Williamsburg

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The Waterfront Preservation Alliance announced yesterday that it had submitted over 1,500 signatures to the Landmarks Preservation Commission urging it to hold hearings to designate the Domino Sugar refinery building and Adant house. Smartly, in our opinion, the WPA is not pushing to landmark the entire complex, focusing instead on the historic 19th-century structures. The WPA is not alone in its advocacy: The Preservation League of New York State placed the refinery on its “7 to Save” list in 2006. The irony of this debate is that the refinery would make incredible loft apartments that would surely command higher prices than the nearby Schaefer Landing and would leave plenty of other space on the site for new buildings.
Domino Petition Update [Waterfront Preservation Alliance]
Open Windows Not a Great Sign at Domino [Brownstoner]
Photo by Ken Yee

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EAST WILLIAMSBURG $786,600
329 Manhattan Avenue
2-family, 5-bedroom prewar limestone; primary unit: 3 bedrooms; other unit: 2 bedrooms; in each: dining room, 1 bath, hardwood floors, original detail; 25-bt-72-foot lot; taxes $1,536; listed at $879,000. Broker: Kline Realty. Photo by Scott Bintner for Property Shark

PARK SLOPE $975,000
570 Sixth Avenue
106-year-old, three-bedroom wood townhouse; renovated kitchen, den, living-room fireplace, tin ceilings, 2 skylights, 18-by-75-ft. lot; taces $1,459; listed at $1,045,000. Broker: Warren Lewis Realty.
Residential Sales [NY Times]

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The developers of 214 Richardson aka the other Finger Building paid $1,800,000 for the 4,600-square-foot lot back in October of 2005 and enlisted the help of Scarano Architects to design a nine-story, 17,000-square-foot tower in the otherwise low-rise section of Williamsburg just east of the BQE. Flickr photog lisacat captures the building here from the south, at left, and from the north, at right, with the Luxe 226, one of the nicer new buildings around, in the foreground. How do you think the Other Finger will fare on the market?
Will the Real Finger Building Please Flip Us Off [Curbed] GMAP P*Shark DOB
Photo by lisacat

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Rather than make developers lose their enthusiasm for the neighborhood, the cooling condo market in Williamsburg has merely made constructing a new rental building that much more attractive, posits The Real Deal in its current issue. The first major sign of this shift is a six-story, 70,000-square-foot design for 510 Driggs Avenue between North 8th and 9th Streets (above) designed by Stephen B. Jacobs for Kalmon Dolgin Affiliates. Like the condos that have gone up in the past couple of years, this won’t exactly be targeted at starving artists: One- and two-bedroom apartments are expected to go for between $2,500 and $3,850, while the penthouses will run upwards of $5,000 a month. Whether this is a trend remains to be seen. Despite rumors to that effect, 55 Berry never went rental, despite disappointing initial sales. One developer is splitting the difference: After starting out as condos, 191 Woodpoint will now be a condo-rental hybrid. Wish some of that creativity had gone into the building!
Billyburg Shifts to Rentals [The Real Deal]

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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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Back in the Fall, the Finger Building on North 7th between Bedford and Berry was hit with a Stop Work Order when neighboring landlord Scott Spector complained about some roofdecks that were illegally being built over his adjacent property. Without the roofdecks, you see, there wouldn’t be enough “outdoor space” to enable developer Mendel Brach to put up the remaining six floors of his Scarano-designed building. Since time is money, Brach filed for summary judgment. As Curbed reported yesterday, the judge on the case ruled against the rules-bending developer, effectively halting the building at its current height of ten stories.
Judge Flips Bird to Finger Building [Curbed] GMAP
The Finger Building’s Date in Supreme Court [Brownstoner]
Photo by TrespassersWill

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In its afternoon session today, the Landmarks Preservation Commission will be considering whether to individually designate nine WPA-built public pools (and, in some cases, accompanying bath houses). In Brooklyn, the McCarrren, Red Hook and Sunset Park pools are all up for discussion. You’d have to be living under a rock not to know that McCarren Park Pool (which was built in 1936) has been enjoying a second life as a popular concert site in the warmer weather in recent years but what about the other two? What’s become of them? What will it mean for all three if they are indeed landmarked? Will they become functioning pools again? UPDATE: The LPC heard all the testimony this afternoon but took no action.
LPC Jan. 30 Agenda [NYC.gov]
Should McCarren Park Pool Be Restored? [Brownstoner]
Landmarks Designation Hearing Jan. 30 [Historic Districts]
McCarren Pool Up for Landmarking [Gowanus Lounge]
Photo by ericlaire