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It’s been about two years since Chetrit Group broke ground on the long-stalled — and also big and ambitious — mixed-use hotel/apartment/retail complex at 500 Metropolitan Avenue in Williamsburg, and not much has happened since. But when we stopped by yesterday, we saw hardhats working on the foundation. Last time we peeked, it was just dirt, so this is a major advance.

In the meantime, after already changing once before, it seems the architect has switched again, from Gene Kaufman to Kutnicki Bernstein, and the design has also changed — we are now on Version No. 5. About a month ago, Curbed dug up interior renderings on the website of Raad Studio, which appears to be handling the inside.

The renderings are pretty mind blowing. How do you like the sexy siren hanging out at the indoor-outdoor fire pits, above? There’s also a babe in a pool — and a pretty good looking bathroom — with a shower that strikes us as roomy enough for two. (See them all here, in full size glory.)

Click through for lots of construction-site photos and to see a progression of exterior renderings over seven years. This should be quite the development, if it ever gets built. What do you think of it?

500 Metropolitan Avenue Coverage [Brownstoner]
502 Metropolitan Avenue Coverage [Brownstoner]
Rendering by Raad Studio

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Is the Chetrit Group gearing up to finally start work on the massive Williamsburg development once dubbed “The Gateway to Williamsburg”? Signs are pointing to yes: Permits were recently filed for the blighted site, at 500 Metropolitan Avenue between Union and the BQE, and it looks like the tight-lipped developer is gearing up to build a hotel/residential/retail complex. The permit request, which is “pending zoning approval,” calls for 234 units and a max height of 14 stories to develop a “new mixed use building to include residential, transient and commercial uses.” The architect on the job is Gene Kaufman. The project has been on ice for years. Back in 2008, Meltzer/Mandl Architects was supposed to be designing it, and Duane Reade had reportedly inked a deal as an anchor tenant. Instead, it has become one of the biggest symbols of post-boom, developer-induced blight in Williamsburg (see inset), with a poorly maintained construction fence. It sits on the same block as Kellogg’s Diner and is in an extremely prime location next to the Metropolitan-Lorimer G and L-train stop. Curbed covered plans for the site, which was being referred to as “The Gateway to Williamsburg,” in detail before it became a non-starter in 2008. Meanwhile, the firm Winick Realty is actively marketing the commercial portion of the development, and their listing is where the rendering above comes from. The Chetrit Group has been in the headlines lately for its tactics involving longtime tenants of the Chelsea Hotel following its purchase of the Manhattan landmark.
502 Metropolitan Avenue Revealed [Brownstoner] GMAP DOB
Rendering courtesy of Winick Realty