07/25/14 10:00am

399 4th avenue gowanus schematic 72014

We found this schematic for a hotel on the fence at 3rd Avenue and 6th Street, a block from Whole Foods in Gowanus. Globiwest Hospitality is building the six-story boutique hotel at 399 Third Avenue, as DNAinfo reported last year. It will have 58 rooms spread across 19,127 square feet, as well as four parking spaces, an exercise room and a meeting room, according to new building permits filed a year ago. Michael Kang Architect is the architect of record.

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07/08/14 4:00pm

take back gowanus flyer

Several community groups dissatisfied with Brad Lander’s “Bridging Gowanus” planning meetings are organizing their own forum, called “Take Back Gowanus,” Wednesday night. Katia Kelly of Pardon Me for Asking writes that the purpose of the meeting is to “bring local residents, business owners, and manufacturers together for a true democratic discussion on the future of Gowanus. The goal of ‘Take Back Gowanus’ is to create a manifesto of what the community wants to see in the neighborhood they live and work in.” Neighbors and community groups felt that Lander’s meetings were “highly curated affairs” where facilitators stuck to scripts and didn’t engage in a real discussion, according to Kelly.

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06/30/14 10:00am

152 3rd street coal pockets gowanus 62014

On the Gowanus industrial property where the Burns Brothers coal pockets used to be, the steel skeleton of a building has started to rise. We’re not entirely sure what’s going on, because the DOB hasn’t issued any recent permits for the site, which we believe is 141-173 6th Street. The structure faces the Gowanus Canal on 6th Street between 2nd and 3rd avenues. If you’ve got any tips about this mysterious construction, let us know! More photos after the jump.

Update: A helpful commenter pointed out some alteration permits for 15 2nd Avenue, the lot to the west of where the coal silos used to be. Plans filed last August call for a two-story addition, 35 parking spaces on the first floor, and offices on all three floors. The DOB issued permits in March to construct the 61,307 square-foot commercial building.

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06/23/14 9:30am

kentile floors edit small

The partially deconstructed Kentile Floors sign got its final hurrah Friday thanks to an artist collective, which used high-powered projectors to illuminate the sign one last time before it comes down for good. Artist group Vanderbilt Republic projected light and animations onto the sign for two hours beginning at sundown, using 20,000-lumen projectors. They also beamed the animated program onto the scaffolded side of the 9th Street Bridge, where it could be seen more clearly. Workers began dismantling the sign last Thursday, and now only the “I” and “Floors” remain. Click through to see more photos.

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06/18/14 10:00am

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Jared Kushner and LIVWRK have made a deal to buy a large development site on 3rd Street next to the Gowanus Canal for $70,000,000 to $80,000,000, The Real Deal reported. The 133,000-square-foot property at 175-225 3rd Street allows for a commercial development of  up to 300,000 square feet, but a source told The Real Deal that a million-square-foot residential development could be built if the site is rezoned. That would rival Lightstone’s planned 700-unit rental project at 363 Bond Street, just across the canal.

The block-long site has 600 feet of frontage on 3rd Street between 3rd Avenue and the canal and could have up to 150,000 square feet of retail. Whole Foods is across the street, and “in the shopping center world, having Whole Foods as an anchor is like going to the ball with one of the belles,” one commercial broker told TRD. The site is also right next to the graffiti-covered Gowanus Batcave, which is being slowly decontaminated by owner Joshua Rechnitz. The seller is a family who has owned the two properties for over 60 years. Verizon currently parks its telecom trucks in the two vacant lots.

LIVWRK and Kushner, along with RFR Realty and Invesco Real Estate, are, of course, the team that is developing the former Jehovah’s Witnesses Watchtower printing properties into a 1.2-million-square-foot office campus called Dumbo Heights.

Rezoning commercial property in Gowanus to residential has been controversial and there is no guarantee. Councilman Brad Lander recently ripped into developers who buy Gowanus property at residential prices thinking they will be able to rezone:

“Let me be clear: Those who are paying big price tags for industrial buildings in Gowanus and demolishing historic structures on the assumption that they will be able to build market-rate condo buildings like those on 4th Avenue are making a big mistake,” he said.

Kushner, LIVWRK Grab Big Gowanus Development Site [TRD]
Photo by Kate Leonova for PropertyShark

06/04/14 4:00pm

Is the iconic Kentile Floors sign about to disappear from the Brooklyn skyline? Scaffolding has been erected around the sign, and in May, the Department of Buildings issued a permit to “remove existing structure and sign by hand off roof,” Gothamist reported.

Gothamist posted a photo of the scaffolding and reached out to the engineer on the permit and a rep for the property owners, neither one of whom would say whether or not the sign is not long for this world. Last month, the sign was “illuminated” for the first time since 1992, via projection.

“If removed, the sign’s demise will no doubt be seen as a tragic symbol of the End of Everything that ever made Brooklyn a Cool place to live,” said Gothamist.

