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Amidst all the Barclays coverage, a reader sent in the photo above and this note: “The Atlantic Terminal bollard replacement seems to be just about complete right on time for the arena opening. Not sure why it took several months to complete, but I’m happy to have it done and (mostly) cleaned up! The sidewalk space out front seems so spacious now. Wonder if they’ll be furnishing it somehow…” Construction began on the new metal bollards, which replaced the four-foot-tall granite blocks, this summer.
Bulky Barriers Removed From LIRR Atlantic Terminal [Brownstoner]

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This sign just went up on Washington Street around the corner from West Elm’s regular location at 75 Front Street. We’re not sure what “Market” refers to, but we’re dying to find out. Last month Dumbo NYC wrote that West Elm plans to debut a new store concept at 50 Washington. Could this be West Elm’s take on the heritage-influenced housewares stores that are popping up globally (Brook Farm General Store being the prime Brooklyn example)? Packaged artisanal groceries? Maybe both?

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NY1 reports that city leaders committed a total of $14 million to transform the Bedford-Atlantic Armory. After a rash of playground and park shootings over the summer, local pols are hoping this can be a safe recreational space for kids. The Park Slope Armory, which took $16 million to restore, is being used as a model. Some funding has come from the Department of Homeless Services, which operates a men’s shelter at the armory, and it’s been suggested that funding may come from building affordable housing on the lot next door. There’s also been talk to convert the Bedford Union Armory down in Crown Heights South.
Leaders Hope To Convert Brooklyn Armory Into Community Space [NY1]
Photo by Geneva25

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An impressive array of politicians and about 200 residents protested yesterday in the parking lot of the now-defunct Key Foods at 589 Prospect Avenue in Windsor Terrace, the same date Walgreens’ lease on the spot started, reported Windsor Terrace-Kensington Patch and DNAinfo. Borough president Marty Markowitz, a Windsor Terrace resident, joined the rally, as did Councilman Brad Lander, State Assemblyman James Brennan and State Senator Kevin Parker. Locals are demanding a grocery store to replace the one that closed in June, the only supermarket in the neighborhood. In the meantime, they’ve been driving to Key Food on 5th Avenue and Fairway Market in Red Hook. Residents are calling for a boycott of Walgreens when it opens in the space, said NY1.
Windsor Terrace Sends Message to Walgreens [Patch]
Windsor Terrace to Walgreens: Stay Out of Our Neighborhood [DNAinfo]
Brooklyn Community Protests Walgreens Move to Supermarket Location [NY1]
Photo by Windsor Terrace-Kensington Patch

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Big news for the shores of the Gowanus Canal: NYC development firm The Lightstone Group intends to develop the old Gowanus Toll Brothers site, between the Gowanus Canal, Bond Street, Carroll Street and Second Street. Someone from Community Board Six tells us that at the last land-use meeting, “It was announced that a developer has stepped forward and is planning to build 700 units on the formerly Toll Brothers’ Gowanus site. The developer didn’t speak before the committee… They have approached [District Manager] Craig Hammerman and will first meet with Craig, Peter Fleming the committee chair and Daniel Kummer the board chair. They will be seeking more allowances that will demand a ULURP hearing. I think they will be seeking more height in a trade for 20 percent affordable.” Craig Hammerman confirmed the Lightstone Group wants to develop the site but said he had no more specifics. However, the developers are expected to bring a formal land-use action to Community Board Six for public review this fall. And the board asked that the developers brief CB6 and the community on their plans during the next meeting on Thursday, August 23rd. “What we’ve heard so far raises a lot of questions,” Hammerman said, “And right now we have an information vacuum that we can hopefully fill with facts.” Toll Brothers scrapped the plans for a massive, 605,380-square-foot development after the Gowanus Canal was designated a superfund site. According to public records, the land hasn’t transferred over to a new entity. Of course, it’s worth noting that it will take a minimum of ten years to relieve the Gowanus Canal of its Superfund status.
Toll Brothers Sued Over Gowanus Acquisition [Brownstoner]

