Work has started on the five-story, 28-unit apartment building going up at 196 Macon on a leafy block of brownstones in Bed Stuy. The developers are H Holding Group, which is also building four neo-traditional townhouses at 449-453 Degraw Street in Cobble Hill. This build is scheduled to be completed in June 2014. It’s not clear if the units will be rentals or condos. Although the massing of the building above is obviously contemporary, and the building contains a parking garage, ornamental details nod to surrounding brownstones and include Neo Grec-style window surrounds, windows at street level, quoins and 19th century-style cornices. The property is the back half of a double lot on which sits a landmarked 1863 mansion; the whole thing was until recently owned by the mysterious United Order of Tents, a secret organization for African-American women. The Order of Tents appears to have divided the lot in two for tax purposes in 2011, and last year sold the vacant lot known as 200 Macon Street to Mgsh Properties Inc., which has the same address as the H Holding Group, for $760,000. Presumably, the Order of Tents still owns 87 Macdonough, despite the fact that PropertyShark lists all of the addresses as one property owned by Mgsh Properties.
Never mind babies in bars in Park Slope. Times are changing. With all the construction and new families in Williamsburg, there’s a new outrage to worry about: The dust and noise of construction there, which is ruining walks and nap time for babies, according to DNAinfo, and the entitlement of parents who pay $5,000 a month to rent or millions of dollars to buy in the neighborhood. It is a fact that Williamsburg has the highest number of new buildings going up of any neighborhood in Brooklyn. It does seem as if there is construction on nearly every block. What to do?
Williamsburg Construction Boom Ruining Babies’ Naps and Walks [DNAinfo]
Photo by Meredith Hoffman for DNAinfo
The second building at 176 Bedford Avenue is still standing, although its floors are completely open to the elements. The main building at 176 Bedford Avenue, which until recently housed Williamsburg’s Salvation Army store, is now completely demolished. As previously reported, the Salvation Army is constructing an entirely new building on the site, and it will remain a Salvation Army store. (more…)
Whole Foods received a stop work order for the whole site Monday after at least one construction worker fell about 25 feet while installing decking and was taken to the hospital, according to a posting on the Department of Buildings website. A tipster sent us a photo of the stop work order posted at the construction site, above, at 214 Third Street in Gowanus. Three construction workers fell and were hurt, according to a story in the Brooklyn Eagle.
We heard from a tipster yesterday afternoon that during work on a construction site at 255 Columbia Street, the former Sokol Brothers Building, workers must have damaged a water main causing several buildings on the street to be flooded. A stop work order was issued by the building department yesterday because construction on the site “caused a water pipe to burst, flooding neighboring properties, entire block.” The order indicates that cellars have been flooded at 249 and 257. According to our tipster 259 is flooded too and, “two apartment buildings are uninhabitable right now – we’re not allowed in – and the grocery store is out of commission for time being.” This isn’t the first time there have been problems at the site. A Stop Work Order was issued back in June–the developer lacked a full demolition permit it needed. Anyone know anything more about the cause or the damage? Click through for more pictures. (more…)
Signage is up at the long-empty lot on the southwest corner of 4th Avenue and 3rd Street at 340 4th Avenue in Gowanus. No construction action yet, but developers recently filed plans with the DOB for a two-story building classified under “business” use. Construction should wrap in December 2013. An old listing says there’s 20,000 buildable square feet for an “ideal retail location.” Plans for a retail building have been in place a long time – this site was even rumored to become a Starbucks years ago. GMAP DOB
The long-awaited Whole Foods at 3rd Avenue and 3rd Street in Gowanus will open one year from now, in the fall of 2013, according to a memo sent by Whole Foods to Community Board Six. Construction on the foundation is slated to begin any day, now that the environmental cleanup is done and certified and the site is being prepared. The steel frame will start going up early next year. Meanwhile, as part of the development agreement, Whole Foods will repair the adjacent and landmarked Long Island Coignet Stone Company Building (pictured above). The grocer’s architects are working on drawings for the renovation of the facade, which will need to be approved by Landmarks. (The building is not owned by Whole Foods and will not be used by the market.) The grocery plans to include lots of Brooklyn foods from purveyors such as Brooklyn Brine, Mast Brothers Chocolate, Brooklyn Salsa, Acme Smoked Fish and People’s Pops. Hiring will start in the summer.
