa), the EPA press release said. So if the development, perhaps combined with another flood, somehow spreads around more toxic waste, Lightstone won’t be liable.
Do you think that’s fair? Public comment on the agreement will be taken until October 8.
Although the Regency Carts building isn’t completely demolished, listings with new renderings have gone up for the luxury condo development that will replace it at 345 Carroll Street. Curbed spotted the first five listings for the apartments, designed by Gluck+. They range in price from $1,645,000 for a two-bedroom, two-bath to $2,950,000 for a four-bedroom, three-bath. The 32-unit building will have seven penthouses, six garden duplexes and 18 apartments with outdoor space.
Amenities include a landscaped courtyard with bocce courts, vegetable plots and cabanas for purchase, as well as a dog washing station and fitness center. Back in June, PR reps for the development told us sales had launched, not long after a sales office opened at 396 Court Street. The developer is Sterling Equities, which paid $12,500,000 for the Regency Carts site last year.
Click through to see more interior renderings. We’re not sure if the building is in Flood Zone A, but the units look extremely luxurious. The building will be clad in bluestone and the developers are also planning a “wildflower meadow,” with plantings a la the Highline, as well as cabanas that will be available for purchase, among other amenities.
A reader found this new rendering attached to the construction fence at 645-651 Union Street, just across from Dinosaur Bar-B-Q, where hotelier Matt Abramcyk, of Beatrice Inn fame, is building a hotel. We are quite impressed with the look of the building, which has an old-fashioned industrial air or looks like it could be an old pub and inn somewhere in Britain. (more…)