Construction is in full swing on a new tower at 436 Albee Square in Downtown Brooklyn, another visible reminder of all the changes in the area over the past few years.
In the works since 2014, the 28-story building developed by Yoel Schwimer and designed by ODA Architecture was one floor away from topping out last week.
The building’s distinctive glassy sections, which cover just portions of the building, have risen from street to roof on the side of the building facing away from City Point.
The skyscraper will have have 150 units on floors 4 to 28, according to DOB records, with retail on the bottom two floors of the building. Additional features will include parking for 30 cars, bike storage for 75 bikes, and a common recreation area on the roof. The building will have 143,200 square feet in total, including 23,740 square feet of commercial space.
ODA, led by Eran Chen, is a prominent firm with lots of projects big and small across Brooklyn, including 123 Melrose and 110 Montieth Street at the old Rheingold Brewery site, Domino Sugar and Kedem Winery in Bushwick and Williamsburg.
Like many ODA designs, the one for the downtown tower is a variation on the theme of assemblages of boxes. The building’s facade features a Tetris-like pattern of glass, with the spaces outside these reflective sections filled with balconies and windows placed further back into the structure.
Formerly occupied by a four-story brownstone housing rent stabilized apartments, the property sold to Albee Square LLC in 2014 for a sum of $9.1 million, public records show. The seller was budget hotel king Sam Chang, who owns more than 40 chain hotels in the city, including Hilton Garden Inns, Hampton Inns and Holiday Inn Expresses.
In the early 19th century, the area was an upper-middle-class residential enclave, and some vestiges of that time still remain — notably the house at 227 Duffield Street, one of several houses rumored to be stops on the underground railroad. But much that was here in the last few decades has been demolished, not without controversy.
These include the other houses said to be underground railroad stops; a large group of late-19th century rent-stabilized tenement houses at 406 Albee Square West, torn down to make way for the as-yet-unbuilt Willoughby Square Park; and the Albee Square Mall, which replaced a theater, and was demolished in 2008 to make way for City Point.
The new building will bring another tall tower, hundreds of new residents and more shopping to the area, where Trader Joe’s and DeKalb Market Hall recently opened at City Point.
[Photos by Susan De Vries]
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