Whole Foods Working to Restore Landmarks Gowanus Building [DNAinfo]
Brooklyn Whole Foods on Track for 2013 Grand Opening [NY Post]
After 8 Years, Brooklyn Whole Foods Finally a Go! [Brownstoner]
A reader tells us that the block of 6th Street between 4th and 5th avenues in Park Slope will be closed for more than two months, due to construction on an apartment building near the corner of 4th Avenue. (On the same corner, a large Karl Fischer-designed apartment building is also going up.) Residents received a letter in the mail this past weekend from the developer of the smaller of the two projects, known as 278 6th Street LLC, notifying them of plans to shut down the street to traffic from 9 am to 4 pm on weekdays; deliveries and parking for residents will be allowed. However, said our tipster, they are already running over their permitted hours, parking all over the block and in front of fire hydrants, blocking the pedestrian walkway and making pedestrians walk in the street (even after hours) — and street cleaning was skipped Thursday, although the developer promised to accommodate it, along with garbage pickup. Two complaints for after hours work have already been logged with the DOB in recent weeks. “For the past several months, we’ve had to put up with a lot of construction noise, sidewalk closures, massive trucks and cement mixers blocking the street,” he said. “I just talked to the guy who runs a tinsmith business right next door to the site — for most of us it’s just an inconvenience, but he says it’s totally killing his business this week.” Click through for more photos of the block, all taken at 4:10 in the afternoon yesterday, according to our tipster. (more…)
The three-unit, four-story building going up at 119 Wilson Avenue (also known as 1099 Willoughby) is going to be luxury apartments, according to a reader who spoke to workers at the site. Dynatec Contracting is putting in granite counters, and the top unit is a duplex, they said. Judging by the building permits, it appears the whole structure will consist of four buildings over one lot, for a total of 12 units. The developers have also filed for a 23-car parking lot. This little corner of Bushwick has been a hub of activity in the last year, with many new businesses opening, including Miles bar, Cafeteria La Mejor, and Molasses Books.
It looks like the ground floor and some enclosed rooms, possibly an elevator shaft, are going in at 146 South 4th Street in Williamsburg. This large site near the corner of Bedford Avenue is slated to become a ten-story apartment building. Below, you can just see the gilded copper dome of the Williamsburgh Savings Bank through the construction fence. (more…)
A reader sent in this photo of the repair work ongoing at Christ Church in Cobble Hill, where lightning struck on July 26, damaging the tower and killing local resident state Assistant Attorney General Richard Schwartz. Traffic at the corner of Kane and Clinton remains completely blocked with the intersection closed to all, our tipster said. No one is allowed on the south side of the sidewalk. Two large cranes remain on the scene.
Christ Church Steeples to Come Down [Brownstoner] GMAP
Lightning Kills Man, Damages Church in Cobble Hill [Brownstoner]
Lightning Hit Brooklyn Last Night, Caused One Fatality [Brownstoner]
The pictures tell an alarming story: Two residences on Union Street, Nos. 463 and 465, developed serious structural cracks and one had to be vacated due to nearby construction work at 467 Union Street, according to neighborhood blog Pardon Me for Asking. The Department of Buildings has issued a Stop Work Order for No. 467. In 2007, Brownstoner featured No. 467 as a House of the Day. Marketed as a tear-down for $750,000, it eventually sold to a pair of architects for $377,000 in March. They filed permits for a one-family, four-story house, and work began in June, according to the blog. Click through to the blog for a series of photos of the construction site and affected buildings.
New Home to Rise at 467 Union Street [Brownstoner]
House of the Day: 467 Union Street [Brownstoner]
Photo by Pardon Me for Asking
Sportswriter Will Leitch has penned a big narrative think piece on Barclays Center in New York Magazine. The takeaway: It’s here, sports fans are excited, this will shape Brooklyn for years to come. Reflecting on the process that brought us to this point, he said:
Ratner doesn’t worry about his personal legacy; once, during another meeting, he pointed to famous buildings nearby and noted that no one knows the names of the people who built them. The world is a “long, big place,” he said. One hundred years from now, “Brooklyn is going to be an epicenter of this country, and this place will be at the middle of that. No one will care what we had to do to make it happen.”
One of the biggest effects of the center is likely to be on traffic and parking, although the city still maintains no special permits are needed for residents. “The nightmare situation involves random Barclays Center patrons driving up, through, and around Park Slope and Cobble Hill all night looking for free parking,” he wrote. In its own take on the story, Atlantic Yards Reports said: “What about the housing — would it last 100 years, especially if built modular? I wouldn’t bet on it.” What do you think?
What if Bruce Ratner’s Barclays Center Isn’t a Success? [NY Mag]
NY Mag on Barclays Center [AYR]
Building Affordable Housing at Atlantic Yards [Brownstoner]
Photo by hunter.gatherer
A new report validates neighbors’ complaints about disruptive Atlantic Yards construction, writes Norman Oder in the Atlantic Yards Report. The sleep of the neighbors seems to have been sacrificed so developer Forest City Ratner could rush to finish the arena in time for the first Jay-Z concert Sept. 28. The report also suggests the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) and its environmental monitor condoned a cover-up, he continues. Check out the full post here along with a Daily News article on the topic here.
