Posts tagged with "Brooklyn":

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Gowanus Canal superfund cleanup might derail historic district designation

As New York City’s federally mandated cleanup of the toxic Gowanus Canal continues to ramp up, efforts to install sewage tanks at the head of the canal could end up destroying several buildings that would help the neighborhood qualify for a national historic district designation. The decision to buy out three private parcels along the canal comes after local community pushback canceled the Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) initial plans to install the 8-million-gallon detention tank under the nearby Double D Pool and Thomas Greene Park. Instead, the DEP will now buy out the three parcels for a cost of up to $70 million. If the owners refuse to sell their land, the city will begin a lengthy eminent domain process to seize them. Apart from the monetary costs, leveling the existing buildings at 234 Butler Street, 242 Nevins Street and 270 Nevins St. for use as a staging area during the construction could damage the neighborhood’s standing in the eyes of the National Register of Historic Places. If local officials were to submit Gowanus’s low-lying, historically industrial waterfront for preservation, it’s likely that the construction of the tank would affect the area’s eligibility. The 100-year-old 234 Butler St. in particular stands out for its terra cotta and brick façade, with the Gowanus name emblazoned in brick on the building’s cornice. Residents of the Brooklyn neighborhood rallied to protect the former Gowanus Station upon learning that the EPA and DEP would be tearing it down. In a press release to the borough president, Linda Mariano of Friends and Residents of Greater Gowanus, said, "Its design and sculptural elements tie directly into the history of the Gowanus neighborhood's relationship with water. It can and should be saved." In a letter to the EPA, Olivia Brazee, Historic Site Restoration Coordinator with State Historic Preservation Office, wrote that “Its demolition would adversely affect both the building and the National Register eligible Gowanus Canal Historic District.” While an attempt was made to have the neighborhood officially realized as a state and national historic place in 2014, community intervention ultimately led to the plan being shelved. The DEP and EPA will need to come to an agreement on the location of the detention tank before the canal’s dredging finishes in 2027, but if installed, would reduce wastewater runoff into the canal by up to 91 percent.
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NYC approves controversial Bedford-Union Armory plan

Today the New York City Council voted to approve a controversial redevelopment plan for Brooklyn's Bedford-Union Armory. The plan, Bedford Courts, proposes revamping the vacant, city-owned armory with a 67,000-square-foot recreation hall, 330 rental apartments and 60 condominiums. The recreational facilities would include multi-purpose courts, a swimming pool, and an indoor turf field.The project still must be approved by the Mayor's Office before it can begin development. The project is designed by Marvel Architects, with Bedford Courts LLC and BFC Partners as the plan developers. CAMBA, a local non-profit, will manage the recreational facility and administer the initial affordable housing program. The New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) will administer leases and provide project oversight. The New York City Housing Preservation and Development agency (NYCPHD) will serve as an advisor to NYCEDC and Bedford Courts on affordable housing and regulate the affordable housing program after construction, taking over CAMBA's responsibilities. Although 50 percent of the rental units and 20 percent of condos would be made affordable, the plan's opponents have argued it does not include nearly enough affordable housing, given rising rents and the potential for displacement as Crown Heights gentrifies. City Planning Commission member Michelle de la Uz told DNAinfo"Given that this is publicly owned land, the community has come to expect more." When the City Planning Commission greenlit the plan on Monday, de la Uz was the only Commission member to vote against it. Monday's decision was also met with public opposition, with protesters gathered outside and within City Hall. Two demonstrators were arrested at the meeting.
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Trump to reap millions from Brooklyn public housing development sale

