Development

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The 12-story, 960,000-square-foot industrial building at 360 Furman Street on the Brooklyn Heights waterfront is on its way to fulfilling its inevitable destiny as, you guessed it, luxury condos. In addition to its 14-foot ceilings, massive pillars and large windows, the building will offer its well-heeled residents a 500-space attended parking facility and 60,0000 square feet of retail to browse. The developer, R.A.L. Companies & Affiliates, has stated its intention to preserve the character of the building. Prices are expected to run from $500,000 for lower-floor units facing Furman up to $5.5 million for duplex pads overlooking the water.
Inside 360 Furman [Brooklyn Eagle] GMAP

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The folks at Big Cities Big Boxes are none too pleased about the lawsuit against Ikea getting rejected. According to BCBB, Ikea has purposefully overstated the unemployment situation in the area to push their case:

Ikea claimed that unemployment among racial minorities in Red Hook was epidemic. Ikea systematically incited racial divisiveness in the community, but its claims about unemployment were simply false. As revealed on the blog BigCitiesBigBoxes, publicly available evidence proves that Ikea secured City Planning Commission approval for the gigantic Ikea-Red Hook big box store by misrepresenting the number of unemployed residents of Red Hook Houses, a public housing project. Ikea stated, misleadingly and repeatedly, that there is a twenty per cent unemployment rate at Red Hook Houses, the local public housing project, which as of the Year 2000 census had 7,278 residents, most of them African-American. The records of the Department of City Planning, however, show that in fact there were only 568 unemployed persons of working age in Red Hook Houses as of the 2000 census, not 1456, as Ikea’s arguments suggested. In addition, hundreds of retail jobs are already available within walking distance of Red Hook Houses, at Lowe’s and Home Depot, and another 200 union jobs will be available when Fairway opens.

Press Release: Ikea Lied [Big Cities Big Boxes]

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June 30, 2005, NY Times — Ruling in a lawsuit against a proposed Ikea furniture store in Red Hook, a state judge has upheld the city’s approval of the project. The decision, by Judge Karen S. Smith of State Supreme Court in Manhattan, was dated Monday but released yesterday, and it completes the public review part of the development process. The company still needs permits for work on the Erie Basin waterfront from the State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Army Corps of Engineers. The lawsuit sought to void several land use approvals, declare zoning changes for the project illegal, and block construction. The suit contended that the company’s plans for a 346,000-square-foot store with 1,400 parking spaces on a 22-acre site would overwhelm the neighborhood.
Metro Briefing [NY Times, 2nd Item]
Judge Axes Ikea Foes’ Suit [NY Daily News]

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Set Speed points out the recent ad on Craigslist for the new-and-improved Roanoke apartment building on the corner of Lafayette and South Oxford. Gone are the days of double-parked drugged dealers. One reader comments:

I noticed something was going on with that property, but have to say i’m shocked. Somehow I thought the Roanoke would always be gentrification-proof. Interestingly enough, this building was renovated approximately 15-20 years ago following a gigantic fire that nearly burned it down. But many of the units didn’t sell, the bank foreclosed, and the occupants were stuck in a building that quickly became worthless as the utilities stopped functioning. Soon after came the squatters, and then the above-mentioned luxury cars, etc. Let’s hope they have better luck this time around.

We bet they will.
Revitalization of the Roanoke in Ft. Greene [Set Speed]
The Victorian Homes of Flatbush [Set Speed]
Fort Greene’s Luxurious Condominiums [Set Speed]

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Developers of the Candy Factory building at 20 Henry Street in Brooklyn Heights have been sent back to the drawing board by the Landmarks Commission. The LPC was concerned that the proposed nine-story addition would compromise the original modernist design from when the building was originally converted into artists’ lofts; in addition, they were concerned about views of the unique garden design being obscured. The building has attracted significant attention of late: The former owner bought out of the Mitchell-Lama program two years ago and the current owner, The Praedium Group, has already begun evicting tenants in preparation for the obligatory luxury condominiums.
LPC Sends 20 Henry Back to Drawing Board [Brooklyn Eagle] GMAP

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June 27, 2005, NY1 News — The man who plans to build an arena for the New Jersey Nets in Brooklyn made a promise to the community Monday that affordable housing will be made available in the area. Developer Bruce Ratner today signed a Community Benefits agreement promising the affordable housing, as well as assuring that the project will set aside a certain number of jobs for minority-owned businesses. The developer says he’s also throwing in some Nets house seats for the community to share. We hope to exceed the goals and standards, but if we don’t there could be litigation, said Ratner. I would add something else that is even more important; you have Bruce Ratner’s word, and that should be enough for you and for everybody else in this community, said Mayor Michael Bloomberg. This is a guy, if you don’t understand that, you don’t know how great this guy has been for Brooklyn and for New York City.” Opponents aren’t convinced by the Community Benefits agreement, and they have vowed to continue the fight against a stadium in their neighborhood.
Ratner Promises Affordable Housing [NY1]
B’kln Deal Boosts Women, Minorities [NY Post]

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Earlier this week the Supreme Court ruled against the homeowners in the closely watched case about the powers of local governments to exercise eminent domain. In their 5-to-4 decision, Kelo v. New London, the judges gave the green light to the city redevelopment authority to condemn the old waterfront neighborhood so a private developer can put office and apartment buildings in their place. While eminent domain never sits quite right with us, we can see some justification in the case of critical infrastructure like major roads, railroads, and even in truly blighted neighborhoods, though we realize that in itself can be a slippery slope. But what a scary precedent that a city can dispossess law-abiding, tax-paying citizens from their homes in order to make way for a fancier development! The amount of compensation the City of New London is offering homeowners is based upon appraisals from 5 years ago–so it’s a safe bet that the numbers are significantly below market value. In her dissent, Sandra Day O’Connor worried that the decision would mean that the government could transfer any private property from the owner to another person with more political influence “so long as it might be upgraded.” Bet you won’t hear Bruce Ratner complaining about this decision.
Justices Uphold Taking Property for Development [NY Times]
Homeowners Frustrated at Court Ruling [NY Times]
OpEd: The Limits of Property Rights [NY Times]

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Curbed alerts us to the fact that it’s officially open season over at the the Court Street Lofts in Carroll Gardens. Corcoran’s managing the offering which has prices ranging from $475,000 for a 6th Floor one bedroom to $1,075,000 for a Penthouse. Waddya get for your hard earned money? Full-time doorman? Check. Granite countertops? Check. Limestone tile? Sure ‘nuf. You can’t tell diddly from the listing–nothing but an exterior rendering. We’d love a report if anyone gets inside.
Court Street Lofts [Curbed]
505 Court Street [Corcoran]

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Armageddon must be near. A site that is trademarking the phrase “Condo Flip” whilst they attempt to promote and facilitate the act of flipping preconstruction condos? Not to be flip but there’s a business with a lifecycle of about, what, three months?
Homepage [Condoflip.com]