Mirroring Trends in Borough, Twin Apartment Buildings Replace Frame House in East ‘Burg


    Twin apartment buildings designed by prolific Queens-based architect Gerald Caliendo are rising at 9 and 11 Orient Avenue in East Williamsburg. The site was previously home to a 19th century Italianate wood-frame house and garage.

    Like the development now sweeping Flatbush, many apartment buildings have replaced older frame houses on large lots in this section of East Williamsburg in the last decade. The most notable to meet the wrecking ball was a Second Empire mansion on the same block at 59 Orient Avenue that starred in the film “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” then was taken over by squatters.

    The film’s director, Michael Gondry, reportedly lived on the block, but didn’t save it. It was demolished in 2010 and is now an eight-unit rental building.


    Above, the house at 59 Orient Avenue in 2006. Photo by Scott Bintner for PropertyShark

    When we stopped by the construction site recently, we saw that the basements have been dug and concrete blocks are stacking up as high as the first floor. When the buildings are finished, each will be four stories with seven units.

    Visible just behind the construction site is 42 Maspeth, aka Forty2East, a new condo building on the other side of the block that launched sales in April.

    Renderings posted on the construction fence show a modern design with contrasting facade materials of brick and stucco and metal grilles hiding air conditioning units under the windows.


    The rendering for 9 Orient Avenue, above.

    Caliendo has designed many small apartment buildings in Brooklyn and a few in Manhattan and Queens. His Brooklyn buildings include 327 Herkimer Street and 120 Hart Street in Bed Stuy, and 1967 Bedford Avenue in Prospect Lefferts Gardens.

    The house at 11 Orient Avenue last traded for $860,000 in 2004, according to public documents. The owner listed on permits is Shalom Rubinoff of Great Neck, N.Y.

    59 Orient Avenue Bites the Dust [Brownstoner]
    East Williamsburg Coverage [Brownstoner]



    Inside the green construction fence, above


    The rendering for 11 Orient Avenue, above

    11 Orient Avenue

    Above, the 19th century house at 11 Orient Avenue before demolition. Photo by Scott Bintner for PropertyShark


    Above, 59 Orient Avenue in 2014. Photo by Christopher Bride for PropertyShark

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