Almost 50 Stories of Shade: ODA Designs Two Towers for Brooklyn Bridge Park


RAL Development’s Robert Levine, far left; ODA New York’s Eran Chen. Photos by RAL and ODA

Brooklyn Bridge Park Corp. has chosen developer-architect team RAL Development Services, Oliver’s Realty Group and architect firm ODA New York to design and build two controversial residential towers on Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park, park officials announced Tuesday afternoon.

The winning proposal was selected from 14 submissions, and the process was held up by a lawsuit. That lawsuit has concluded, but now the plan must go through a public review process.

The winning design is more restrained than is typical for ODA but still shows its signature theme of assemblages of boxes. It also matches the existing condos right next to the sites at One Brooklyn Bridge Park, aka 360 Furman Street, a former 1920s Jehovah’s Witnesses industrial building that winning developer RAL Development Services converted to residential use a few years ago.

Significant details of the development have changed, thanks to Mayor de Blasio’s call for affordable housing on the site, the lawsuit and controversy over the height of a development in another corner of the park, at the Pierhouse condos and 1Hotel.


Above, the site where the two towers will go, in front of the condos at One Brooklyn Bridge Park, aka 360 Furman Street

The two towers will be three floors — or about 30 feet — shorter than initially planned, with 339 apartments, vs. 430 originally. If the public review process OKs a requested change to the park’s 2005 General Project Plan, the development will have approximately 30 percent affordable units.

Other interesting details were also revealed: The taller tower will be condos. The shorter tower will be rentals.

Also in the mix will be shops, a parking garage, public restrooms, a 75-seat universal pre-K center, and 1,500 square feet of community space. The affordable units will be aimed at moderate and middle income families, according to a park press release.

Upgrades to nearby areas will also add 10,000 feet of park.


Above, a closeup rendering of the proposed towers

This commission crowns an incredible run in Brooklyn for architect firm ODA New York as of late. We’re guessing they must be hiring, because they’re working on at least a dozen or so projects in the borough, including two in nearby Dumbo.

Some of the more prominent projects include Eliot Spitzer’s Kedem Winery mega-project at 420-444 Kent Avenue on the Williamsburg waterfront, the sugar crystal-inspired design for a landmarked sugar warehouse at 10 Jay Street and the firm’s remarkable design — reminiscent of cliff dwellings, with a green roof and jogging path — for 10 Montieth Street as part of the Rheingold Brewery mega-project in Bushwick.

ODA is also designing a 28-story tower at 436 Albee Square in Downtown Brooklyn and an eight-story apartment building on part of the site of the former Nassau Brewery in Crown Heights — we could go on.


Above, the proposed towers at night

ODA New York was founded in 2007 by architect Eran Chen, formerly a principal at architectural behemoth Perkins Eastman. The developers on the project have formed a joint venture.

RAL Development Services is part of the very experienced RAL Companies & Affiliates, founded in 1982 and based in Manhattan. The founder is the well known real estate industry player Robert Levine. The firm handles all aspects of real estate development, including financing, construction and property management.

Oliver’s Realty Group handles investment, brokerage and development. It’s part of Oliver’s Company, LLC, which specializes in luxury residential real estate. David J. Wine’s is Oliver’s Realty Group founder and managing partner.

Brooklyn Bridge Park also yesterday released more information about the public review process concerning changing the park’s 2005 General Project Plan to allow affordable housing on Pier 6, which kicked off last week. A public hearing will be held in late July. Written comments will also be gathered, and two more public meetings will follow.

The height of the two towers has also been controversial. The tallest of the two does look quite tall for the site in the rendering — although we take all renderings with a grain of salt. Both will, of course, block some views from the existing One Brooklyn Bridge Park, but the new towers are sited to the south, so they won’t block most of the views, which directly face the East River.

As for the possibility the towers may cast shadows on the park, we’d like to offer a contrarian opinion: We hope they do.

The Pier 6 park playgrounds are surrounded by walls of greenery but without shade overhead in the height of the day. It’s quite brutal. And if they don’t, perhaps the park will plant some trees.

Pier 6 Coverage [Brownstoner]
ODA New York Coverage [Brownstoner]
Renderings by ODA New York


Above, the park on Pier 6 on a hot summer day


Site A now, where the tallest of the two proposed towers will go


The existing One Brooklyn Bridge Park at 360 Furman Street, above and below




Above, ODA’s design for Eliot Spitzer’s Kedem Winery mega-project on the waterfront in Williamsburg

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