Work has started up again at the long-stalled site at 252 Atlantic Avenue, future home of the Atlantic Galleria, where Pier 1 Imports, Retro Fitness and others planned to set up shop. Crafts and framing shop Michael’s will replace Pier 1 as the anchor commercial tenant, according to new information on the sales site.

Other tenants will be TD Bank and Blink Fitness, according the site, leaving just one small spot of 663 square feet available.

We had noticed work had progressed on the foundation when we passed by a few weeks ago, although no workers were actually present at the time, on a weekday. Then a reader who lives nearby emailed us to say he noticed the site was buzzing with activity Friday.

The site has not been recently sold, according to public records, but the delay may have had something to do with financing. Last month, developer and owner Renaissance Realty Group took out a mortgage from Peoples United Bank for $15,100,000, according to public records.

Our tipster said he thought the foundation work was recent. “They are making a lot of progress quickly,” he said. He wasn’t as thrilled about the change of retailers, however. “Personally, I was more excited about Pier 1,” he told us.

Click through to see a shot from the street and the old rendering still posted on the construction fence.

252 Atlantic Avenue Coverage [Brownstoner]



A stalled construction site in Crown Heights that Hello Living! developer Eli Karp was once involved with is on the market for $1,750,000. The property — located at 949 Pacific Street close to the Prospect Heights border and Atlantic Avenue — is mid-construction.

Plans call for a five-story building with four condos, including a two-bedroom duplex penthouse and three one-bedroom floor-through apartments, totaling 4,120 square feet. The architect of the modern-style building is Brooklyn-based Ka.Va Design, which did the interior of Fort Greene restaurant Lulu & Po and whose work we have featured here before. (more…)

A tipster tells us work has started up again at the long-dormant warehouse conversion at 53 Bridge Street in Dumbo. The latest alteration permits indicate the developer has scrapped residential plans.

The developer of the long-troubled project was ordered to take down an unsightly and unstable six-story addition back in 2010, designed by disgraced architect Scarano. The architect of record is now NSC Architecture. As far as we know, developer Joshua Guttman is still the owner of the warehouse, which is located at Bridge and Front streets.

A partial stop work order exists on the property.

Guttman Finally Caves on 53 Bridge Street [Brownstoner] GMAP


It looks like construction is under way at a formerly stalled site on Dean Street between Vanderbilt and Underhill Avenues in Prospect Heights. We spotted some new building permits and a schematic on the fence at 751 Dean Street, where permits from last year tell the story of a four-story apartment building planned for the former vacant lot.

The building going up right now will house four apartments, one per floor, totaling 3,960 square feet. The schematic (pictured after the jump) shows two connected buildings with fiberglass and stucco facades, but no permits have been filed for the second building. DOB slapped the project with five violations in December and January, as well as a stop-work order, which explains the construction slow-down. GMAP


Could work finally be starting again at 339 Greene Avenue, the 12-story high-rise that has been under construction in Bed Stuy for more than five years? When we stopped by recently, we noticed workers on the site. And earlier this month, the DOB approved three new alteration type 2 permits. The 57-unit project has been stop and go since 2010 when it ran into some financial difficulties. Construction will hopefully wrap up under a new developer, Bonjour Capital. Bonjour acquired the development in May for $16,000,000, according to public records.

Finally, a Restart at 339 Greene Avenue! [Brownstoner] GMAP
Vultures Circling 339 Greene Avenue? [Brownstoner]
Development Watch: Windows In at 339 Greene Avenue [Brownstoner]
Development Watch: 339 Greene Avenue [Brownstoner]
Development Watch: 339 Greene Avenue Revisited [Brownstoner]
Development Watch: 339 Greene Avenue [Brownstoner]


Chinese property developer Greenland Holdings Group, which is owned by the Chinese state, has agreed to buy a majority stake, or 70 percent, in the remaining as-yet-unbuilt Atlantic Yards project, owned by Forest City Ratner, The Wall Street Journal reported. The purchase would not include the first tower, known as B2, which is already going up next to the arena. How much Greenland will pay for the ownership stake was not disclosed, and the deal will not close for some time, because it needs to be reviewed by Chinese and U.S. officials.

The purchase may hasten the construction of the remaining towers, which were originally expected to be completed as early as this year, according to the Journal. (Above, the rail yard over which some of the towers will be built.) It’s unclear how much Forest City Ratner will benefit from the deal. In September, an exec with company that owns FCR said “the company wasn’t expecting to receive more than the cost of the land in any sale at Atlantic Yards,” said the Journal.

