The retail space in the old North Side Savings Bank — designed by architect Theobald Engelhardt in 1889 — at 33-35 Grand Street is empty no more. Rudy’s Barbershop opened December 11, a spokeswoman let us know. Before that, the Seattle-based firm had a popup shop there from November of 2013 to July 2014. That closed and Rudy’s renovated.

The new space has 10 chairs, a wall mural by Brooklyn artist Romon Yang and, at the moment, a popup shop from leather goods maker Tanner Goods. The espresso bar is no more.

Haircuts for men, women and children range from $17 to $60. The A.P.C. outlet occupied the space from 2008 until 2011. Click through to see the interior.

Building of the Day [Brownstoner] GMAP
Streetlevel: A.P.C. Expanding to Billyburg [Brownstoner]
Photos by Rudy’s Barbershop


Montrose Pontiac, 450 Bway at Penn, Composite

A look at Brooklyn, then and now.

Most of us walk down our commercial streets on our way to shops, restaurants and businesses generally without a clue as to what may have been in these buildings before we showed up. That holds true in most neighborhoods, but nowhere is the transition more intriguing than on Broadway, as it winds through Williamsburg, Bushwick and Bedford Stuyvesant.

Broadway was the main street of the Eastern District, which encompassed parts of all three neighborhoods. I often highlight the 19th century activities that took place in the area, but much of its commercial history took place in the 20th century. Before the riots of 1977, Broadway, under the constant shadow of the el, was one stop shopping, with stores and businesses of every description and nature, as well as theaters, restaurants and banks. There were even car showrooms and dealerships crowded onto the busy thoroughfare.

This building, 446-450 Broadway, was one of them. In the early 1950s, it was home to Montrose Pontiac. I will be the first to tell you that the 1950s are not my favorite era, but hey, Montrose Pontiac? Of course it caught my eye. There wasn’t a whole lot of information available on line, but here’s what we’ve got: (more…)


New York YIMBY found two so-far-unpublished renderings for 247 Bedford, perhaps best known as the future home of Apple’s first Brooklyn store. The renderings shows an additional story at the north end and, notably, big square windows. The building previously had distinctive arched windows. These also appear in a previously published rendering.

It’s not clear which of the designs will actually be built — or if both sets of renderings are obsolete. BTW, Apple will occupy the southern corner of the building, closest to Metropolitan Avenue, at one time home to a bagel store. The late, lamented mom and pop shop Kings Pharmacy until recently occupied a large space on the northern end of the building.

Marin Architects is the designer. The firm has designed Duane Reade pharmacies and a Muji store, among other retail projects.

When we stopped by the construction site in late December, the unoccupied southern part of the building had been completely demolished. The part of the building that houses a Corcoran real estate office and former apartments above was still standing. A green construction fence and scaffolding covered the building.

Click through to see more renderings as well as a photo of the property we took in December.

First Look: Williamsurg Apple Store, 247 Bedford Avenue [NYY]
241 Bedford Coverage [Brownstoner]
First two renderings by Marin Architects via NYY; third rendering via The Real Deal

Update: We’re thinking the two new renderings may actually show the North 4th Street side of the building. That would explain why the smokestack is missing.


1 north 4th place curbed 1

A Curbed tipster checked out several apartments for lease in the new 40-story waterfront tower at 1 North 4th Place in Williamsburg and said they were “really bad…tiny apartments, tiny windows with bad views and tiny bedrooms.” Apparently only the lower floors are being rented right now, and rents increase by about $50 per floor, according to the tipster.

This is the building that was going to be the third Northside Piers, but Toll Brothers bowed out during the downturn and the building became rentals instead of condos. MNS began leasing the 510-unit development last month, as we reported, with renderings (not photos). The floor plans don’t have measurements, so it’s hard to gauge size.

The FXFOWLE-designed highrise has eight listings on its website so far, ranging from a $2,450 studio to a $7,000 three-bedroom.

Check out a few more photos after the jump.

First Look Inside Williamsburg’s New View-Touting Rentals [Curbed]
1 North 4th Place Coverage [Brownstoner]
Photos via Curbed


lewis steel exterior williamsburg 12015

Developer Jacob Toll gave us a tour of the nearly complete rentals at the Lewis Steel Building, which stretches a full block on North 4th Street between Wythe and Berry in Williamsburg. Construction at the former steel mill at 76 North 4th Street is 95 percent done, he said, and he expects the 83 luxury rentals, ranging from studios to three bedrooms, to hit the market in May. Asking rents for the Hustvedt Cutler-designed apartments will start around $3,000 for one-bedrooms, $3,500 for studios and $4,500 for two-bedrooms, according to Toll.

