Buyers are picking up apartments at 145 McGuiness, the 10-unit Greenpoint condo that launched this April. A sales rep at Aptsandlofts.com reports that five units are now spoken for. In fact, all five offers came in and were accepted at the official building launch on May 9. Prices range from $499,000 for a one-bedroom to $949,000 for a two-bedroom. The next open house is this Sunday, from 2 pm to 4 pm.
10-Unit Condo Launches in Greenpoint [Brownstoner]
145 McGuinness Boulevard Listings [Aptsandlofts.com] GMAP
This two-bedroom, two-bathroom at new building 524 Manhattan Avenue is asking $5,500 a month. Here’s what it comes with: 1,069 interior square feet, an outdoor patio, a loft space, direct elevator entry, and really big windows. Lots of perks, but do you think a unit at the north end of the park can command the asking rent?
524 Manhattan Avenue [Corcoran] GMAP P*Shark
Brooklyn, one building at a time.
Name: Flats buildings
Address: 135-137 Kent Street
Cross Streets: Franklin Street and Manhattan Avenue
Year Built: 1907
Architectural Style: Renaissance Revival/Neo-Classical
Architect: Philemon Tillion
Other Work by Architect: In Greenpoint – Industrial Home for the Blind, Greenpoint Masonic Lodge, additions to Eberhard Faber Factory buildings, apartment buildings and single family houses on Milton Street. Also row house group in Park Slope, and Trinity Baptist church, Crown Heights North.
Landmarked: Yes, part of the Greenpoint HD (1982)
The story: Kent Street, between Franklin Street and Manhattan Avenue is an architecturally varied and very pleasing block. It shows the development of Greenpoint between the 1850s and the early 1900s, and most of its building stock is pretty much intact, as the block was spared the severe “modernizing” ministrations of siding salesmen who had a field day elsewhere in the neighborhood. The earliest brick houses date from the late 1850s, and were built by some of Greenpoint’s earliest builders and developers, men who came to the area to build for the bourgeoning shipbuilding, ceramics and glass manufacturers and their workers, all who called Greenpoint home. (more…)
Astute observers of architecture in Greenpoint may have noticed a curious phenomenon: Several dozen small apartment buildings scattered throughout the neighborhood, most sporting red brick facades, balconies and white columns, and all named ”Belvedere.” Turns out the style and the name started with one development firm, the Times discovered. The name refers to the Belvedere Palace, the state house of the president of Poland, where the original partners in the firm are from. Critical opinion on their architectural merits is mixed. ”They could be worse,” said an architect and Greenpoint resident. “Their heart is in the right place; I think they’re trying to be contextual,” said Matthew Coody, founder of Preservation Greenpoint. The style, however, is catching on: A different developer liked the look of the building and hired a Belvedere architect to construct “Osho Castle,” a similar development right down the block from Belvedere XXX.
Building Condos by the Numbers, Skipping Some Along the Way [NY Times]
Belvedere XXVII by catasterist
The architecture firm Lubrano Ciavarra Architects just secured permits for a new build at 45 India Street, currently an empty lot between West and Franklin streets in Greenpoint. The four-story, seven-unit condo building will break ground in late May. The architects were given the task to design a small scale building that would reflect the neighborhood’s 19th century architecture and distinguish itself from the new glassy architecture along the waterfront, as well as the recently constructed, low-rise, fast-track developments going up around North Brooklyn. Here’s what they have to say about the design:
In exploring masonry patterning, the “corduroy” brick façade recalls the system of bays that organize the traditional industrial facades of the neighborhood. The metalwork that articulates the entry both alludes to the ironwork found at the street level of 19th century buildings to the east, and the boat-building industry that was so predominant at the bottom of India Street to the west.