Will the President of the United States make up to $14 million from the sale of the largest federally-subsidized public housing development in the country? This is an unfortunate question to pose in an era where affordable housing seems increasingly scarce. Starrett City, also known as Spring Creek Towers, is an extensive housing complex situated between the Brooklyn neighborhoods of East New York and Canarsie overlooking Jamaica Bay. This summer, it will be sold for an estimated $850 million, and President Donald J. Trump's family business collectively owns about 16% of the development, so they stand to profit a hefty sum. As The New York Times reported, Trump himself could reap up to $14 million from the sale. Now that Trump manages the federal agency involved in its sale – Ben Carson's Department of Housing and Urban Development – concerns about potential conflicts of interest have understandably bubbled up among both the public and Congress members. In early July, two congressional Democrats – Representative Elijah E. Cummings of Maryland and Representative Hakeem Jeffries of New York – requested extensive records from the Trump family regarding their organization's communications with the development's owners, banks, and federal officials after the 2017 election. The potential conflicts of interest raise larger concerns about the operation of HUD in general, with massive budget cuts perhaps leaving "the type of federal aid that flows to the owners of Starrett City mostly intact" while cutting off support for others, as the lawmakers wrote in a letter to Trump, Carson, and others on July 7. Starrett City is being bought by a partnership between a real estate firm, Brooksville Company, and a private equity firm, Rockpoint Group, with the official announcement released Wednesday. Both firms are restricted from rent gauging and potentially forcing out long-time residents by rent regulations effective for another twenty-two years, and both have expressed their intention to keep in line with the site's original purpose as affordable housing for low- to middle-income tenants. Donald Trump's father acquired up to a 20% stake in the development when its construction was handed over to a private real estate company in the early 1970s, and it has since functioned as a convenient tax shelter for the family. The sale is the end of a long and involved succession of failed deals, with the development's residents hoping for a fate different than those of comparable Manhattan complexes like Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village and Riverton Houses – i.e., bought up piecemeal and rented out at market value during the real estate boom of the early 2000s. What Trump's individual profit margins will look like is still a matter of speculation, however – and lawmakers retain a healthy skepticism while awaiting the more thorough background on the sale.
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Construction marches on for SHoP’s 1,000-foot Brooklyn supertall

After the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) approved Brooklyn's first supertall skyscraper, construction teams wasted no time springing to action. Designed by New York firm SHoP Architects the 1,000-foot-tall tower is going up on 9 Dekalb Avenue.  A recent scout out by New York YIMBY, found that the site behind the old Dime Savings Bank is now clear and the structure is going up. The former bank is in fact being incorporated into SHoP's design and this is where the LPC came in. The commissioned praised SHoP's work, describing the project as “flawless” and “enlightened urbanism at its best.” Others are not so impressed. Gina Pollara, former president of the preservation advocacy organization Municipal Art Society (MAS) told The Architect's Newspaper (AN) earlier this year that supertalls like the one scheduled for Dekalb Avenue are out of context and out of scale with the neighborhood The building will house 417 units and offers a bronze, stainless-steel, and stone skin. As the tower stretches upward, bronze ribbons will join gray spandrel and vision glass panelling. Here, black metal is to employed in a similar, linear fashion running up the building’s facade, being joined by interlocking hexagon that facilitate views out. Also speaking to AN this year, Gregg Pasquarelli, founding principal of SHoP, said that the facade detailing is such so that when two sides of the hexagon are viewed from an oblique angle, it will resemble one face, a sleeker reference to the grand old New York skyscrapers like Rockefeller Center and the Chrysler Building. Brooklyn's first supertall was initially due for completion in 2019, however, YIMBY estimates the completion date to be a couple of years later.
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Kushner files plans for 250-foot-tall residential complex in DUMBO

Real estate developer Jared Kushner, a senior advisor to President Donald Trump, has filed permits for a Morris Adjmi–designed tower in DUMBO, Brooklyn. The 21-story residential high rise is backed by Kushner's development firm, Kushner Companies, as well as CIM Group and LIVWRK. The building is planned for 85 Jay Street. Rising to 250 feet, the 874,149-square-foot development will offer 737 apartments, while allocating just over 60,000 square feet for commercial purposes. According to The Real Deal, the developers bought the $345 million,135,000-square-foot plot from Jehovah's Witnesses in December 2016. Those tracking Brooklyn development will know that the same team also purchased the religious organization's Watchtower offices that same year, shelling out $340 million for the DUMBO property. New York–based Morris Adjmi has worked with Kushner in the past. Adjmi designed 30 Journal Square complex in Jersey City for Kushner Companies this year, a project that will be Adjmi's largest in the New York metro area. Another one of Kushner's properties in the vicinity, however, is not fairing quite so well. One Journal Square, a mixed-used project designed by Woods Bagot is looking for funding via the controversial EB-5 investor visa program. Kushner reportedly looked to Chinese investors to plug the gap left by prospective tenants, WeWork, who took several million dollars of investment and tax breaks with them on their departure. Despite the funding setback, One Journal Square is still on course to start construction early next year.
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Celebrate Prospect Park’s 150th anniversary with this new exhibition