You can glimpse the building’s industrial past in the lobby and amenity areas, which still sport original brick, and the parking garage, which was one of the factory’s loading bays. Wood joists salvaged from the floor line the hallway ceilings every few feet, and several apartments feature original brick. The elevator shafts were converted to three one-bedrooms, and the elevator doors and brick were preserved in those units. Many apartments also have private terraces or roof access, and some of the ones on the top two floors have gas fireplaces. The largest (and priciest) unit is a 1,300-square-foot three-bedroom, two-bath duplex with a gas fireplace and roof access.

There will also be some nice retail: Blue Bottle Coffee, Steven Alan Home and bookseller McNally Jackson have all signed leases for ground floor retail in the building, as we reported earlier this month.

Click through to see the apartments!

Lewis Steel Building [MNS]
Lewis Steel Coverage [Brownstoner]
Steelworks Loft Coverage [Brownstoner]


280 meeker avenue rendering 12015

Developer Synapse Group has chosen HWKN to be the architect of the 14-story Yotel planned for 280 Meeker Avenue in Williamsburg, and the design is a major departure for the area. HWKN sent us renderings and new details about the out-of-the-ordinary building, which will be topped by condos next to the BQE.

“The sculptural qualities of the building [connect] with Williamsburg’s artistic bent,” said HWKN principal Matthias Hollwich, and the design “will position the new Yotel as one of the most iconic buildings in New York,” according to the firm’s press release.

The level of the base is designed to “negotiate” between the BQE and the rest of the neighborhood. The stories rising above feature a “cascading, shingle effect façade that gradates in tone and finish.” Then that facade gives way to the shiny, glassy condos at the top, wrapping and revealing them.

We read it as a visual metaphor for the history of neighborhood, whose many wood frame and shingle buildings have ceded to shiny glass towers in recent years.

The 110-unit hotel will have a total of 100,000 square feet, which will include 20,000 square feet of retail, a rooftop garden at the level of the BQE, a separate parking deck and six to eight condos on the top floors. The trapezoidal site is located between Withers and Lorimer streets.

CetraRuddy was also in the running, and we published their concept drawings last month. The Wall Street Journal was the first to publish the winning design but did not name the architect. The Real Deal wrote more about the design yesterday.

Click through for another rendering that shows the colorful facade and stores at street level. We think this is one of the most interesting building designs we’ve seen in years. In fact, we think it’s brilliant. What’s your opinion? – By Rebecca Baird-Remba and Cate Corcoran

This Unusual Design Will Not Be Williamsburg’s Future Yotel Hotel [Brownstoner] GMAP
Renderings by HWKN

The Broadway Triangle Community Coalition is planning to protest ” ‘illegal and racist’ construction and permits at the Broadway Triangle,” on the steps of City Hall this morning, according to the group’s website. The Broadway Triangle Community Coalition is a group of 40 community organizations, including tenant associations, that successfully sued to stop the construction of affordable housing there aimed at the Hasidic community, a plan championed largely by former State Assemblyman Vito Lopez — and which may have contributed to his downfall.

The group is calling for Mayor de Blasio and the city to stop issuing building permits for private development aimed at the Hasidic community by private developers on privately owned land in the Broadway Triangle area.

“The Coalition demands that the de Blasio administration stop authorizing the construction of discriminatory housing and stop fostering neighborhood segregation,” execs for the group told us in an email. “For every private site in the Broadway Triangle that has been or is being developed, the City of New York has granted permits to the developers for building and construction. The City has authorized the ongoing development of discriminatory housing, exacerbating existing residential segregation in these neighborhoods. This practice must stop.”

As far as we are aware, all the private development happening there now is “as of right,” meaning no variance is required. The building department considers only building regulations when issuing permits. It would be unprecedented for the DOB to consider the potential for housing discrimination after a building is constructed as well.

It’s perfectly legal to build apartments aimed at a particular market, although refusing to rent or sell to someone on the basis of religion or race is not. But it is notoriously difficult to sue Hasidic landlords for housing discrimination against non-Hasids, since apartments are never advertised.

Meanwhile, Eric Adams has called for the city to restart the development of affordable housing on city-owned land in the area, an idea the group enthusiastically supports.

“The Broadway Triangle is a perfect opportunity for the current administration to start achieving this vision and break from the troubling practices of its predecessor. It’s truly baffling why the City has not seized on this. The Coalition advocates for all land in the Broadway Triangle to be developed in a way that is consistent with fair housing laws and maximizes affordable housing in an area of Brooklyn that desperately needs it. So far, that has not happened.”