And here’s what they have to say about the building itself: (more…)
A combination store, showroom, gallery, and design lab known as Jellio is opening in Greenpoint on May 20. (Right, a whimsical image they designed.) It’s a collection of fun, wacky home furnishings that includes an ice cream bench, a Rubick’s Cube table, and gummy bear light fixtures. The owners will run the store out of a giant fabrication shop at 239 Java Street so visitors can see the items in production. They’ll be opening Jellio with a debut show called “Toy Chest,” a design tribute to iconic items the owners had as kids. Stay tuned for a sneak peak of the new space, and check out some more of the products at the Jellio Facebook page. GMAP
Even though it’s a Wednesday, there are several open houses going on tonight. Below are listings from the Marketplace (complete with their verbatim broker babble) that will be opening their doors open later tonight.
So many Greenpoint residents turned out for a meeting Monday of Community Board One’s land-use committee they couldn’t all fit in the building, DNAinfo reported. They are outraged by plans to build two huge developments on the waterfront that will add at least 10,000 new residents to Greenpoint’s current population of 40,000. It was also revealed that the buildings at Greenpoint Landing and 77 Commercial Street, some of which will rise to 40 stories, will have separate entrances for affordable and market rate apartments. Attendees called the buildings ”monstrosities” and said they showed “complete disregard” for the community, the story said. ”We don’t want socioeconomic or racial segregation,” said one resident of the separate entrances. Other objections were inadequate transportation and park space. ”This is the ugliest, scariest, most horrible plan,” said resident Kim Fraser. Community Board One Chair Chris Olechowski noted that the board had rejected the 2005 rezoning plan that paved the way for the huge developments. But they were ignored. ”We’re only advisory,” he said. “That’s the frustration.”
Greenpoint Towers the “Ugliest, Scariest, Most Horrible” Plan, Locals Say [DNAinfo]
Deal Paves Way for Greenpoint Green Space [Brownstoner]
Massive Greenpoint Development May Break Ground Next Summer [Brownstoner]
Rendering via Crain’s
Ever since Henry Ford’s assembly line made it possible for the average American to purchase a car, we’ve been in love with the automobile. But Ford was not the only automaker around, and no sooner than the first cars started to appear, than it seemed that every inventor and blacksmith with a knack for engines and enough money to go into business, was becoming a car maker. The beginning of the 20th century was a marvelous time for the automobile, and there were dozens of companies, long before the “Big Three” took over the industry. Most of these names are long forgotten. Some of the cars produced by these smaller companies no longer exist outside of photographs and drawings. But back then, they were all here, rolling down the streets of Brooklyn.
Although there were dealerships, garages and suppliers all over the borough, Bedford Avenue, especially between Malbone Street (now Empire Boulevard) and Fulton Street, a long stretch of road starting in Flatbush, through the entirety of Crown Heights, and on into Bedford Stuyvesant, became known as “Automobile Row.” Residential development in this area had been slowed down by the looming and forbidding presence of the Brooklyn Penitentiary on Bedford and Union, but as soon as that structure was torn down in 1907, things started to take off. (more…)
A long-promised park in Greenpoint has the green light thanks to a deal the City has worked out with prominent real estate developers David Bistricer and Joseph Chetrit, who are also revamping the Hotel Bossert in Brooklyn Heights, Crain’s reported. The three-acre Box Street park at Box and Commercial Street at the head of Newtown Creek was promised by the City in exchange for the 2005 rezoning of the waterfront in Williamsburg and Greenpoint. The developers are paying the city about $8 million for the air rights to City property at 65 Commercial Street, currently used to park MTA buses, and the City will put those funds toward the park, move the buses, and incorporate the lot into the park, said the story. Meanwhile, the developers are building a high-rise on neighboring property at 77 Commercial Street, which they purchased last year for $25 million. The building, pictured above, will have about 700 apartments, of which 200 will be affordable. The City plans to unveil plans for the park in the fall.
