Greenpoint

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Giving some much needed attention to Northern Brooklyn, the Landmarks Preservation Commission will hold a hearing on Tuesday to calendar a cluster of old factories in Greenpoint. The five buildings, on Kent Street and Greenpoint Avenue between West and Frankling Streets, are being referred to collectively as the Eberhard Faber Historic District. There’s an increased urgency to protect these structures, as Isaac Katan, who’s received attention for his sloppy construction practices, non-contextual buildings, and anti-preservation positions, demolished two neighboring buildings in the past month. The more we know about this guy, the less we like. Check out a couple of the buildings to be calendared on the jump.
Eberhard Faber on LPC Calendar [WPA]

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At $949,999, this three-family house in Greenpoint might be kinda interesting for a single person or young couple with no immediate space needs to grow into. The existing three floors are a deeper-than-normal 55 feet and there’s still enough FAR that one could build a fourth floor as of right. More interestingly, judging from the interior photos, the house has a decent amount of old-world charm, a reminder that the faux siding now on the exterior wasn’t always there. We curious why more people haven’t restored the facades of the houses in this part of town. Presumably, the answer is money, but at some point hopefully one by-product of the upward pressure on prices will be a renewed interest in returning the houses to their original state. What do you think the facade was originally made of?
621 Morgan Avenue [Nest Seekers via Trulia] GMAP P*Shark
Photo by Scott Bintner for Property Shark

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Holy smokes! The historic Greenpoint Home for the Aged (which the AIA Guide calls an “eclectic brick manion with Italianate massing and Romanesque Revival arches”) has just become available. The 5,000-square-foot mansion is not for the faint of heart, though. In addition to the 13 SRO tenants currently residing there, making use of the almost 15,000 square feet of air rights won’t be a simple matter given the 1887 building’s landmark status. The asking price is $2,500,000. This place is very hard to value, however, for the reasons cited above. Getting free and clear of the SRO tenants would take at least three years, we’d think; we’re not even sure a developer could get them out — and it’s going to be hard to find an individual with the deep pockets who plans to use this as a private residence and leave the unbuilt FAR unused. One possibility? A developer might just build around the existing tenants, essentially buying the property as a development venture. We don’t know the layout of the lot very well but it’s not apparent to us how the LPC will ever let anyone build 15,000 square feet here. What this calls for is a patient, eccentric multi-millionaire!
137 Oak Street [Massey Knakal] GMAP P*Shark
Droolworthy: Greenpoint Home for the Aged [Brownstoner]
AIA on Greenpoint [Ragette.org]

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With his work at One Hanson Place almost done, Magic Johnson is expanding his Brooklyn portfolio to Greenpoint with the purchase of a 65-by-100-foot lot at 110 Green Street. Johnson and his partners ponied up $10.48 million for the two-story factory last summer and will be pulling down an additional $41 million construction loan to build the six-story, glass-clad condo. “We are believers in Brooklyn as a place that is economically growing, healthy, entertaining and the place to be,” Johnson said yesterday in a statement announcing the deal. The developers said theapartments “are designed to appeal to a diverse and growing group of single working individuals and young families” priced out of Manhattan.
Magic in Brooklyn [NY Post] GMAP P*Shark

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Flickr stalwart Trespassers Will snapped this photo of the nine-story building going up on the triangular island formed by Manhattan, Eckford and Engert. The 20,000-square-foot residential building is one of three being erected in the near vicinity by Taho Development. As we said back in November, we think this will end up looking decent. The bigger question will be the supply-demand balance in the nabe when they come online. GMAP P*Shark DOB
North of McCarren, All Tahoe, All the Time [Brownstoner]
Greenpoint Rising [Brownstoner]

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Barring the intervention of a very well-heeled hipster trustafarian, another unlandmarked gem in Greenpoint may be headed for the execution chamber. Its crime? Sitting on a 60-by-100-foot lot in a neighborhood that has been complacent about protecting its architectural heritage. (This block was known as Doctors’ Row in the middle of the 20th Century.) The Victorian-era shingled house is on the chopping block for $2.5 million, more than it would likely fetch were it not for the 13,200 square feet of buildable space that accompanies a 6,000-square-foot lot in an R6 neighborhood. As the listing points out, the addition of a community facility could mean an even larger building. What a shame. Maybe some creative entrepreneur could make this work as a bed and breakfast or how about a Soho House East?
59 Orient Avenue [Capri Jet Realty] GMAP P*Shark
59 Orient Avenue [NY Times]

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Last week, the city put forth its latest plan for the Northern Brooklyn waterfront and, reports New York Magazine, the reception from local community groups was generally pretty warm and fuzzy. “I believe they are making a true effort to tune the plan into a community vision,” said Laura Hoffman of the Greenpoint Waterfront Association for Parks and Planning. The new plans call for boat launches, wetland preserves and picnic grounds. Not everyone’s letting down his guard just yet though. The Municipal Art Society’s Jasper Goldman points out that earlier renderings made the area, until now known for its gritiness, “look like San Diego.” Is there anyway to do this without Williamsburg ending up looking, if not like San Diego, at least like Battery Park City? Doubtful.
Beware of Riprap in Greenpoint and Williamsburg [Daily Intel]
More Greenpoint-Williamsburg Waterfront Fun [Curbed]
Image from Donna Walcavage Landscape Architecture + Urban Design, Weisz + Yoes Studio Architecture + Urban Design

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Remember Joshua Guttman? Waterfront Brooklyn’s least favorite developer will be heading to court soon to face a whopping 434 criminal charges for repeatedly blowing off the city’s requests to fix numerous problems at the Greenpoint Terminal Market in 2006, before much of the historic industrial complex was engulfed in flames. At $5,000 a pop, that means the developer could be shelling out over $2 million in fines. Let’s hope that the District Attorney’s office can send a message that the DOB’s toothless slaps on the wrist have not. A pre-trial conference is set for February 16. As for what lies in store for the GTP, the latest plans call for 2,500 condo units in five buildings ranging in heights from 15 to 40 floors and a doubling in size of the park that exists there now. In total, the development would consist of about 2.5 to 3 million square feet. While we’re on the topic, be sure to check out a beautiful Flickr photo set of the Greenpoint Terminal Market taken by amy.bee.
No End to Greenpoint Terminal Controversy [The Real Deal]
Joshua Guttman: The Real Slim Shady [Brownstoner]
Photo by mercurialn