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In what can only be interpreted as a slap to State Assemblyman Vito Lopez, thirteen Brooklyn politicians came out yesterday to endorse the youthful Lincoln Restler in his bid to retain his unpaid position as district leader in the 50th District. Restler is being challenged by the Lopez-backed Chris Olechowski in a race that is bringing a rift in Brooklyn’s Democratic Party bubbling to the surface. The list of supporters includes folks like Borough President Marty Markowitz, Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez and State Senator Daniel Squadron. (See this NY Post story for the complete list.) “This race is about the future of Brooklyn politics,” Restler said on the steps of Borough Hall yesterday. “I am inspired by this groundswell of support from the leading elected officials in our borough against the status quo of machine politics.” As reported in the Daily News, Markowitz called Restler “a real Brooklyn character — with a style all his own [who] has brought fresh ideas to issues ranging from mass transit and education reform to open space, affordable housing and securing a much-needed supermarket in Fort Greene.” Olechowski is no stranger to local politics — the current chairman of CB1 has been involved in community boards for over 20 years.

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Two years after the Brooklyn Paper pointed out that the barricades surrounding the LIRR terminal at Atlantic Avenue were not only ugly but exceeded security requirements, the MTA has bowed to pressure from Council Member Letitia James and others and agreed to replace the four-foot-tall granite blocks with less obtrusive metal bollards. James called the move a “major victory” for the community while an MTA spokesman said, “The MTA and LIRR listened to the concerns of community leaders and local elected officials,” adding that “This alternative [meets] all of the security requirements spelled out by the NYPD.” Workers began removing the 15 granite blocks earlier this week and by this morning, when this photo was taken, they were all gone.
MTA Begins Removing ‘Ugly’ Barricade Around LIRR Terminal [NY Daily News]

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Proving that location across from the projects is no problem if the price is right, the Vinegar Hill condo development at 185 York sold out in seven weeks. All 16 residential units are in contract for full ask or above, said Corcoran broker Philip Henn. Asking prices ranged from $375,000 for a 631-square-foot one-bedroom to $845,000 for a 1,193-square-foot two-bedroom, two-bath duplex. Taxes and common charges are low ($289.76 for a one-bedroom). Nearby condo development 109 Gold Street did not fare as well, ultimately selling to another developer and going rental when buyers failed to snatch up apartments priced from $319,000 to $999,000.
185 York Street Web Site
Corcoran Listing GMAP P*Shark
Condos for Sale at Vinegar Hill’s 185 York [Brownstoner]
Troubled Vinegar Hill Condo 109 Gold Street Sells for $14.5 Million [Brownstoner]
185 York Nearing Completion [Brownstoner]
Development Watch: 185 York Street [Brownstoner] GMAP P*Shark
Development Watch: 185 York Street [Brownstoner] DOB

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Brooklyn Industries opened its 16th shop yesterday, at 342 Fulton St. in the Fulton Mall in downtown Brooklyn. The artist-owned men’s and women’s clothing chain started out making bags from recycled vinyl in Williamsburg in 1998 and debuted its first store on Bedford Ave. in 2001. The Fulton Mall shop is its ninth in Brooklyn and another giant step forward in the mall’s upscaling efforts.
Brooklyn Industries Coming to Fulton Mall? [Brownstoner] GMAP

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Okay, obviously these New York Times culture pieces about Brooklyn are getting to be a bit much. (Actually they were getting to be a bit much like five years ago.) But at least if you’re going to run a story mostly about rooftop farms and virtual doormen on the cover of the Sunday Real Estate section, it helps to have actual real estate news in it, which yesterday’s Greenpoint profile certainly did: Buried in all the gentrification mumbo-jumbo was an update on the biggest real estate development project in the history of the Brooklyn waterfront. Greenpoint Landing, a 20-acre parcel adjacent to Newtown Creek, could break ground as soon as next summer, according to a representative from developer Park Tower Group. Why’s this big news? The complex will ultimately include 4,000 units of housing (20 percent of which will be affordable) across 10 luxury residential towers. Designed by Gary Handel, the architect of Trump SoHo, the towers will climb 30 and 40 stories high. The massive project will surely get a boost from the new ferry service to Manhattan and the forthcoming Transmitter Park if not from the toxic oil plume that lies underneath this once industrial area.
Who You Calling Gritty? [NY Times]
City’s Broken Promises [NY Daily News]
MTA Will Finally Uproot for Greenpoint Park [Brownstoner]
Photo by Chicapoquita