New Park to Blossom on Greenpoint Waterfront [Crain's]
Rendering via Crain’s
The Park Tower Group has changed its plans for the massive Greenpoint Landing project, and will present them to Community Board One tonight. Crain’s spoke to the developers on what’s to come. New renderings show brick and steel awnings inspired by the area’s historic warehouses instead of glassy towers. The developers will incorporate a city-owned lot into the 22-acre development, as well as add 431 affordable housing units to the 1,000 affordable units already planned. They also need to change the zoning to build a school at the development. Ten towers of 30 to 40 stories each are still in the works, and most will be built as-of-right, but the developers are starting a six-month public land-use review process this summer for the modifications to the original plan. Any concern about the size of the buildings is unwarranted, according to City Councilman Stephen Levin, who apparently supports the development. “That train left the station eight years ago, when the rezoning was approved,” he said. The bigger the buildings, the more affordable housing can be incorporated into them, which the area desperately needs, he added. The construction start date has been pushed back from as early as this summer to as early as December. What do you think of the project?
Back From the Drawing Board [Crain's]
Huge Greenpoint Project Back on Track [Crain's]
The City Providing Updates on Three Greenpoint Projects [Brownstoner]
Rendering via Crain’s
DNAinfo reported that Greenpoint has seen a 20 percent rent hike this year, according to a rental survey compiled by MNS. As DNAinfo said, “Average studios skyrocketed from $1,875 to $2,688, one-bedrooms from $2,411 to $2,685, and two-bedrooms from $2,722 to $3,036.” That’s an average of $457 higher than last spring. New development 60 Franklin Street and 305 McGuiness Boulevard were two big causes of the increase, and many more new buildings are planned for the neighborhood. (Mega development Greenpoint Landing should begin its land-use review process this summer.) MNS Chief Executive Officer Andrew Barrocas said to expect “continuous growth” in Greenpoint. Meanwhile in Bushwick and Williamsburg, prices on one- and two-bedrooms in Williamsburg have slightly decreased, but prices in Bushwick have risen across the board. A Bushwick studio asking $1,275 last year has now risen to $1,750 a month.
Greenpoint Joins Bushwick With 20 Percent Rent Leap [Brownstoner]
Photo by Bridge and Tunnel Club
Last week Community Board One posted a notice that representatives of the mayor requested a meeting with the land-use committee to brief them on three important projects coming to Greenpoint. The first, and easily the largest project in store for Greenpoint, is the 5,000-unit Greenpoint Landing, pictured in a rendering above. According to the meeting notice, the developers are working with the city and expect “that the project will certify into ULURP summer 2013.” (The developer previously stated that they hoped to break ground by this summer.) Second, the mayor’s office will present on 77 Commercial Street and the former MTA property at 65 Commercial Street. Clipper Equities is proposing a development at No. 77, using the air rights from No. 65, the lot that is slated to become a park. The developers will need a special permit to do so, and like Greenpoint Landing the project will undergo the city’s land-use review process this summer. Finally, a rep from the Economic Development Corporation will talk about the Newtown Barge and Box Street Parks, the two parks adjacent to Greenpoint Landing and 77 Commercial Street. The mayor’s office still hasn’t selected a designer of these public spaces. If you’re interested in attending what is sure to be an interesting meeting, it’s scheduled for Monday, May 6 at 6:30pm at the McCarren Park Recreation Center.
Rendering by Handel Architects
A short documentary by filmmaker Margarita Jimeno profiles architect Ole Sondresen and his plans for remaking one of the landmarked Pencil Factory buildings in Greenpoint into Kickstarter headquarters. It sounds pretty cool. The idea is to keep the building at 58 Kent Street — or what is left of it — as is and build a glass box on the inside in which the crowdsourced fundraising company’s offices will be housed. Or, as the copy for the film says, “Oleʼs design leaves aspects of the ruin in place.” The glass box will also bring light into the center of the space. The building’s insulation is made out of recycled jeans; Sondresen claims it is edible. “A ruin to me is a manifestation of our species battle with ourselves and our natural environment,” said Sondresen. “Do we celebrate the wonder of life and death like the Capuchin monks or do we bring in the bulldozers and start anew?”
Conversion Plans in a Greenpoint Historic District [Brownstoner]
Aptsandlofts.com just launched 145 McGuinness Boulevard, a 10-unit condo building in Greenpoint, which the marketing copy calls “the other side of Williamsburg, Brooklyn.” So far they’ve listed five units: four one-bedrooms priced from $499,000 to $799,000 and a two-bedroom asking $949,000. The first open house is May 9 from 6 to 7:30 pm. The amenities and floor plans look pretty typical for a new North Brooklyn build. How do you like the look of them?