Prospect Park will be celebrating its 150th anniversary tomorrow as the Brooklyn Historical Society (BHS) and Prospect Park Alliance put on a special exhibition that will take visitors through the park's history. Titled The Means of a Ready Escape: Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, the show will present panels of information that detail all 585 acres of the park's land. In addition, more than 150 artifacts will be on display including historical scrapbooks, photographs, panels, posters, and postcards. These will include Frederick Law Olmsted's and Calvert B. Vaux's original vision for the park, hand-drawn renderings from the 1990s of the park’s woodlands restoration, and a model of the Samuel J. and Ethel LeFrak Center at Lakeside by Tod Williams and Billie Tsien Architects, which opened in 2013. Running alongside these artifacts will be a selection of pieces from the Prospect Park Alliance, Brooklyn College Library archives, Brooklyn Public Library’s Brooklyn Collection, as well as the private collection of Brooklyn resident, Bob Levine. Visitors to The Means of a Ready Escape can learn about how sheep once used to graze on the site and how, after that, swan boats, carriage rides, lawn tennis courts, and Robert Moses' modernist plans took their place. Now, Prospect Park is much different, as Brooklynites can testify, but this era of in-line skaters, birders, and dog-walkers is just another chapter in the park's storied history. The Means of a Ready Escape: Brooklyn's Prospect Park runs through July 13, 2018. It's located at 128 Pierrepont St., Brooklyn, New York. For more, visit the Brooklyn Historical Society's website. If you plan to visit the park soon, don't miss this striking 7,000-pinwheel installation designed by Suchi Reddy.
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7,000 pinwheels bring life back to a forgotten garden in Prospect Park

  In Brooklyn's Prospect Park, 7,000 pinwheels are spinning life into a previously underused enclave. This Monday morning, children and families could be found enjoying the Rose Garden (not to be confused with the Cranford Rose Garden) by the Grand Army Plaza where a temporary installation by New York–based architect Suchi Reddy is celebrating the park's 150 anniversary. Known as The Connective Project, the work has been open to the public since Friday, though, thanks to inclement weather, Reddy's work has only truly been enjoyed from the weekend onwards. But perhaps the rain was helpful. Reddy, speaking to The Architect's Newspaper (AN) yesterday morning, said how she had initially wanted to fill the three pools to reflect the brightly-colored installation; the sight of whirring yellow pinwheels augmented by the rippling water would have been a small spectacle to behold. Unfortunately, this couldn't happen as fixing the pools' to make the hold water was too costly. Now some rainwater remains and children can be found playing in the pits that have been turned into mini amphitheaters. "We initially started with orange, though my preference was white as it stands out against the green" Reddy continued, speaking of the pinwheel's color. Instead, the firm settled on yellow, producing what Reddy describes as a "wonderful golden wave." The Indian-born architect has been practicing for 15 years and her firm, Reddymade Design, now works out of Greenwich Village. Reddy added how she was fascinated by pinwheels as a child (and still evidently is) and also chose the shape because she wanted to use an object that would be relatable for all. The pinwheels can be found in three sizes and reside at four different heights; all are perched atop stainless steel rods placed ten inches into the ground. Their orientation and spacing were worked out by Reddy's entire office to produce an undulating mirage of yellow and—thanks to the site's topography—partial views through the installation as well. "I didn't want it to be a static installation just about one thing," explained Reddy. "We wanted to introduce a layer of complexity and create a scene that you can see through." Up close, one can find that some pinwheels are unique and made from rain-proof dust stone paper. After a weekend workshop run by the park, visitors have added their own designs by drawing onto the pinwheels. Some were also printed with artwork already on them; AREA4, the events management group consulted by the Prospect Park Alliance who hired Reddy, facilitated pre-submitted designs. Though only having been open for three days, pathways etched into the grass around The Connective Project indicate the installation is drawing the attention of many, despite its difficulty to find. (Do not, as this author can testify, use Google Maps to locate the installation. Enter by the Grand Army Plaza and follow the yellow pinwheels painted on the ground.) Reddy's work is only on view until July 17th, so hurry before the pinwheels go.
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AIA Brooklyn + Queens Design Awards winners announced