The parent’s fight against construction work at PS 29 in Cobble Hill came to a head last Friday, when a group of about 70 parents protested the work scheduled to begin that night. The concern revolves mainly around the asbestos abatement and the dust levels caused by construction, scheduled to happen while kids are still in school. There was a previous protest last Monday. Parents met with the the School Construction Authority three days after the first protest (involving a three-hour meeting covered in detail by the Times), at which one parent told us “a pathetic display” of responsiveness to the matter at hand was evident. Despite the meeting, the SCA planned to begin work on Friday, so parents announced another protest, and even threatened to form a human chain around the site to stop construction. Work on the asbestos abatement did not begin Friday because more prep work is needed. But some parents are filing for an injunction, while others have threatened to remove their children from school if the abatement proceeds. “It’s not only wrong, it’s criminal,” parent Michael Nigro told us, regarding the failure of the SEC and and Department of Environmental Protection to put notifications up of the aesbestos abatement seven days before work begins. He stated that the SCA had “rendered the parents powerless.” The SCA still says the work will stay on schedule. There are about 30 days left of school, with interior and exterior construction continuing into the summer. See more pictures from the protest and last Thursday’s hearing after the jump.
Rally Tonight to Halt Work at PS 29 [Brownstoner] (more…)
This evening parents will rally at PS 29 in Cobble Hill in concern of the asbestos removal at PS 29 while school is still in session, which they say is in violation of the NYC Department of Environmental Protection Regulations. A parent tells us: “On Friday afternoon the parents at PS 29 were informed that on Monday asbestos removal would begin around the windows of the school. Everyone one was completely taken by surprised by this including the administration. We are outraged that the SCA thinks it is safe for our kids to attend a school while they are removing asbestos.” Parents circulated a flier which reads: “Do you trust that containment, cleanup, and monitoring and repeat cleanup will be done meticulously and without error and negligence?! Oppose this work taking place while school is in session! Please join all concerned parents as we protest in front of the school building tonight at 5:30PM.” The asbestos removal was supposed to begin at the school tonight, but it is being postponed until Friday due to the weather. Parents are asking that all construction work cease at the school until summer break. You can also sign a petition to stop the construction work here. The school principle is also encouraging parents to come to the PTA meeting this coming Thursday to address ongoing concerns.
Seven construction workers are filing a lawsuit claiming they were promised union jobs at Atlantic Yards after completing a training program, according to the Daily News, but were instead offered employment at places like McDonald’s and a health club. The defendants include Forest City Ratner and BUILD (Brooklyn United for Innovative Local Development), according to the story. One of the plaintiffs had this to say: “I believed I was going to be employed, that jobs were going to come into my community. …It was all lies.” Meanwhile, the president of BUILD says the program never guaranteed construction jobs. Matthew Brinckerhoff, the lawyer representing the plaintiffs along with South Brooklyn Legal Services, is quoted as follows: “It’s galling that people living in the community were conned into enthusiastically supporting this project based on the promise of jobs.” As Atlantic Yards Report notes, Council Member Letitia James, State Senator Velmanette Montgomery and South Brooklyn Legal Services are holding a press conference about the lawsuit this afternoon. The notice about the press conference says “the suit seeks the recovery of unpaid wages as well as damages based on false promises.”
Promise of Union Jobs a Lie by Atlantic Yards: Suit [NY Daily News]
Federal Lawsuit to be Filed against FCR, BUILD, Bruce Ratner, Others [AY Report]
The Brooklyn Paper reports that thieves locked up a security guard at Toll Brothers’ 205 Water Street construction site a few days ago and tried to make off with a great deal of copper. According to the report, the robbers attempted to steal a 2,000-pound spool that would have been worth around $15,000 but ended up making off with a couple smaller rolls instead. The story notes that copper is a prime target for thieves that prey on construction sites because it’s “rarely secured” and has been rising in value. The article also makes the claim that copper theft has “become one of the most-common crimes in the borough.”
Copper Thieves Run Roughshod Over DUMBO Work Site [BK Paper]
The Prospect Park Alliance recently uploaded a few behind-the-fence shots of how construction is going at Lakeside. Among other things, the big project will result in a couple new skating rinks and involve the relandscaping of 26 acres. The cover for one of the rinks has almost been completely installed, and a lot of work has been done on the new lakeshore wall. Yesterday a press release went out saying that Chase is putting $1.6 million toward the facility being built adjacent to the skating rinks that will include a “Chase Cafe.” The entire project is costing $74 million and is 85 percent funded at this point; it’s supposed to be finished by December 2012 or January 2013.
Lakeside Construction Update [Prospect Park Alliance]
A reader who lives next to where work is taking place to rehabilitate the Culver Viaduct wrote in to say that while he and his Carroll Gardens neighbors are very happy the work is being done, they’re not so thrilled about the falling debris that’s been a byproduct of it. To wit:
Things seem to be moving along at a decent pace from what I see on a daily basis but, of course, there is some major shortsightedness which is stirring up the locals. There is significant netting/protection along the Smith Street side of the viaduct but NOTHING on the residential side of the tracks. Every day we get a lovely dusting of concrete chunks, dust and god knows what on everything. I’ve called the MTA numerous times, called the DEP, even emailed a couple local politicians and have gotten no response from anyone. Again, I am quite happy to see this work being done and could care less about the other minor inconveniences but it’s a bit baffling that they could put up all this netting along Smith Street and do nothing to keep the dust and debris from landing in the resident’s properties.
Click through for more photos. (more…)