In Downtown Brooklyn, workers are preparing to fuse Brooklyn’s first supertall skyscraper to the one of the borough’s most iconic structures.
A chunk of the facade of the famed, landmarked Dime Savings Bank building is standing on its own as prep work continues in advance of the construction of Brooklyn’s first supertall skyscraper at 9 Dekalb Avenue, aka 340 Flatbush Avenue Extension.
The new tower, from developers Chetrit Group and JDS Development Group and designer SHoP Architects, will alter the skyline of Brooklyn and change the feel of historically low-rise Downtown Brooklyn, bringing the borough one step closer to Manhattan-like density and height.
Demolition work has started on the 1932 additions to the 1908 neo-Classical bank building to make room for the new skyscraper and connect it to the landmarked Dime Savings Bank. The five-story addition, one of two small sections to the rear of the triangular shaped building, appears to be gone.
The entirety of the historic facade remains. The section of the facade without the rest of the building behind it — looking a bit eerie, like a stage set — is propped up by a temporary steel support system of beams and braces.
In early June, developer JDS posted a video to Instagram showing caisson installation at the site — structural underpinning to hold the supertall securely in place.
Approval from the Landmarks Preservation Commission was needed to tear down the newer annexes — a one-story structure and a five-story structure — at the rear of the building. (The LPC is not known for approving demolition of landmarked structures, even in part.)
The bank building is landmarked both inside and out, unusually, and will be preserved and integrated into the new skyscraper. Most recently a branch of JP Morgan Chase, the building will become four stories of retail and office space for a single future tenant.
The design for 340 Flatbush has an unusual shape inspired in part by the hexagonal footprint of the Dime Savings Bank. The dark vertical lines of the building also echo some of the bank’s architectural details.
The tower’s main materials — inspired again by the bank — include white marble, crystal gray vision glass, bronzed metal and blackened stainless steel.
When complete, the new tower will stand 73 stories and 1,066 feet tall, making it the first building in the borough to hit quadruple digits in height. The massive building will have 463,470 square feet of residential space in the form of 417 rental units and another 92,694 square feet of commercial space. Twenty percent of the rental units will be affordable, as per the 421-a tax break requirements.
Chetrit and JDS closed on the Dime Savings Bank and its 300,000 square feet of air rights in late 2015 for $90 million.
SHoP are the creative minds behind some of the most prominent developments in Brooklyn, including the Domino Sugar Refinery buildings, the Barclays Center arena, and two residential buildings in Pacific Park/Atlantic Yards. The firm is known for bold, visually striking designs.
The new tower will be a major first for Brooklyn. It will be the tallest building in New York City outside of Manhattan, and it will be taller than anything currently standing in Brooklyn by almost 500 feet, taking the title from 333 Schermerhorn Street at 610 feet tall.
It will permanently change the skyline of the borough and will rival the height and density of many supertalls in Manhattan. The building will also change the feel of Downtown Brooklyn, as there’s currently no building even close to 9 Dekalb’s height and scale.
[Photos by Susan De Vries]
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