The American Institute of Architects Brooklyn + Queens Design Awards (BQDA), which now works with AIA Staten Island and AIA Bronx, has announced the winners for its 2017 gala, the second edition of the awards. This year, the AIA chapters of Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, and Staten Island, all collaborated for the awards. They're aiming to promote chapter members and affiliates by recognizing, as they said in a press release, "the best architecture and professionals that Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, and The Bronx can offer." A jury from AIA Long Island sifted through more than 100 entries, and after a month's worth of deliberation, allocated awards in 13 categories; each AIA Chapter also has its own award. 2017 Brooklyn Chapter Award Casa de Sombra Bade Stageberg Cox 2017 Queens Chapter Award Spire Lofts Zambrano Architectural Design
2017 Staten Island Chapter Award Midtown Redevelopment Project: The City of Monessen v+b Architects
2017 BQDA Design of the Year Elmhurst Community Library Marpillero Pollak Architects Below, are the winners of the 13 categories: Residential (1-2 Family) BQDA Award of Excellence and People's Choice Winner Artist Residence, Brooklyn Lynch Eisinger Design Architects, LLP BQDA Award of Merit Prismatic Bay Townhouse, Brooklyn Peterson Rich Office, LLC

Residential (Multiple Family/Multiple Dwelling)

BQDA Award of Excellence Creston Avenue Residences, Bronx Magnusson Architecture and Planning, PC BQDA Award of Merit and  People's Choice Winner 365 Bond Street, Brooklyn Hill West Architects

Residential (Mix Use Residential)

BQDA Award of Excellence and  People's Choice Winner Navy Green, Brooklyn FXFOWLE BQDA Award of Merit Fulton Street Development, Brooklyn GreenbergFarrow

Institutional

BQDA Award of Excellence and  People's Choice Winner Elmhurst Community Library, Queens Marpillero Pollak Architects BQDA Award of Merit The Novogratz Center for Athletics, Brooklyn Jack L. Gordon Architects

Commercial - Small Projects

People's Choice Winner CREATE, Queens New York Design Architects

Commercial - Large Projects

People's Choice Winner Apple Store Williamsburg, Brooklyn Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

Additions/Renovations

BQDA Award of Excellence and  People's Choice Winner Olmsted Center Annex, Queens BKSK Architects BQDA Award of Merit Park Slope Townhouse, Brooklyn GRADE 

Adaptive Reuse/Historic Preservation

BQDA Award of Excellence and Queens Chapter Award Spire Lofts, Brooklyn Zambrano Architectural Design People's Choice Winner Brooklyn College Barry R. Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema & 25 Washington Restoration at Steiner Studios, Brooklyn Dattner Architects

Interiors

BQDA Award of Merit Maple Street School, Brooklyn Barker Freeman Design Office Architects, PLLC and Marvel Architect and 4Mative Design Studio People's Choice Winner Beyond at Liberty View, Brooklyn Zambrano Architectural Design

Small Firm/Sole Practitioner

BQDA Award of Merit Warehouse Loft, Brooklyn studio modh architecture People's Choice Winner House Front Addition, Queens Architecture Studio

