The end of North Henry Street will be transformed into a public shoreline, thanks to the first round of grants from the Greenpoint Community Environmental Fund. The group announced funding for 18 small-grant projects yesterday. The Newtown Creek Alliance will get $25,000 for its shoreline project, DNAinfo reported. (Above, Newtown Creek flowing into the East River.)
The New York City Audubon Society will receive about $50,000 for a habitation project with two schools to attract birds in McGolrick Park. A grant of $12,500 will go to Build It Green! to study the feasibility of a community compost site in the area.
Developer Park Tower Group has gotten the ball rolling on the hotly debated Greenpoint Landing development by filing a building application for a six-story mixed-use building at 21 Commercial Street. Designed by Handel Architects, the 85,033-square-foot structure will have ground floor commercial space and 93 units on prime Greenpoint waterfront land, according to a new building application filed Monday.
Eventually, the 20-acre megadevelopment will include 10 30- to 40-story towers, a new K-8 school and a public park. The developers also promised to keep 431 apartments “permanently affordable” and to run a shuttle between the development and the G train. Despite significant opposition from the Greenpoint community, the project cleared all the ULURP hurdles in the fall and was approved by the City Council in December.
The settlement fund for the Greenpoint oil spill has received 96 proposals for improving the environment in Greenpoint, The New York Times reported. The fund has $19,500,000 to give away. The projects include:
*A $7,000,000 request from the New York City parks department and the City Parks Foundation to plant trees on the street and in Greenpoint parks, improve Box Street Park and buy a 7.5-acre plot to turn into a park.
*A $304,750 proposal by the New York City Department of Environmental Protection to create curbside gardens to filter storm water and help clean Newtown Creek. The department also applied for $288,465 to study how to use floating wetlands to decrease pollution.
*Audubon New York proposes to restore plantings to attract native bird species in Monsignor McGolrick Park. The habitation project would be carried out with students at P.S. 110 and St. Stanislaus Kostka Catholic Academy.
*Residents and environmental groups request almost $1,000,000 to map disease clusters and toxic sites in the area, as we reported earlier.
The Times story also noted that ExxonMobil has recovered about 12 million gallons from the oil spill to date, using 21 wells throughout the area. Sales of the recycled oil is bring in about $60,000 a year, and the money is donated to Greenpoint schools and organizations. Above, a boom to contain oil set out on Newtown Creek.
East River Ferry service to and from Greenpoint’s India Street pier has been shut down after the ramp to the ferry collapsed suddenly into the water during this morning’s commute, The Daily News reported. Less than a minute after 10 people had crossed the ramp onto the ferry, it collapsed into the freezing East River. Shortly afterward, New York Waterways, the ferry operator, issued an alert letting customers know service to and from Greenpoint had been suspended.
“East River Ferry service to and from the Greenpoint Pier is suspended until further notice as we continue to assess the cause of a gangway that detached this morning,” the company wrote in a statement to the newspaper. “A team of engineers will be sent to investigate the cause and repairs will be made as soon as possible.”
A block from the East River in Greenpoint, a developer has filed plans for two six-story apartment buildings at 170-174 West Street. The building at 174 will have five units spread across 8,640 square feet of residential space, according to plan exam applications filed last week. And 170 West Street will include 10 apartments with 14,130 square feet. An LLC bought the vacant properties at 170 and 174 for a combined $3,700,000 last November, public records show. GMAP
Douglas Elliman describes this three-family brick townhouse as “remarkable,” but the dropped ceilings, new floors and Home Depot-style kitchens look pretty run of the mill to us. A C of O from 1919 says the first and second floors were used for manufacturing. It later became a daycare, and finally a three family in 1990.
With recently updated mechanicals, according to the listing, we could see it as an investment property or a gut renovation for a family that wants something modern. It last changed hands in November for $1,400,000. Do you find the current ask of $2,295,000 “remarkable” or is that what places around here are going for these days?
While overall Brooklyn rents dipped slightly in the last year, average Bushwick rents jumped from $1,853 to $2,005 since December 2012, the largest change of any Brooklyn neighborhood and an indication of high prices in Williamsburg pushing up rents nearby, according to a December report from MNS. In the same vein, Greenpoint saw the most new development sales in Brooklyn, with median price-per-foot jumping 20 percent to $814 in the last month. Average Greenpoint rents also rose 1.5 percent to $2,809 in the last year. And Bed Stuy and Crown Heights rents saw big rent increases of 6.5 percent and 10.8 percent, respectively, in the last year.
