Unusual Timber-Construction Apartment Building Tops Out in Clinton Hill

Photo by Craig Hubert

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A five-story timber-construction building has hit its full height in Clinton Hill.

Located at 283 Greene Avenue, it’s around the corner from popular restaurant Speedy Romeo. During a recent visit, we could see some of the timber around the balconies that look out over the street. Construction fencing surrounds the ground floor.

The frame of the building is constructed using cross-laminated, or layered lumber, which has environmental benefits (it’s a renewable resource) not present in more common materials such as concrete and steel, according to proponents.

The development is being built to Passive house standards with a “semi-modular build,” according to an article in CityRealty. What this means, in short, is that it will be energy efficient — it doesn’t take a lot of energy to heat or cool. This is accomplished by using certain materials and construction practices to seal the house from the outside (keeping out the heat and cold) and maintaining a stable temperature throughout.

Surprisingly, the building is not new but is a conversion of a two-story red brick factory, once home to Kilroy Architectural Windows, which has made windows for the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty.

283 greene

Photo by Craig Hubert

There will be retail on the first floor and a common roof terrace on top. In between will be 10 units—three each on floors two through four, and a penthouse on the fifth floor with a private terrace.

Werner Morath of LoadingDock5 is the architect of record. They have designed a number of buildings for developer Eli Karp of Hello Living, including large residential buildings, one in the works at 1580 Nostrand and the other completed at 271 Lenox Road.

city realty

At left a rendering posted on the construction fence, on the right a full rendering via City Realty

Joanne Wilson is listed as the owner on property records. The property was purchased in 2015 for $6.01 million.

Timber construction in Brooklyn has been slowly arriving over a number of years but remains an anomaly. Two timber buildings in Williamsburg, located at 320 and 360 Wythe Avenue, are nearly complete, while another located at 80 Ainslie Street is still under construction.

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The site in 2015. Photo by Nicholas Strini for PropertyShark

At one point, there were two five-story “heavy timber-frame” buildings planned for the Norman Foster-designed complex at 270 Richards Street in Red Hook, which has been significantly delayed.

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