Real Estate Without Us (+Rendering)

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(All cellphotos by Matt Chaban)

There have been countless symbols for the end of the real estate boom, both literal–the collapse of Countrywide, the Fannie & Freddie takeover, the unfinished tract homes and decaying “For Sale” signs–and figurative–the Eastside crane accidents, the TVCC Fire. But we think this back-to-nature scene spotted over the weekend in Williamsburg takes the, uh, mortgage.

Perhaps the only thing more amazing than a Red-Tailed Hawk alighting upon an I-Beam of a half-finished condo a few blocks from the Graham Avenue L-stop is the scene it induced: two Italian women straight out of Scorsese and two bike-hipsters straight out of Quicksilver, all gawking at the same raptor. It even stopped traffic on Manhattan Avenue. The perfect tableau of a neighborhood that never was and never will be again.

The project is 123 Skillman Avenue, designed by Robert Scarano Architects. It had lain dormant for years–becoming affectionately known as Skillman Ave. Pool of Death–but city records show the site very much back in action after a million dollar sale in August.

Combined with the fact that red-tailed hawks are a rather common sight in the city, what seemed like a Weismanian dream on a brisk, sunny Sunday turns out to be just another Brooklyn condo project plugging along come windy, fluorescent Monday.

Still, it was pretty badass when he swooped down into the pit and nabbed a rodent snack.

UPDATE: Robert Scarano kindly sent along the following rendering of the building planned for the site. He also joked that the hawk was his and meant to keep meddlesome bloggers away.

(Courtesy Scarano Architects)

(Courtesy Robert Scarano Architects)

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