Community group Save the View Now this week sued developer Toll Brothers and Brooklyn Bridge Park over the height of the Pierhouse hotel and condos, now under construction in Brooklyn Bridge Park. The group alleges the height of the buildings has illegally violated the park’s own General Project Plan. State Supreme Court Justice Lawrence Knipel issued a temporary restraining order preventing construction on a section of the development south of the Squibb Bridge, the group announced Thursday.

The details are complex, but suffice to say at issue is whether or not the three-building condo and hotel development at 60, 90 and 130 Furman Street in Brooklyn Bridge Park is blocking views of the Brooklyn Bridge in violation of any laws.

Brownstoner broke the story in September that the northernmost part of the development, 1Hotel at 60 Furman Street, has angered preservationists because it is, in fact, blocking a view of the Brooklyn Bridge a 2005 agreement between the park and another community group, the Brooklyn Heights Association, sought to protect.

But — whether or not the height of the three buildings violates any laws is another question — and one this lawsuit seeks to answer.


When we stopped by Pierhouse last week after the blizzard, we noticed that the condo-hotel hybrid in Brooklyn Bridge Park had sprouted another story or two since we last checked in a month ago. Specifically, 90 Furman Street, one of the condo buildings, pictured above, has topped out, which a BBP exec also told us last week. The hotel portion at 60 Furman Street, also visible in the photo above, closer to the Brooklyn Bridge, topped out in December, as we reported at the time.

These photos were taken on January 27, the day after the DOB issued a partial stop work order for the southernmost building, 130 Furman Street, the condos that will occupy the site south of the Squibb Bridge. A tiny sliver of that construction site is barely visible in the photo above, where workers have poured part of the first floor. Click through to see more of it.

The middle building at 90 Furman Street has so far not been accused of blocking any views, unlike the other two portions.

Pierhouse Coverage [Brownstoner]


Community group Gowanus United today filed a lawsuit to halt the construction of a three-story, 61,000-square-foot parole reporting facility at 15 2nd Avenue, between 5th Street and the Gowanus Canal, just behind Whole Foods. The suit claims the state’s Department of Corrections didn’t perform an environmental review to examine how the building and its day-to-day operations would affect the community. A press release sent out by the group did not say in which court the suit was filed.

As previously reported, the state department lost its previous headquarters downtown several years ago to development and has been housed in three different downtown locations since then. The offices serve about 5,000 parolees, or 400 a day. The state signed a contract over a year ago and construction is well under way (we took the above photo in August). Construction is supposed to finish in January, and the building is supposed to open in April.

The lawsuit also seeks to overturn a zoning waiver granted by the Bloomberg administration late last year, which allows the state to build fewer parking spaces than the site’s zoning requires. The group’s press release argues that the site isn’t served well by public transportation, and a lack of off-street parking would only make nearby traffic and parking worse.

BBP Adams: Parole Office Should Be Downtown, Not in Gowanus [Brownstoner]
Steel Rises Next to Gowanus Junkyard [Brownstoner]


Two Trees’ development plan for the Domino Sugar Refinery is one step closer to reality today with the Landmark Preservation Commission’s 7-0 vote to approve a design for adaptive reuse of the landmarked 1880s factory. The commissioners greenlighted the Walentas’ plans to convert the factory into office space with a four-story glass addition on the roof and a three-story addition on the back side of the building.

Despite their previous complaints about the additions, the LPC ultimately supported the design shown in this rendering by Beyer Blinder Belle Architects. The landmarked main factory is the only part of the Domino complex on Kent Avenue that will not be demolished to make way for the $1,500,000,000 development project. When construction finishes, the Domino site will have 2,200 apartments, retail and 631,000 square feet of office space.

Domino Coverage [Brownstoner]
Rendering by Beyer Blinder Belle via Brooklyn Daily Eagle


Council Member Stephen Levin and the rest of the City Council voted today to approve the two controversial high-rise towers at 77 Commercial Street near the Greenpoint waterfront, according to Levin’s office. The 30- and 40-story towers will bring 200 units of affordable housing as well as $9,500,000 in city funding to create Box Street Park. Affordable housing will make up 28 percent of the total apartments, with a range of 40 to 125 percent Area Median Income.

The city and the developer will provide $14,000,000 in funding to relocate all of the vehicles currently at the park site, including MTA Access-a-Ride vehicles and Emergency Response Units. And the developer promises 9,500 square feet of open space around the two towers, “as a second fully landscaped walkway to serve as community access from the east” and a path to where Commercial Street dead-ends at the industrial waterfront. There will also be a free shuttle to the 7 and G trains (paid for by the developer), and the MTA will work with the developer to run a bus line along Commercial Street.

The development will include at least 5,000 feet of community space, and retailers must occupy less than 5,000 square feet, with preference given to neighborhood businesses. The developer is not allowed to lease to “big box” retailers.

