Female Development Team Hits Unique Notes in Fort Greene With Community Hub and Live-in Chefs


RXR, the developer behind 475 Clermont, a 12-story rental building in Fort Greene, can claim several unique attributes for the residential/retail project. For starters, the building features live-in chefs, a massive outdoor mural that pays homage to the neighborhood’s botanical heritage and, alongside its adjoining commercial building at 470 Vanderbilt, is part of a living-working-shopping community hub.

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Rose Tilley, RXR project executive, speaks at 475 Clermont’s topping-out ceremony

But RXR is particularly proud of the fact that a majority of the development and construction management team are women.

The team includes Rose Tilley, RXR project executive who oversees all aspects of the development. Traci Wilhelm, first vice president of RXR’s residential portfolio, oversees leasing and operations while Emily Bock manages the public relations and marketing.

“The construction industry is becoming more diverse because women are making it a career choice,” said Joanne Minieri, executive vice president and chief operating officer of RXR’s development and construction services. “To accomplish challenging and complex projects we need each other’s knowledge, experience and commitment and I am proud to see more and more women entering this field and that the construction industry has become instrumental to making this happen.”

The interior of 475 Clermont was handled by women too: Funda Durukan of Durukan Design designed the interiors, BCG’s Erika Smith served as the interior construction project manager, and Lisa Galano, principal of Lisa Galano Design Consultancy, staged the model units.

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Courtyard mural by Mona Caron

The development team selected an amenity package that includes a 24-hour concierge in the lobby, fitness center, business center, children’s playroom, and rooftop lounge featuring outdoor dining, grilling, gaming, and lounging with an outdoor movie screen.

There’s also a landscaped courtyard between 475 Clermont and its neighbor, another RXR property, 470 Vanderbilt. For that, RXR commissioned an independent curator, Anne-Laure Lemaitre, to find a muralist to work on a wall that spans the height of the Vanderbilt building. San Francisco-based artist Mona Caron came aboard and consulted with the Brooklyn Botanic Garden to select the cohosh plant — a wildflower native to Fort Greene — as the mural’s centerpiece.

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A rendering of the rooftop lounge

With the adjacent locations of 475 Clermont and 470 Vanderbilt, RXR is creating a community hub where commercial and residential intersect.

470 Vanderbilt is a 650,000-square-foot commercial building; a recently completed $74 million renovation included new mechanical, electrical, plumbing, elevators, safety systems and modernized lobbies.

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A kitchen at 475 Clermont

One of the more unique aspects of 475 Clermont is its live-in chefs, a result of RXR’s partnership with Resident, a company that stages dinner parties in private spaces. Living full-time in the building, chefs Bronwen Kinzler-Britton and Meryl Feinstein, who specialize in Italian cooking and hand-made pastas, host family-style dinners free for residents every month.

“Beyond this being a fantastic amenity for the building, the greater benefit is the sense of community and conversation it fosters for our residents,” said RXR Realty’s executive vice president, Whitney Arcaro, who heads marketing and retail leasing at the company.

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A model bedroom at 475 Clermont

Additionally, a third property in RXR’s Brooklyn portfolio, The Hall, a 10-building campus located across from the Brooklyn Navy Yard, will house creative agencies, with conferencing, food/beverage, and educational programs to foster community between tenants and with the surrounding neighborhood.

RXR is also currently partnering with Long Island University Brooklyn on an 18,000-square-foot academic space, 476 residential units,  a new athletic field, and more than 500 new parking spaces. The project broke ground in July 2019 and is expected to be completed in January 2022.

RXR is now leasing studios to two-bedrooms at 475 Clermont. For more information, go to the website here.

[Photos by RXR Realty]

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