Meanwhile, 1,388 commercial properties changed hands last year for a total dollar volume of $4,050,000,000, which was a 31 pecent increase in the number of transactions, Ariel Property Advisors noted in their year-end report. Last year’s most expensive commercial sales included the Jehovah’s Witnesses iconic Watchtower buildings in Dumbo, which sold for $240,000,000, an apartment building at 110 Green Street in Greenpoint ($72,000,000), a 690,000-square-foot industrial site in Sunset Park ($91,500,000), and a massive commercial site and garage at 49 Bond Street in downtown Brooklyn ($70,000,000).
Each of the three-bedroom, three-bath apartments is full floor and range in size from 1,900 to 2,800 square feet. Asking rent is the same for all three units: $9,600 a month. When they were marketed as condos, the original asking prices were one at $2,300,000 and two at $2,500,000, so maybe $9,600 a month in rent per apartment shouldn’t come as too much of a shock.
The condos are close to McCarren Park and feature 20-foot ceilings, private keyed elevator access, balconies and private gardens. They also have Brazilian walnut cabinets, Nest thermostats, Thermador cooktops and Liebherr fridges.
Do you think these will prove more popular as rentals than as condos?
Community advocates and environmental experts want to map disease and toxic sites in Greenpoint. They are seeking nearly $1 million from a $19.5 million environmental fund set aside in a 2010 settlement of the massive ExxonMobil oil spill in Greenpoint’s Newtown Creek to search out clusters of asthma, cancer, heart disease and birth defects in the 11222 ZIP code, the New York Post reported.
Lifelong Greenpoint resident Laura Hofmann told the Post she has an autoimmune disease that she thinks was triggered by pollution, and her family has suffered from several different diseases.
Greenpoint’s industrial past includes somewhere between 17 and 30 million gallons of oil spilled into Newtown Creek (pictured above), toxic vapors concentrated underground from former dry cleaners and metal companies, and toxic chemicals that have seeped from underground tanks at the Nuhart Plastics Factory.
This two-bedroom loft in Greenpoint’s landmarked Eberhard Pencil Factory has rustic exposed beams, 12-foot ceilings and some highly polished concrete floors. The 1,000-square-foot apartment has plenty of space, with a big living/dining area and two nicely sized bedrooms. The kitchen has custom oak cabinets and stainless steel appliances, and the bathroom looks decent too. There’s an elevator and laundry in the building, which accepts pets. What do you think of it for $4,500 a month?
The tale follows wood and metal worker Michael Smart, whose rent on his Greenpoint workspace more than doubles from about $7,400 to more than $16,000 a month. Luckily, he is able to find a new, affordable space at the Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Center, a nonprofit industrial developer, for his antiques restoration company, Urban Aesthetics.
The story notes that even in specially designated and protected industrial areas such as the Williamsburg IBZ, factories and workshops are being pushed out by hotels and retail. In fact, Williamsburg retailer The Brooklyn Denim Co.’s new Greenpoint store is opening in Smart’s old space.
When we visited the Williamsburg IBZ recently, the area of mostly low-slung warehouses around North 12th near the water where the Wythe Hotel and Brooklyn Bowl are located and more hotels and nightclubs are going in, above, just about every building had a new sign on it saying “available.”
It seemed like a strange coincidence that so many buildings would have vacancies at once, just as property values are shooting up in the area. Well — the Curbed story said a landlord on Berry Street cut a hole in the roof of his own building, purposefully flooding it to get the manufacturing tenants to leave.
The story suggested the city should eliminate these loopholes and keep these areas industrial. Some Curbed commenters ridiculed the idea, saying there is no lack of manufacturing space elsewhere in the city, such as in East New York and the Bronx. What do you think?
Greenpoint City Council member Steve Levin penned a letter yesterday to incoming Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg demanding “traffic calming” measures on McGuinness Boulevard, where a woman was killed while walking last week. He suggested installing speed cameras around P.S. 34, following a state law passed last year allowing up to 20 speed cameras in a school zone.
A school zone stretches across nearly a mile of McGuinness from Greenpoint Avenue to the BQE, qualifying it for cameras, Streetsblog points out. Nearly two-thirds of all drivers exceed the road’s speed limit of 30 miles per hour, hurtling at speeds as high as 47 miles per hour, according to a study by the McGuinness Boulevard Working Group.
Levin also wants to create a neighborhood slow zone around P.S. 34, install left-hand turn signals, countdown clocks at cross walks and other traffic calming measures to prevent future crashes. His letter comes in the wake of 32-year-old Nicole Detweiler’s death, who was struck and killed December 29 by a BMW and a box truck.