Shocker: Borough Pres Wants to Revive Broadway Triangle Development [Brownstoner]
Image via Urban Omnibus


291 metropolitan avenue williamsburg 12015

The Meshberg Group-designed brick apartment building rising on a prominent corner in Williamsburg is looking close to done, on the exterior at least. The design of 291 Metropolitan Avenue, reminiscent of 19th century warehouses and Soho cast iron buildings, stands out among the glassy boxes of Williamsburg. Nonetheless, the design caught some flak for its balconies and brick veneer from Curbed commenters when the site published renderings of it in February.

Now those elements and others are in place, including arched windows, french doors and balconies. The back is completely bricked up and has windows on the top three floors. The first floor is still under construction.

Ultimately, the five-story development will have 27 apartments and a tiny 95-square-foot retail space on the ground floor. There will also be 15 parking spots, bike storage and a roof deck. Since the lot is L-shaped, the building fronts Metropolitan, Roebling and North 4th Streets, giving it an alternate address of 206 North 4th Street. It also curves around a three-story apartment building on the corner, whose owner evidently didn’t want to sell.

Meshberg has posted an interior rendering on its website. The developer is All Year Management, who snagged the prime property in 2012 for $4,000,000.

Click through to see more exterior shots and the interior rendering. What do you think of how it is turning out so far?

291 Metropolitan Avenue Coverage [Brownstoner] GMAP


120 union avenue williamsburg rendering

Here’s a first look at the rendering for a six-story rental building planned for 120 Union Avenue in Williamsburg’s Broadway Triangle. Aufgang Architects is designing the project, which will have 96 apartments spread across nearly 70,000 square feet, according to new building applications filed in September. Apartments will range from studios to four-bedrooms, and there will be 1,750 square feet of retail and 65 parking spots.

The exterior will be clad in “clay-coat architectural brick in a stacked bond pattern, detailed in break metal,” and the ground floor will feature “cast channel glass cladding and architectural grills, to allow natural ventilation in the first-floor garage and varying views to the interior.” Construction on the $18,500,000 development is expected to finish in January 2016, according to Aufgang.

Slate Property Group, Adam America and Naveh Shuster are the developers, and Meshberg Group will handle the interior design. In September, the three developers paid $15,500,000 for the property, which is home to a two-story car repair shop. They’re also going to build a six- or seven-story building a block away at 100 Union Avenue.

What do you think of the design?

Adam America Plans Six-Story Rental in the Broadway Triangle [Brownstoner] GMAP
Rendering by Aufgang Architects


The construction of the building at 242 Bedford Avenue (aka 193 Berry Street) in Williamsburg, where Whole Foods will be located, seems to be going painfully slowly. But when we stopped by over the weekend, the steel frame had topped out.

It’s only two stories, and you can see the outline of the cube over the Bedford Avenue entrance, above. Last we visited in October, it was still only one story. Click through for more photos and previously published renderings of how the building will look once it’s done.

242 Bedford Avenue Coverage [Brownstoner] GMAP


255 wythe avenue williamsburg 12015

If you’re looking for an old-fashioned feel in prime Williamsburg, this two-bedroom garden duplex at Wythe and North 1st might fit the bill. The kitchen isn’t fancy, but it does have a vintage stove, tin ceilings and simple white tile floors. The master bedroom on the parlor floor is connected to another room that could be used as a living room, and renters could use a smaller room on the garden floor as a second bedroom, according to the broker. But the listing notes that the apartment “functions best as a huge one-bedroom with home office.” Do you think it’ll fly for $3,400 a month?

255 Wythe Avenue, #Garden [Corcoran] GMAP


Mitch Waxman over at The Newtown Pentacle, who blogs for us on Brownstoner Queens, has snapped some photos of a rather unusual house roosting on a wedge-shaped scrap of land at the intersection of Wythe, Heyward and Wallabout in South Williamsburg.

“This actually and absolutely astounds one such as myself,” he said. “This splinter of a building is rising up from a paved triangle which is created by the ancient paths surrounding it.”

We looked up the details on the DOB website and found it’s a two-family, with an address of 6 Heyward Street. The developer, whose address is the well-known Hasidic mailbox drop 199 Lee Avenue, applied for permits in 2012 and they were granted in early 2014. The building appears to be complete but does not yet have its certificate of occupancy. Click through for a closeup.

Waxman’s takeaway:

“Wow, in Williamsburg, every patch of soil will have apartments on it pretty soon.”

Inexpressibly More [Newtown Pentacle]
Photos by Mitch Waxman  (more…)