Construction Gearing Up at Controversial 80 Flatbush Development in Boerum Hill

Photo by Craig Hubert

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The first phase of Boerum Hill’s 80 Flatbush development is set to begin construction this summer, with a new school and the city’s “first all-electric residential tower” expected to be complete by 2024.

Several dozen workers were on site when Brownstoner stopped by Tuesday. Prep work has been going on at the site for weeks, and workers started digging a hole in recent days.

Phase one of 80 Flatbush — which has been renamed “The Alloy Block” after the project’s developer — will include a 480-foot, 44-story mixed-use building, and the construction of two schools, the Khalil Gibran International Academy high school and a public elementary school. The second part of the project will include an 840-foot tower that will be among the tallest structures in Brooklyn.

site of 80 flatbush in brooklyn

The site this week. Photo by Susan De Vries

brooklyn development 80 flatbush

The site in 2018. Photo by Susan De Vries

Alloy’s CEO and founder, Jared Della Valle, said the project is even more pertinent as the five boroughs continue to recover from COVID-19.

“We are committed to making Brooklyn beautiful, sustainable and equitable and as the city recovers from the pandemic, we hope the Alloy Block will set the standard for progressive, thoughtful development,” Della Valle said in a statement. “When it comes to taking the environmental impact of buildings seriously, building truly affordable housing in wealthy, transit-rich neighborhoods, and creating healthier school environments, we are proud to play a leading role as we begin construction on the Alloy Block.”

The building, with a residential address of 505 State Street and a retail address at 100 Flatbush Avenue, will include 441 residences, including 396 market-rate apartments and 45 apartments marked affordable with rents as low as $750 per month, developed with the nonprofit Fifth Avenue Committee. The building will include a fitness center, workspace, and a rooftop pool.

The State Street building is being financed by a $240 million investment by Goldman Sachs, the Related Companies and Ares Management Corporation, and Alloy is working in partnership with the Educational Construction Fund, a “financing and development vehicle” of the city’s Department of Education that helps fund combined occupancy structures including school facilities, according to the agency’s website.

rendering of planned tower at 80 flatbush

The planned tower. Rendering via Alloy Development

The Khalil Gibran International Academy, a dual English-Arabic language school, will move into the new building at 380 Schermerhorn Street from its current 101-year-old building on the same block, allowing the school to expand. The new elementary school will be built at 489 State Street and will include a gym and auditorium accessible to the community.

Alloy says that the building will be the “first all-electric residential tower” in the city, with functions normally using natural gas being conducted with electricity, such as stovetops, hot water heating and HVAC. A spokesperson for Alloy said that by eliminating gas and going all-electric, the building can be “set up to purchase renewable energy sources from the grid and be carbon neutral upon opening.”

Alloy began buying up the block in 2015 with the intention of putting up the tallest tower in Kings County. After community opposition and protests over the planned 986- and 560-foot tower heights, City Council Member Steve Levin and the developers agreed to a scaled-down version at the current heights, and the required rezoning was approved by the city. A subsequent lawsuit from State Street residents, many of them owners of low-rise historic townhouses, was settled privately by the developer and produced a construction agreement.

site of 80 flatbush in brooklyn

Photo by Craig Hubert

site of 80 flatbush in brooklyn

In total, the development is now expected to include about 850 residences, including 200 income-restricted units deemed affordable at 60 percent area median income, 40,000 square feet of retail space, about 500 bike parking spaces and no car parking.

The pandemic delayed construction, according to Alloy. Demolition started in 2019. Phase one was originally expected to be completed in 2022. The pandemic also changed Alloy’s intended use for the building: The shorter tower was intended initially to include office space, but that was scrapped by the developer as demand for urban office space plummeted while people worked from home.

The taller building will now house some 200,000 square feet of office space, Alloy says. The amount of affordable housing has not changed, per the rezoning. — Additional reporting by Craig Hubert

Editor’s note: A version of this story originally ran in Brooklyn Paper. Click here to see the original story.

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