Developers are moving to transform a lowly Fort Greene lot. Just as their first Brooklyn building begins to rise at 250 Ashland Place, the father-son duo running Gotham Organization snapped up a coveted parking lot a mere two blocks away. For $5,500,000.
Located at 130 St Felix Street, the lot is steps from Atlantic Terminal, wedged between a BAM theater and the iconic Williamsburgh Savings Bank Tower. Naturally, we’re predicting condos.
The seller was the sponsor of the condo building next door at 1 Hanson Place, Canyon Johnson Urban Funds. The sponsor and the condo association of 1 Hanson Place negotiated an easement on the lot, used for parking, more than a year ago, according to public records.
A building with 75,114 square feet is permitted, according to PropertyShark. However, there may be trouble in developer paradise.
According to our source, 1 Hanson Place is “overbuilt.” Soil boring tests were conducted on the lot a few weeks ago (typically this helps determine what kind of foundation is needed for tall buildings).
An old sales listing we found online warned, “The ability to build is not guaranteed.” However, it also mentioned that the Landmarks Preservation Commission gave approval for a residential development here in the past.
Gotham Organization — which has stayed in the family since its founding in 1931 — is run by Chairman/CEO Joel Picket and his son David Picket, the organization’s president. In addition to the rapidly rising 250 Ashland Place, the duo’s projects include Harlem USA on 125th Street, Gotham West luxury apartments in midtown Manhattan, and a new green apartment building in Long Island City.
Gotham’s apartments have been known for their “high design” lobby spaces. In an interview with the New York Times, David Picket said, “All our public spaces are viewed as an extension of people’s homes. Most rentals are — I hate to say — pretty cookie cutter. …unless you spend a lot of attention on the amenity spaces.”
Lately, Gotham’s keen investment eyes have focused on the hot tower-sprouting blocks where Fort Greene meets Downtown Brooklyn. The area is booming with construction and development, both of apartments and of a cultural nature, such as BRIC and the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA).
Photo by Christopher Bride for PropertyShark