145 McGuinness Boulevard Listings [Aptsandlofts.com] GMAP
Brooklyn parents are embracing “elimination communication,” according to DNAinfo, which involves trying to anticipate a baby’s or child’s need to use the toilet instead of relying on diapers. ”Sometimes the thrill of being able to go outside and pee is just what [babies] need,” said Sarah Longwell-Stevens, a postpartum doula who leads meet-ups on the topic at Greenpoint’s Caribou Baby store. A Brooklyn factory makes split pants that make it easier for babies to go diaper-free since they don’t have to remove layers of clothes. The practice can help cut down on the number of diapers to wash, but can also lead to lots of spills and mishaps, said some parents. “I kept seeing him leave a trail of pee,” said one parent of her son, whose terrible diaper rash led her to try elimination communication. “The dog looked at me and said, ‘This isn’t fair. Why can he do that?’”
Parents Ditch Diapers for Au Naturel Toileting Trend [DNAinfo]
Photo by Amy Zimmer for DNAinfo
The Wyckoff Heights blog noted a jump in applications for new buildings and alterations in Bushwick in the first quarter of this year. If the Department of Buildings were to approve every one, about 200 new units of housing would come on the market. For some perspective, that’s between half to one-third the number of units applied for in the same period in Williamsburg and Greennpoint combined. (Right now, Williamsburg has the largest number of construction sites in Brooklyn.) The blog created a series of maps showing where the new builds would be located and how many apartments in each one. The biggest area of activity is not the loft area where Roberta’s is located, but an area the blog calls “Bushwick West,” south of Flushing and East of Broadway. Click through to the original story to see more maps.
1Q-2013 Review — DOB Applications [Wyckoff Heights Blog]
Map by Wyckoff Heights Blog
DNAinfo reports that the City is looking to take away funding for Industrial Business Zones in its proposed budget cuts, which would mean many North Brooklyn businesses located in the zone might have to close up shop or move. The cuts would also take away funding from the East Williamsburg Valley Industrial Corporation, an organization that supports more than 300 industrial businesses in North Brooklyn. (Read our interview with the executive director here.) Filco, a refuse company in the neighborhood, is moving to New Jersey after losing some tax incentives with the city. They, along with other local businesses and Community Board One, have written a letter protesting the cuts to the East Williamsburg Valley Industrial Corporation. A rep from the Mayor’s Office for Small Business Services told DNAinfo that the Economic Development Corporation will offer other incentives to industrial businesses, and that the city may still consider scaling back the proposed cuts. About 40 percent of the area’s industrial workforce lives nearby. ”Our community needs these jobs,” said an exec with the East Williamsburg Industrial Corp.
Budget Cuts Threaten Future of Industrial Businesses in North Brooklyn [DNAinfo]
Photo by m_oliver
Site work is well under way at the affordable and market-rate build at 1133 Manhattan Avenue, between Box and Clay streets. The building isn’t going up yet, but a few massive cranes were digging up the ground the other day. A rendering for the 210-unit residential building planned here came out earlier this year. The studio, one- and two-bedroom units will be half affordable, half market rate. The building will also have 8,000 square feet of ground-floor retail along Manhattan Avenue, a roof terrace, lounge and parking garage. It’s supposed to be ready for occupancy by late 2014.
Look of Greenpoint Build on Manhattan Avenue Revealed [Brownstoner]
New Building Planned for Northern Tip of Greenpoint [Brownstoner] GMAP
Just in time for spring, a new pier has opened up at Greenpoint’s Transmitter Park, DNAinfo reported. The pier offers some very nice views of the Midtown Manhattan skyline. It can also be used for fishing. Transmitter Park opened in Greenpoint last summer, and the pier has been under construction for just about as long.
New Pier Opens in Greenpoint’s Transmitter Park [DNAinfo]
Transmitter Park Pier on the Way? [Brownstoner]
Photo by DNAinfo