Council Passes Greenpoint Landing, Local Board Votes Yes on Domino [Brownstoner]
Finally, Action on Two Long-Promised Waterfront Parks in Greenpoint [Brownstoner]
Marty Says Yes to Controversial Greenpoint High Rise Projects [Brownstoner]
Rendering by CentraRuddy and MPFP via Wall Street Journal


Representatives from Read Property faced plenty of community opposition when they presented their development plan for the massive Rheingold Brewery site in Bushwick to the City Council on Tuesday, Bushwick Daily reported. Councilwoman Diana Reyna said Read hadn’t incorporated enough affordable housing that Bushwick residents could afford. The 1,000,000-square-foot development will have 242 affordable apartments out of 977 units, along with ground floor retail and a new public park. The current affordable units are priced for 60 percent of the city’s median wealth level, which is $51,544 for a family of four. Reyna pointed out that in Bushwick, families of four have a median income of $34,000.

“Basically what the proposal is offering is that zero percent of Bushwick residents will access this housing,” said Jose Lopez, a housing organizer with Make the Road. He said the apartments should be affordable to residents making less than 30 percent of the city’s median wealth, and that the number of affordable apartments be raised from 24 percent to 35 percent of the development.

Developer Robert Wolf said he wanted lower-income residents to be able to live in the planned six- and eight-story complex, but only if additional rent subsidies will help cover the cost. He’s also pledged $350,000 to help revitalize the nearby Green Central Knoll Park, and he’s enlisted a nonprofit to train community members to work on the job site.

Read Property Presents Rheingold Plan to Skeptical Audience at City Council [Bushwick Daily]
Developer Moves on Plans for Big Bushwick Complex [Brownstoner]
Rendering from Read Property via New York Daily News


Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz has officially approved the two massive and controversial developments at 77 Commercial Street and Greenpoint Landing, near the mouth of Newtown Creek, Brooklyn Paper reports. Markowitz greenlighted the project on condition the developers build a 640-seat middle school and increase bus and G train service to the neighborhood. Greenpoint Landing will have 10 towers and 5,500 apartments over 22 acres on the waterfront, and 77 Commercial Street will include two towers rising 30 stories with720 apartments.

Markowitz also backed the affordable housing part of Greenpoint Landing, mandating 100 units out of the 431 affordable ones be reserved specifically for senior citizens and the disabled who don’t earn more than 30 percent Area Median Income, according to his report. The Beep’s vote is just the latest hurdle in the land-use review process, which also requires the approval of the City Planning Commission, City Council, and the mayor’s office. However, his approval goes against the wishes of the community board, which voted down the development plan last month, and a large group of Greenpoint residents who promised to sue the developers. You can read the BBP’s full report here.

Markowitz Gives Thumbs up to Giant Greenpoint Development [Brooklyn Paper]
Battle Over Renderings of Greenpoint Landing [Brownstoner]
Greenpoint Residents to Sue City Over Planned Waterfront Developments [Brownstoner]
Public Meeting Tonight on Greenpoint Towers [Brownstoner]
Greenpoint Board Nixes Waterfront Towers [Brownstoner]
Photo by Park Tower Group Via Crain’s


Councilman Brad Lander and the Coalition for Carroll Gardens will answer questions and provide updates on the controversial proposed homeless shelter at 165 West 9th Street in Carroll Gardens at a meeting tonight, according to an email blast from CCG. As you may recall, nonprofit shelter operator Aguila Inc. has said it intends to open a permanent homeless shelter for 170 men in the location, a Scarano-designed building with 10 apartments and one commercial unit. The building, which exceeds its allowed FAR, has been plagued by problems with the DOB and has sat empty for years, although it now has a C of O.

The Coalition for Carroll Gardens appealed to the courts about the shelter proposal, causing the Department of Buildings to look into supposed violations in the buildings, but now those have been cleared by the DOB, according to the Coalition. The City will hold a public hearing on the proposed contact between the Department of Homeless Services and Aguila Thursday at 10 am at 49-51 Chambers Street in Manhattan, where anyone can come and offer oral or written testimony. The proposed contract is for six months four and a half years and $29,987,257.

Tonight’s meeting will take place at 7 pm in the lobby of 505 Court Street.

Carroll Gardens Shelter Owner Makes a Mint off Homeless [Brownstoner]
Carrol Gardens Residents Ask Liu to Stop Shelter [Brownstoner]
Fresh Intrigue Over Carroll Gardens Homeless Shelter [Brownstoner]
Breaking: Court Blocks Carroll Gardens Homeless Shelter [Brownstoner]
Controversial Carroll Gardens Homeless Shelter Opens [Brownstoner]
Pols, Angry Residents Confront Homeless Shelter Execs [Brownstoner]