Local Firm/Beyond BQDA/International

BQDA Award of Excellence Resort in the Maharashtra Hills, Shillim, India Khanna Schultz BQDA Award of Merit Josai i-House Dormitory, Tokyo, Japan Studio SUMO and Obayashi Corp People's Choice Winner University of Pennsylvania School of Engineering and Applied Sciences Forman Active Learning Classroom, Philadelphia. Studio Modh Architecture

Local Firm/Local Project

BQDA Award of Excellence and  People's Choice Winner Courtyard House, Brooklyn vonDalwig Architecture

Unbuilt

BQDA Award of Excellence North Brother Island School + Habitat, Bronx Ian M. Ellis and Frances Peterson BQDA Award of Merit 1490 Southern Boulevard, Bronx Bernheimer Architecture People's Choice Winner The Table Top Apartments: Affordable Housing in New York City, Brooklyn and Queens Kwong Von Glinow Design Office

Student - Urban Design 

BQDA Student Award of Merit and  People's Choice Winner Brooklyn Cinematic Hotel, Brooklyn Yasmine Zeghar 
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Group unveils plans by SCAPE for verdant Gowanus Canal

First came the factories. Then, decay and abandonment followed by an alphabet soup of toxic waste and three-eyed fish (maybe). Now, one nonprofit has plans to transform the Gowanus Canal, one of the country's sickliest waterways, into a park and ecological corridor for western Brooklyn. Last night the Gowanus Canal Conservancy unveiled its verdant vision for Gowanus Canal–adjacent areas of Brooklyn. In collaboration with New York's SCAPE Landscape Architecture, the group's Gowanus Lowlands: A Blueprint for NYC’s Next Great Park outlines possible plans for a park along the waterway in anticipation of a master plan that will be developed over the next six to nine months. For those who don't know, the entire 1.8-mile Gowanus Canal is a Superfund site, a heavily polluted channel that cuts through the tony neighborhoods of Park Slope, Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, as well as Red Hook and Gowanus. In lieu of the raw sewage and malodorous trash that currently dot the waterway, Lowlands imagines boaters and picnics, performance venues and cafes, and other amusements set between attractive walking paths and arrays of native flora that will knit neighborhoods together. Grassy hills and meadows will line the edge of the canal, while mitigation basins, bioswales, and sponge gardens will filter runoff and provide habitat for local wildlife. The plan was developed with neighbors' input over the past two years, and this year the Conservancy hired SCAPE to develop the Lowlands idea. The plan dialogues with the Canal's Superfund cleanup, local and state environmental remediation efforts, as well as a potential city rezoning that could encourage more development.
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Community, elected officials still not pleased with Brooklyn armory redevelopment scheme

Approvals aren't looking so hot for the redevelopment of a massive city-owned armory in Brooklyn. Developer BFC Partners has plans to transform the Bedford-Union Armory, a hulking block-long former military compound in Crown Heights, into luxury condos, affordable, and market-rate rental housing, and a public recreation center. The New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), in collaboration with BFC Partners, introduced the current redevelopment project almost two years ago. Last night, kicking off the Bedford-Union Armory's public review process, Brooklyn Community Board 9's land use committee said it can't support the redevelopment, DNAinfo reported. This is after the area's city councilperson, Laurie Cumbo, backed off her support of the 542,000-square-foot project. “This committee has made it clear that we weren’t interested in approving this project in its current form. That includes having condos on public land… given that that’s the case, when are we going to see a presentation that reacts to that?” Michael Liburd, chair of the CB 9 committee, said. “Because this is the same information we’ve had all along.” To complete its Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP), a months-long process, the Bedford-Union Armory redevelopment must earn the support from the community board, Borough President Eric Adams (who conditionally revoked his blessing last month), the City Council, and the Mayor before ground breaks. Right now, the development includes 330 rentals, half of which would be affordable, but the affordability thresholds do not necessarily reflect the neighborhood's socioeconomic composition. In light of this mismatch, officials are pushing for a 100 percent affordable development through the ULURP process, while activists want the city to #KillTheDeal entirely: So what's next? The full community board will vote on the project this Monday, June 19. Although the board's vote is only advisory, its input is considered as the ULURP process moves forward.
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Fogarty Finger unveils 22-story tower next to historic Dimes Bank in Brooklyn

