141 Java Street, GS, PS

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Semi-detached wood framed row house
Address: 141 Java Street
Cross Streets: Franklin and Manhattan Avenues
Neighborhood: Greenpoint
Year Built: 1855-1860
Architectural Style: Italianate
Architect: Unknown
Landmarked: No

The story: This absolutely charming little house has had a great history. It is also a Greenpoint classic, one of this neighborhood’s many wood framed houses built for a middle class Greenpoint family, before the Civil War. Unlike most of Brooklyn’s brownstone neighborhoods, Greenpoint housing stock was built primarily for those who worked in Greenpoint, not those who commuted to downtown Brooklyn or Manhattan. This was a neighborhood of workers; people involved with one of the many different industries that thrived on the docks and in the industrial areas of the neighborhood.

The house was probably built sometime between 1855 and 1860 by one of the many anonymous builders who plied their trade in this neighborhood. Considering that many of the carpenters and builders here in Greenpoint worked on the docks in the ship building industry, it’s not surprising that they also built their homes, or supplemented their income by building homes. Most of them designed from plan books or just experience. (more…)

21 Commercial St.2

Work is moving forward on a few sites at the massive Greenpoint Landing development at the northern tip of Greenpoint. Excavation is underway at 21 Commercial Street, above. The 82,476 square foot building will have 93 units and 2,577 square feet of commercial space when its complete.

Last week the Daily News took a look at the design of the 22 acre waterfront park that will be an integral part of the development. Rather than building high sea walls to protect the development against future storms like Hurricane Sandy and rising sea levels, the designers are taking a softer approach. They are using sloping terraces and areas planted with salt-tolerant plants. “When people think of resiliency measures, they think they have to look tough and ugly, but there are actually innovative ways to do the same things while still looking soft and beautiful,” Lisa Switkin, one of the landscape architects on the project with James Corner Field Operations, told the News.

Across the street and a bit further south, on Dupont Street, the city’s Department of Environmental Protection has torn down the sludge tank that had been on the site, as reported, and was busy conducting remediation, removing soil, to prepare the site for its transformation to parkland. At 33 Eagle street a block over, the site of another future mixed-income building, construction has yet to begin.

Click through for more images of 21 Commercial Street, a rendering of the park and the sludge tank site.

Rendering Posted for Affordable Greenpoint Landing Building [Brownstoner]
Greenpoint Landing Developer Files First Permit [Brownstoner]
Rendering by James Corner Field Operations
(more…)

1133 Manhattan Ave3

When we stopped by the mixed income building at 1133 Manhattan Avenue at the far northern tip of Greenpoint, the building looked like it was nearing completion. Through the windows we could see workers sanding joint compound off the seams in the drywall — a sign that the interiors are getting close. The ground floor retail space looked like it had much further to go. The spaces are open to the elements and not built out yet.

The website for the building says that units will be available fall 2014, or about now.

The building has attracted a lot of attention in part because of incredible demand for the income-restricted units throughout the city. Nearly 60,000 people applied for the 105 below-market rate units here. The $67,000,000 building will have another 105 market-rate units as well as 20,000 square feet of retail and commercial space when it’s completed.

The building, which replaced a low-slung brick warehouse, was designed by architect firm Perkins Eastman. Click through for a photo of the unfinished street level retail space.

Windows Going in at 50-50 Building on Manhattan Avenue in Greenpoint [Brownstoner]
Look of Greenpoint Build on Manhattan Avenue Revealed [Brownstoner] GMAP
(more…)

pulaski-bridge

After two years of planning, it looks like the Pulaski Bridge bike lane promised for this year will be delayed until sometime next year at least, Streetsblog reported.

A year ago, the city approved DOT’s plan to convert one lane of Brooklyn-bound car traffic on the Pulaski Bridge into a bikes-only path with separate lanes for Queens- and Brooklyn-bound bikes. Construction was supposed to start in the spring and wrap late this year (at the latest). But construction has not yet begun, and the city is still reviewing the final bid from the contractor. A spokesman for Assembly member Joe Lentol, who has been lobbying for the bike path since 2012, told Streetsblog that it’s “unlikely” work will start by the end of December.

Pedestrians and cyclists currently share the narrow path, with traffic going both ways in the same lane, creating hazardous conditions for everyone. Reconfiguring the traffic lanes is also expected to calm car traffic on McGuiness Boulevard by slowing down drivers as they come off the bridge.

As soon as the contractor gets the green light from the city, the DOT will announce a new construction timetable. Incidentally, the state is contributing $2,500,000 to the project with federal funds, and the city is contributing $625,000.

Pulaski Bridge Bikeway Likely Delayed Until Next Year [Streetsblog]
City Says Yes to Pulaski Bike Lane [Brownstoner]

Photo by NYC Tom

sludge-tank-dust-greenpoint-100814

The demo of a sludge tank in Greenpoint last month kicked up a large amount of potentially hazardous dust, according to nearby residents. Two families in the area had the dust independently tested and found 40 parts per million of arsenic, lead, chromium, zinc and other chemicals, according to stories in DNAinfo and Greenpointers. That amount is not considered toxic to adults but could pose problems to children. The site is located next to the Greenpoint playground. Residents, activists and local politicians have asked the city’s Department of Environmental Protection to test the area. The photo above was taken by a family of its just-washed car after the demolition.

The contractor hired to carry out the demolition was Skanksa, according to Greenpointers. (Skanksa is the Swedish firm embroiled in litigation with Forest City Ratner over modular construction.) Skanska supposedly used a subcontractor on the Sludge Tank demo, NASDI, “which was recently hit with over $40,000 in fines resulting from improper asbestos removal in a South Boston housing project,” according to Greenpointers. “An investigation in Boston determined NASDI allowed both its workers and local residents to be exposed to toxic levels of asbestos.”