The remaining towers are residential except for one office building and retail space. Greenland is also working on some other high-profile projects, including what will likely be China’s tallest skyscraper, in Wuhan and, in Sydney, the tallest apartment building.

Chinese Developer Greenland to Take Majority Stake in Atlantic Yards Apartment Project [WSJ]


It looks like a long-stalled residential development at 538 Washington Avenue between Atlantic and Fulton is finally putting up some steel. The architect of record is none other than villified Brooklyn architect Robert Scarano, who filed the original plans and new building permits in 2008. While the building permits don’t tell us much, we do know the building will be five stories with eight units. The DOB issued a new building permit in June, which explains why we’re seeing some progress. The most recent sale of the property was last year, when an LLC sold to another LLC, evidently developer Sam Boymelgreen, for $860,000, according to PropertyShark. GMAP


The Karl Fischer-designed building at 659 Bergen Street in Prospect Heights finally received its certificate of occupancy May 17. Some buyers have been in contract since 2010 and expected to move in long ago. Thirty-day notices were sent out June 4 telling buyers to prepare their mortgages and get ready to move. But then the next day another letter went out telling them to disregard the first one and that the owner is working to resolve some title issues, a source told us. As it turns out, a lis pendens was filed against the building in February, which means the buyers cannot close.

“They cannot close until the foreclosure is resolved,” said an attorney for one of the buyers, who requested anonymity. “Either they make a settlement with the bank to close or someone else buys the debt. It’s an objection to title.” The impact on the buyers has been “devastating,” he continued. “There’s a lot of money and emotion tied up in this.” His client could cancel the contract and get back the deposit, but doesn’t want to. So much time has elapsed that it would be impossible for buyers to find a comparable space in the same area for the same price, he said.

But the end may be in sight. “Our client believes everything will be resolved shortly,” said Jeffrey Zwick of Jeffrey Zwick & Associates, the attorney for owner Boaz Gilad. He declined to comment further.

Buyers in Limbo at Prospect Heights Building [Brownstoner]

53-broadway-041913After a lull in development during the downturn, the number of apartment units under construction is back to late 2008 levels, according to a report from the Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy at NYU. Most — three-quarters — of the units are being built in Brooklyn and Queens, not Manhattan, DNAinfo reported. They’re coming from two sources: Stalled construction sites that are now finishing up, and new projects. “Brooklyn is seeing a lot of development right now,” said Brian Meier, an agent with Douglas Elliman. “The entry points are a lot easier [for developers] to get into and there’s availability.” At the same time, some rental buildings are now converting back to condos to meet demand. One of these is a 40-unit building at 35-41 Clarkson Avenue in Prospect Lefferts Gardens, which recently put 14 units on the market. Within one night, the apartments —  priced between $200,000 and $400,000 – all had offers at ask with backup buyers. The Meadowwood at Gateway in East New York, a huge complex with 19 buildings and 1,100 units, is also converting from rentals to condos. “There was such a gap in new development,” said Jodi Stasse, Citi Habitats managing director of new developments. “[Now] there’s a good pipeline of much needed great inventory.” Do you think more inventory could mean less competition and lower prices?
New Construction Rises in City After a Five Year Lull [DNAinfo]

There is an end in sight for the long-stalled Bed Stuy build at 339 Greene Avenue. The building has been sold to Bonjour Capital for $16,000,000, reported The Real Deal. The firm plans to finish construction on the 57-unit, 12-story rental building. The project was delayed for years by a foreclosure and bankruptcy filing.
Bonjour Capital Takes Over Bed-Stuy Rental Building Stalled for Last Six Years [TRD]
Vultures Circling 339 Greene Avenue? [Brownstoner] GMAP

Lo and behold, work is finally under way at the huge project at 500 Metropolitan Avenue once known as “The Gateway to Williamsburg.” It looked like they were working on the foundation when we stopped by. We found a new rendering, which looks slightly different from the one we dug up last year, but the basic idea of a large, wedge-shaped, stepped, glassy building in a very prominent location hasn’t changed. Some details have been altered: The building will be 15 stories, not 14, with 148 hotel rooms and 81 residential units. It should be done in 2015. The developer is still Chetrit Group and the architect is still Gene Kaufman. Click through to the jump for photos of the work in progress. What do you think of the new look?
Long-Stalled, Huge ‘Burg Project Showing Signs of Life [Brownstoner]