New York–based architecture firm Fogarty Finger along with developers Charney Construction & Development, 1 Oak Contracting, and Tavros Capital Partners, unveiled its latest project: a new 22-story mixed-use tower integrated with the historic Dimes Saving Bank of Williamsburg in South Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The site, nicknamed “The Dime,” involves a 342,451-square-foot building at 263 South 5th Street, with over 100,000 square feet dedicated solely to office space, 50,000 square feet of retail, and 177 rental apartments. The project is aimed towards the increasing number of office tenants in the area and features an open-plan space with large floor plates. The building's streamlined aesthetic with ribbon windows and rounded corners is a nod to art moderne architecture, particularly Frank Lloyd Wright’s Johnson Wax building and New York’s Starrett–Light building, according to the architects. The facade will be clad in white terra cotta tiles in reference to the neo-classical bank, which will also be undergoing a renovation. “It was tying back to the bank building, but the idea that the bank building and what we were using for the new building are materials that were used at the same time,” Chris Fogarty, a partner at Fogarty Finger, said to Commercial Observer. The restoration of the 16,700-square-foot bank will involve revitalizing existing columns and maximizing natural lighting by replacing the current skylight. The plan is to let the old Dime bank become a flexible commercial area, with spaces for a showroom, an office lobby for tenants, or stand-alone retail. The project’s strategic location, which is close to the Marcy Avenue J/M/Z stop, offers commuters a solution to the upcoming L train shutdown, according to the architects. “The Dime building will create the perfect gateway to Brooklyn, welcoming inhabitants at the crossroads of the bridge, the BQE, and the elevated train tracks, creating an iconographic project that merges the past and future of the city,” the firm said in a press release. Construction is expected to begin in June 2017 and finish by 2019.
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Home Studios brings luminous art nouveau to a Brooklyn cocktail bar

A certain type of Brooklynite has, in the past five years, done at least one of the following: lined up for pizza at Paulie Gee’s; caught a movie at Syndicated; and raced to happy hour at Ramona, Sisters, or Manhattan Inn. Even if none of those names ring a bell, chances are, if you’ve been out and about anywhere in North Brooklyn, then you’re already familiar with Home Studios, the firm behind these and Elsa, their newest addition to the Brooklyn bar scene. Elsa, a cocktail bar with subtly exuberant art nouveau flair, recently opened in Cobble Hill.

The creative firm actually designed the bar’s first Manhattan spot in 2008, though Elsa 1.0 closed three years ago. For the new Elsa on Atlantic Avenue, the client wanted to keep the ethos of the original East Village bar intact: “We loved the design of the original Elsa and wanted to reimagine the new space in a way that kept the essence of the Manhattan location, but with greater sophistication,” said principal Oliver Haslegrave.

“To that end, we experimented with every design element in the space, from the interior architecture to abstract material combinations of plaster, mirror, leather, and marble.” That is not an exaggeration. Home Studios designed the light fixtures, doors, banquettes, tables, shelving for the bottles behind the bar, cocktail tables, and stools—with much of the work completed in its in-house shop. It’s all in a day’s work for the firm, which specializes in highly customized interiors.

Here, everything glows, especially in contrast to the busy street outside. Deep burgundy booths with marble-and-brass tables line a wall opposite the bar, with a mirrored surface that reflects liquor bottles displayed on staggered dendritic steel displays. The space is inspired in part by Jean Royère’s voluptuous furniture, and is named for Elsa Schiaparelli, the spirited 20th-century fashion designer behind the Tears dress and manicure gloves.

Since its founding in 2009, the Brooklyn-based firm has completed 30 projects, from New York to L.A. to New Orleans, and it has at least another 10 coming up, including two in Philadelphia and one in Memphis, Tennessee. For those who just can’t get enough of its work, Home Studios is launching a furniture line called (what else?) Homework, out this May.