The sludge tank was located at the intersection of Dupont and Commercial Street on the Greenpoint waterfront. It is across the street from Greenpoint Playground at 243 Franklin Street. Greenpoint Landing is being constructed nearby, with the first buildings to be located at 21 Commercial Street and 33 Eagle Street. The sludge tank was moved to Newtown Creek Waste Treatment Facility, according to Greenpointers.

Construction Dust May Pose Health Hazard at Greenpoint Playground: Experts [DNA]
Neighbors Test Dust From Sludge Tank Demo and Find Contaminants [Greenpointers]
Photo via DNAinfo

newtown creek wastewater plant park

The city is building a methane gas recycling facility on land it promised for a park 10 years ago, according to community group The Newtown Creek Monitoring Committee. The group supports the facility but is demanding the city move it elsewhere, Brooklyn Paper reported.

“It does not look like we are going to get any of the open space they promised us,” at the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant at 329 Greenpoint Avenue, pictured above, a member told the paper.

The Department of Environmental Protection said they put the gas facility, which includes “an 18-wheeler-sized mechanism” to produce energy from sewage and compost, as close to the plant as possible. The site between North Henry and Humboldt Streets will be a fenced off construction site till 2016. 

Activists: Newtown Creek Gas Plant Squashes Park Promise [BK Paper]
Photo by Google Maps

533-leonard-street-2-092514

Another grotesque conglomeration of the old and new is planned for 533 Leonard Street in Greenpoint. A rendering on the construction fence shows an attractive red brick 19th century school building apparently being eaten alive by a “dark ‘n’ boxy Transformer” (Curbed’s words) clinging to its backside. The “Transformer,” aka the new addition, will house 13 apartments and be 50 feet tall.

Philip Toscano is the architect, according to Curbed, which was the first to publish the rendering. Click through for a close-up. At least they’re not demo’ing the old building, is all we can say.

New Greenpoint Building Looks Like a Transformer Ate It [Curbed]
Photos by Curbed (more…)

77 commercial street greenpoint

The waterfront megadevelopment at 77 Commercial Street in Greenpoint is kicking into high gear this week with three new building applications for towers at 77, 85 and 87 Commercial Street. CetraRuddy Architecture filed plans for a 30-story, 224-unit building at No. 77 and a 40-story, 296-unit building at No. 87. The two high-rises will reach 306 feet and 402 feet into the air, easily dwarfing everything else near the Greenpoint waterfront.

The final building at No. 85 will be only six stories tall but hold 200 apartments spread across 230,149 square feet. It will also have 300 underground parking spots, 360 bike storage spaces, MTA offices and parking, ground-floor retail and the development’s leasing office, according to Schedule A filings. Developer Chetrit Group has promised to set aside 200 units of affordable housing and work with the city to create Box Street Park. 

Meanwhile, site work began last month at the Greenpoint Landing, which is next door on Commercial Street and will eventually include 10 towers, four acres of park land and a K through 8 school.

77 Commercial Street Coverage [Brownstoner]
Rendering by CentraRuddy and MPFP via WSJ

26 west street greenpoint

Another day, another new project on the Greenpoint waterfront. A six-story apartment development designed by Karl Fischer will replace a low-slung office building at 26 West Street between Oak and Calyer Streets. Fischer filed new building applications today for the 72-unit building, which will have 4,988 square feet of residential space. There will also be 42 enclosed parking spots and bike storage. The developer is Simon Dushinsky of the Rabsky Group, who bought the property for $12,700,000 in July, according to public records. An air conditioning company was the previous occupant and owner. GMAP

Photo by Christopher Bride for PropertyShark

42 west street greenpoint 82014

Eight years after a 10-alarm fire engulfed several of its buildings, Greenpoint Terminal Market’s vacant warehouses are finally seeing some new life. 67 West Street, a five-story brick warehouse that survived the fire, has since been transformed into event spaces for weddings, galleries and artist studios. And across the street, a 65,000-square-foot factory building at 42 West Street (pictured) is slowly being converted to commercial space. (more…)

greenpoint-houses-monitor-street-082814

Greenpoint has a charming old-world European feel, as anyone who has visited its Polish grocery stores knows, but house prices have moved into the stratosphere in the last two years, despite new apartment developments. A look at the area in the Times real estate section yesterday started off with a slightly misleading anecdote about a couple who almost gave up but then found their dream house there – in 2011.

Prices for two and three family row houses, most clad in vinyl siding and often in need of renovation, have risen from $750,000 to $850,000 in 2012 to $1,300,000 to $2,000,000 today, according to the story. The story also described other amenities in the area, including “destination restaurants” — and the ever-popular “destination” donut maker, Peter Pan — as well parks and schools.

The coming of 5,500 new units over 22 acres at Greenpoint Landing was noted briefly in passing without additional comment. Notably, the story did not mention “Girls.”

Living in Greenpoint [NY Times]
Photo by Bridge and Tunnel Club

22 clay street greenpoint

The wrecking ball may be coming soon for several buildings in the Harte and Company Factory complex in Greenpoint, where the developer filed demolition permits earlier this month. Applications have been filed to knock down 71 Dupont Street, 93 Dupont Street, 22 Clay Street, 26 Clay Street (pictured above), 30 Clay Street and 32 Clay Street. However, no permits have been filed for the main factory building at 280 Franklin Street, a big Arte Moderne structure from the 1930s. The developer, Dupont Street Developers LLC, hasn’t said whether the building and its unique curved glass facade will be part of the site’s planned residential project. (more…)