Photo by Eugene Gannon

06/02/14 11:30am

Welcome to the Hot Seat, where we interview people involved in real estate, architecture, development and design. Introducing Jamie Courville and Chris Reynolds, a filmmaking team working on a documentary about the rapid changes in Gowanus. Their film, Gowanus Current, will chronicle the development of the neighborhood over the course of this year and incorporate the voices of people who live and work there. They’ve set up a phone line where anyone can call and record their thoughts about what’s happening in Gowanus. You can listen to some of the calls here.

Brownstoner: Where do you live, and how did you end up there?

Jamie: We live in Gowanus. We’ve lived in different neighborhoods and had some bad luck with apartments. We lived in one place we fixed up a lot, and we had one rental that kept flooding with raw sewage. We lived in another place where the landlord thought he was a master fixer-upper: he wanted to tear a hole in the wall to build a deck, and we decided not to live with an open wall. And now we’ve lived here five years. We’re on 3rd Avenue toward the dead end of the canal. During Sandy, the water was pretty deep on Nevins one block down, but because of the slope we didn’t have any flooding. We’re not in Zone A.

BS: What first drew you to Gowanus, and why did you decide to start filming Gowanus Current?

Jamie: I didn’t know much about this neighborhood before, but I’ve grown to very much love it.

Chris: [We decided to start filming] because it was changing really quickly. A lot of large scale moving in and lots of longtime residents and business moving out. We’re both professional filmmakers and media producers, so it seemed only natural to do that about what we were seeing in our own neighborhood.

After the jump, Jamie and Chris talk about the future of Gowanus, the proposed Historic District, Whole Foods and the demolition of the Burns Brothers coal silos…

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05/20/14 12:15pm

This two-bedroom floor-through in Gowanus isn’t anything flashy, but it’s got everything you need and there is lots of light and quiet, according to the listing. There are tons of cabinets, stainless steel appliances and a dishwasher in the kitchen, as well as a little window seat. The living/dining area is relatively large, and it has a little alcove that could serve as an office. It also has sound-deadening insulation and windows, according to the listing.

The configuration might be a difficult setup for roommates because the second bedroom is nursery or office-sized. On the plus side, it’s only a block from the F/G/R trains at 4th Avenue and 9th Street. What’s your opinion of it for $3,200 a month?

192 9th Street [Ideal Properties] GMAP

05/09/14 10:00am

A teaser site with a fresh exterior rendering has emerged for the condos planned for 345 Carroll Street on the site of what was the Regency Carts building in Gowanus. Designed by GLUCK+, the development will have 32 condos, 18 terraces, a secret garden and private parking.

Sterling Equities filed new building applications in the fall, which were disapproved, and a demo application that hasn’t been approved yet. Despite its lack of construction progress, 345 Carroll will launch sales in June with pricing starting at $1,500,000, according to a PR rep. Next door at the Hell Building, rentals are about to hit the market after a decade of construction. The rendering looks pretty good to us, but what do you think?

Regency Carts Site Goes Condo [Brownstoner]
Regency Carts/Hell Building Coverage [Brownstoner]

04/21/14 10:45am

The iconic coal pockets on the banks of the Gowanus Canal, a reminder of the area’s industrial past, were torn down last week, Pardon Me For Asking reported. The Burns Brothers coal pockets sat on 6th Street between 2nd and 3rd avenues, not far from Whole Foods. The century-old concrete cylinders were demolished to make way for a new office development, according to Curbed.

The eight pockets were built between 1915 and 1924 and used until 1938, said PMFA’s Katia Kelly. The 40- and 50-foot-tall structures were used to store coal that had arrived on the barges in the canal for subsequent delivery on wagons and trucks. Meanwhile, Lightstone began knocking down the large silos on Carroll Street earlier this month to prepare for its huge 12-story, 700-unit residential development.

“Gowanus, as we know it, is disappearing before our eyes,” Kelly wrote.

Another Gowanus Landmark Bites the Dust: Burns Brothers’ Coal Pockets [PFMA]
Photo by Eymund Diegel for PMFA

04/11/14 4:00pm

Council Member Stephen Levin has announced the five community improvement projects in District 33 that will receive $1,560,000 of city discretionary funds. Residents voted last week on how their tax dollars should be spent in the district through a process known as participatory budgeting. Here are the projects that received the most votes, in order:

  1. Repairs at four NYCHA playgrounds – Gowanus Houses, 572 Warren Street Houses, Wyckoff Gardens, and Jonathan Williams Plaza – will receive $400,000.
  2. The Gowanus Community Center, pictured, will get $325,000 for renovations.
  3. The McGolrick Park Playground will be completely reconstructed, to the tune of $450,000.
  4. BOOKlyn Shuttle: $198,000 will be set aside to buy and retrofit bus a bus designed by Pratt Institute to “inspire, stimulate and improve the literacy of North Brooklyn’s youth.”
  5. The bathrooms at P.S. 261 will be renovated and repaired with $175,000 in funds.

Image of Gowanus Community Center via Better Late Than Never