The long-stalled high rise development at 420-444 Kent Avenue on the waterfront in south Williamsburg is finally seeing some action. ODA Architects filed permits for 18- and 22-story towers there yesterday, following Spitzer Enterprises’s purchase of the property over the summer, New York YIMBY reported.

We expect the new design will be a great improvement over the last one, although no new renderings have been released. As for the specifics of the plan, they are similar although one tower will be shorter by two stories. The two buildings will have 449 units. If the old waiver still applies, 20 percent of the units will be affordable.

ODA is known for its low-rise buildings that resemble boxes in unusual configurations; its towers are similar but sleeker.

The site was formerly home to the Kedem Winery. The sale has not yet hit public records. Click through for a look at an old rendering from the previous owners.

Permits Filed: ODA Designing 18 and 22-Story Towers at 420 Kent Avenue [NYY] GMAP
What Could Sprout at Stalled Kedem Winery Site in South Williamsburg [Brownstoner]
1970s tax photo from PropertyShark; Rendering via Vos Iz Neiaas (more…)

658 broadway east williamsburg

A seven-story, 64-unit building will replace a dilapidated one-story garage at 658 Broadway in east Williamsburg — part of the contested Broadway Triangle area. The Real Deal spotted new building applications for the 93,000-square-foot project, and said it’s one of the 10 largest projects in New York City filed in November.

The development will have 20,000 square feet of community space, including a medical office on the second floor, and 18,000 square feet of commercial space. There will also be a subterranean garage with 89 parking spots, according to Schedule A filings.

Charles Mallea is the architect of record, and the developer is Chaim Fuchs, said the Real Deal. An LLC paid $1,500,000 for the 6,200-square-foot lot in 2010, according to public records. The property takes up half the block and sits on the corner of Bartlett Street between Gerry and Bartlett. An alternate address for the lot is 89 Bartlett. Demolition permits haven’t been filed yet.

The Top 10 Real Estate Projects Coming to NYC [TRD] GMAP
Photo by Christopher Bride for PropertyShark

make music new york art

The winter edition of citywide music festival Make Music New York is bringing participatory performances to Flatbush Avenue in Prospect Heights, Cadman Plaza, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and McCarren Park this Sunday. Appalachian fiddlers and dancers will lead a parade from Grand Army Plaza to the Shake Shack on Flatbush Avenue, and in Williamsburg, a parade of kalimba (thumb piano) players will wend its way from Cooper Park to McCarren Park.

And singers and instrumentalists of all levels can meet in Cadman Plaza to play in a “slow-motion” performance of the prelude to Bach’s G-Major Cello Suite No. 1. Down on Williamsburg’s Southside, community groups El Puente and Bombayo are hosting an Afro-Caribbean dance and performance experience at El Puente’s headquarters on South 4th Street. Check out the full schedule over at Make Music New York.

Image via Make Music New York

105 south 5th street rendering

Permits were filed yesterday for a long-planned affordable development at 105 South 5th Street in Williamsburg. New York YIMBY first spotted the new building application for the 11-story mixed-use building, which will rise on a vacant lot across from the Williamsburg Bridge, and have 56 units scattered across 45,000 square feet of residential space.

The ground floor will include 4,100 square feet of retail and an 1,100-square-foot medical office. Crain’s reported last year that the retail space will go to community groups and local businesses, such as The Garden, a family-owned organic grocery store in Greenpoint.

Not counting the super’s unit, the project’s 55 apartments will break down into 28 two-bedrooms, 19 one-bedrooms and eight studios, according to Crain’s. The city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development owns the graffiti-filled lot. It used to be home to Landmarks’ architectural salvage warehouse, which was demolished three years ago. 

North Brooklyn Development Corp. and MDG Design and Construction are developing the 4,200-square-foot plot, and Dattner Architects is designing the building.

Permits Filed: 105 South 5th Street, Williamsburg [NYY] GMAP
Rendering by Dattner

130 jackson street williamsburg 122014

For an apartment that was carved out of a Civil War-era munitions factory, this two-bedroom condo at 130 Jackson Street in Williamsburg doesn’t have much in the way of old-school detail. It does have a good layout, big windows and a private balcony though. And the tax abatement is clearly still in effect, with common charges at just $558 a month. The apartment is east of the BQE but the price is north of $1,000 a foot ($1,067 to be exact). That’s $1,165,000 for 1,092 square feet of interior space — but don’t forget that balcony!

130 Jackson Street, #3C [Corcoran] GMAP


Various LLCs associated with Forest City have been purchasing medium-size apartment buildings in Williamsburg, public records reveal. It’s not clear who exactly is behind the buys but we suspect it is not Forest City but the Ratner family. A spokesperson had no comment.

The addresses are:

*365 Union Avenue, a 14-unit building. Purchased by BPC Partners LLC for $11,000,000 on October 30.
*405-409 South 3rd Street, a 33-unit building, purchased by 281 Union BPC Partners LLC for $23,000,000 in August.
*69 North 6th Street, a 28-unit building, purchased by Olive Partners LLC for $28,750,000 in 2013.
*224 Wythe Avenue, a 20-unit building, purchased by Olive Partners LLC for $13,500,000 in 2012.

The signatory on the deed and the mortgage for 69 North 6th Street is Bruce Ratner. The authorized signatory for the other three is Sadie Mitznick, Forest City general counsel. Those three mortgages list the LLC as the owner and say “care of BR Family Management,” whose address is given as 1 MetroTech, same as Forest City. We presume “BR Family Management” refers to Bruce Ratner and may be the actual entity behind the deals.

