Posts tagged with "Downtown Brooklyn":

Placeholder Alt Text

New downtown Brooklyn office tower will straddle the Macy’s on Fulton Street

This week Tishman Speyer unveiled plans for a 10-story office building—nay, a "creative hub"—above the Macy's on Fulton Street in downtown Brooklyn. When it opens mid-2019, the tower will hold offices with 16-foot ceilings, plus an acre of outdoor space spread out over terraces and a roof deck. The structure will be built atop two others: Macy's four-story home, a department store from the 1870s, and a nine-story art deco building from 1930. For Tishman Speyer’s first-ever project in Brooklyn, we are creating an environment that is every bit as innovative, energetic and dynamic as the borough itself,” said the company's president and CEO Rob Speyer, in a statementThe Wheeler will celebrate its special location at the epicenter of Brooklyn and feed off the vitality of the iconic brownstone neighborhoods, open spaces, cultural venues and creative communities that surround it on all sides.”

The founder of Los Angeles–based Shimoda Design Group, Joey Shimoda, is collaborating with New York's Perkins Eastman to design the project, which will add 620,000 square feet 0f Class-A office space to the neighborhood. In a nod to Brooklyn history, the developers are calling is project The Wheeler after Arthur Wheeler, the guy who built the Macy's that grounds the new building.

The department store will continue to own the first four floors for use as retail, plus the lower level of the two connected buildings. Meanwhile, The Wheeler will have its main entrance on Livingston Street between Hoyt Street and Gallatin Place.

Placeholder Alt Text

Two new schools and a 74-story high-rise planned for Downtown Brooklyn

Brooklyn-based firm Alloy Development has unveiled new scheme in Downtown Brooklyn that will boast 900 housing units (200 of which will be affordable), two new schools, and 200,000 square feet of office and retail space. The architect and development company will also design the scheme. The project known as "80 Flatbush" is being bankrolled by the Educational Construction Fund (ECF), a department within the New York City Department of Education that deals with development projects. It is sited next to the Atlantic Terminal, the Brooklyn Cultural District, and Barclays Center. In addition to the office and retail space, 40,000 square feet of the development—what Alloy called in a press release "neighborhood retail"—will be included in the scheme, as will 15,00 square feet of "cultural space." The latter was made possible by transforming the Khalil Gibran Academy (an old Civil War infirmary which dates back to 1860). This will then become an extension of the BAM Cultural District. As per the timeline outlined by Alloy, construction is set to start in 2019, with the project being built in two phases. The first will incorporate the two schools, both of which will be designed by New York studio, Architecture Research Office. Also included in this phase will be a 38‐story triangular residential block, office, and retail building. Phase one is due to be complete in 2022. Phase two, on the other hand, will comprise a 74‐story residential, office, retail tower and the rehabilitation of a coterie of buildings at 362 Schermerhorn Street. Phase two is due to finish in 2025. “It's rare for a developer to come to us for feedback in the earliest stages of a project,” said Peg Breen, President of the New York Landmarks Conservancy, in a press release. “But Alloy did that, listened, and made preservation a meaningful priority.  We're very appreciative of their efforts. This project shows that development and preservation can work together and that investing in historic buildings makes economic sense.  We're pleased to support this important project.” 80 Flatbush is yet to go through the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) and so final approval has not yet been granted.
Placeholder Alt Text