Big real estate players formerly confined to Manhattan have recently started buying property in Williamsburg. With the high rents in the area, even a medium size building can bring in substantial revenue.

At least two of the sites were stalled during the downturn. The building at 365 Union Avenue, pictured above during construction in 2011, was designed by Scarano.

365 Union Ave Coming Back From the Dead [Brownstoner]
Silverstone Property Sells Fast-Renting ‘Burg Building for $28.75 Million [Brownstoner]
Cross-Shaped Building at 281 Union Avenue in Williamsburg Finishing Up [Brownstoner]
224 Wythe Avenue Rising [Brownstoner]

yotel 280 meeker avenue williamsburg cetra ruddy

YIMBY unearthed this unusual cantilevered rendering for the planned Yotel at 280 Meeker Avenue in Williamsburg, but architects CetraRuddy told the blog that this design wasn’t chosen. Yotel announced developer Synapse Capital will build a 110-unit hotel with 100,000 square feet and stores in a press release last week.

Since the building will rise on a trapezoidal site next to the BQE, this look would certainly have been eye-catching from the highway. CetraRuddy said the design lent itself to creating amenity spaces for the condos and public areas for the hotel: “The project scope included developing several schemes to accommodate micro-unit layouts, designed to minimize private/room space while maximizing public/amenity space.”

The hotel may have “as many as eight condominiums on the top floor,” and construction will finish in 2016, according to a Bloomberg story that ran last week.

Click through for a few more renderings.

Vision: Yotel Planned for Williamsburg at 646 Lorimer Street [NYY] GMAP
Renderings by CetraRuddy



Apple really is opening a store in Williamsburg, at 247 Bedford Avenue, according to the New York Post. That’s where the Bagel Store was located, across from where Duane Reade is now, between North 3rd and North 4th Street, close to Metropolitan Avenue. It is catty corner from the future location of Whole Foods at Bedford and North 4th Street.

The building contained at least three other retail spaces, all of which had the same address: 241 Bedford. Kings Pharmacy occupied the biggest one for the longest time. Corcoran and clothing maker Robert James recently occupied other storefronts between the pharmacy and the bagel store.

Apple will occupy only 20,000 square feet of the 70,000 square foot building. The building is being returned entirely to commercial and the lots regrouped, according to permits.

It will be Apple’s first Brooklyn store. Where it would locate has been the subject of rumors for years. RedSky Capital and Waterbridge Capital bought the building for $66,000,000 in 2012.

In late August, Gothamist ran a story saying Apple was planning to take over the whole building, based on info from employees of Whisk, at 231 Bedford Avenue a few doors down, at the end of the block on the corner of North 4th. Tenants of the apartments above Kings were being “pressured to leave” and were offered a buyout. “The space where Bagel Store/Kings Pharmacy existed is going to be the Apple store location,” one of the employees told Gothamist in an email. “They’ve already started on it, and the lease was signed about a month ago. We found that out from the owners of the block.” Gothamist later retracted the story when Ben Bernstein of RedSky Capital said, “Sorry, wish it were true. Apple is not opening in the old Kings Pharmacy.”

The Post quoted unnamed “brokerage community sources.” The renovation is supposed to wrap in April. Asking rent was about $250 per square foot last year, according to The Real Deal.

The design of the building — the architect of record appears to be Marin Architects — will look nothing like an Apple glassy cube. But not every Apple store has that look.

Apple Goes iHipster With New Williamsburg Store [NY Post] GMAP
Rendering via The Real Deal

138 broadway williamsburg 122014

With the large majority of condos in Williamsburg now of the new construction variety, lofts that have retained their original detail have a special appeal. The Smith Gray building at 138 Broadway was one of the first (if not the first) condo conversion in the area when it hit the market in 2002. There’s now a great corner three-bedroom that’s just come on the market for $2,550,000. That’s probably about three times what it first went for but, oh, how times have changed in South Williamsburg. Strong points include original floors and columns as well as big windows with lotsa light.

138 Broadway, #5E [Corcoran] GMAP

22 north 6th street the edge williamsburg 122014

This two-bedroom at The Edge in Williamsburg just hit the market asking $1,650,000, or $1,600 a foot. (It’s hard to believe that when Smorgasburg opened next door in 2011, these places were going for closer to $600 a foot!) This third-floor unit is well laid out, with a master suite, a decent-sized second bedroom and the living room on the corner. The floor-to-ceiling windows are a nice touch too. Common charges are $915 a month. There’s an open house on Sunday from 2:30 to 4 pm if this sparks your interest.

22 North 6th Street, #3I [Halstead] GMAP

oosten front rendering

Reps for the Chinese-developed and Dutch-designed The Oosten in South Williamsburg tell us that 55 of the building’s 216 condos, or nearly 25 percent, are in contract. The luxury development at 429 Kent Avenue released its first 75 units for sale in September, with prices ranging from $710,000 for a one-bedroom to $3,635,000 for four-bedroom, 3.5-bath townhouses.

The units in contract include a townhouse, but no penthouses because they haven’t been listed yet. When we checked in with the construction last month, the complex had risen to three stories. Piet Boon and WASA Studio designed the project, and Xin Development Group is the developer. 

Oosten Coverage [Brownstoner] GMAP
Rendering via Halstead


The Salvation Army is working on the foundation of its new building at 176 Bedford Avenue, an extremely prominent corner in red-hot Williamsburg where the Bedford Avenue L train stop is located. Incredibly, plans originally filed in 2010 to replace the two-story commercial building with another one have not changed. Demo started in January 2013. Click through to see more photos.

Salvation Army Coverage [Brownstoner] (more…)