Take a trip through this redwood forest in downtown Brooklyn tomorrow

Instead of staring out the window into the gloomy morass of this weekend's unrelenting rain, head over to downtown Brooklyn tomorrow for the opening of a real—and really small—public forest. Artist Spencer Finch has set up a 4,000-tree glen in MetroTech Commons for his latest solo exhibition, Lost Man Creek. In partnership with Save the Redwoods League, Finch has recreated a 790-acre chunk of California's Redwood National Park at 1:100 scale. The height and placement of the thousands of scaled-down redwoods, ranging from one to four feet tall, mimic the topography of the real redwood forest (although the trees there reach heights close to 400 feet). “Through both a scientific approach to gathering data—including precise measurements and record keeping—and a poetic sensibility, Finch’s works often inhabit the area between objective investigations of science and the subjectivity of lived experience,” said exhibition organizer and Public Art Fund associate curator Emma Enderby, in a statement. “In a world where climate change is at the core of societal debates, Finch’s installation in the heart of one of the most urbanized neighborhoods of the city presents us with the universal reality of nature’s power to awe and inspire, and the importance to remember and protect such wonders.” Visitors will be able to view the triangular patch of nature from a platform or at ground level. A custom-rigged irrigation system will keep the redwoods alive (although they'll probably get more water here than in their native, water-deficient California). Like the old-growth redwoods, Lost Man Creek will be around for awhile: The exhibition opens tomorrow and remains on view through March 11, 2018. The work is reminiscent of Michael Neff's suspended forest at the Knockdown Center, although Neff prefers his conifers dead.
Placeholder Alt Text

New renderings revealed for FXFOWLE’s luxury Fort Greene apartments

Construction is wrapping up on the The Ashland, a 53-story mixed-use skyscraper in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. In anticipation, the building's website has launched ahead of the July 19 opening of its leasing office. The tower has a total of 586 units, about half of which were opened to applications through the city’s affordable housing lottery. The tower was designed by FXFOWLE, with interiors by SPAN Architecture. According to 6sqft, the units will range in price from $2600 per month for a studio to $7500 per month for a 3-bedroom, which is on par with rents in the area. On the new website's availability page, however, only studios and one-bedroom apartments are listed. The page also offers a link for rental applications. The website showcases many of the building’s amenities, like a fitness studio, rooftop lounge, and barbecue area. It also features renderings of the Gotham Market at The Ashland, a dining hall located at the base of the tower. The market will host eight different dining options, with one rotating pop-up space. This is in addition to the rooms themselves, which offer central air conditioning, floor-to-ceiling windows, and dishwashers in each unit. The luxury apartment tower is located on the edge of Fort Greene, adjacent to the BAM Harvey Theater and the Brooklyn Cultural District. The district, anchored by the Brooklyn Academy of Music, has been a hotspot for development since its inception. Industry has also boomed in the area following the opening of the Barclays Center. Marketing for The Ashland capitalizes on the fact that Downtown Brooklyn is increasingly becoming a center for art and culture in the city, emphasizing the many destinations within walking distance.
Placeholder Alt Text

Claire Weisz on WXY’s reimagining of the Brooklyn Strand

From a pedestrian perspective, Downtown Brooklyn and its waterfront have an odd relationship. Despite the Brooklyn Bridge’s looming (literally) presence in DUMBO, the area’s potential to become an idyllic promenade and an active space has never quite been realized.

Now, however, New York practice WXY architecture + design—who specializes in planning, urban design, and architecture–is proposing to connect DUMBO, Downtown, and Brooklyn Bridge Park. As part of a public-private scheme, in collaboration with the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership (DBP), WXY’s project, the Strand, sets about creating views within the site, giving it an identity while creating a place that puts pedestrians first.

WXY principal Claire Weisz said that the first thing her practice sought to do was to see what connections needed to be reestablished with a focus on who they should serve. “One of the main priorities of the Strand effort is to privilege pedestrians and cyclists,” said Weisz. “We [looked] at what spaces used to connect and then we sought a way to reimagine and provide resources to the public spaces and places that are valued by the people living, working, and studying in this area.”

Striking a dialogue and creating a “positive sense of journey” was another key aspect of the scheme. Working with Copenhagen artist group Superflex, a responsive and pedestrian friendly scene was established: Here, functional, yet visually inspiring routes were developed, evoking the cultural and historical aspects of the area’s neighborhoods from Fulton to Farragut and the Navy Yard.

Weisz also spoke of new subway connections and the potential to develop sites around infrastructure, adding how the Gateway to Brooklyn action plan concept “demonstrated the importance of approaching access holistically.” In light of this, Weisz proposed connecting Cadman Plaza East with the walkway off the Brooklyn Bridge, thus protecting pedestrians who “have to dodge traffic at Cadman Plaza West.”

Weisz noted how the dominance of car travel has led to the emergence of “unappealing leftover public space.” Here, she explained, a “continuous city fabric where walkable, bike-able, active streets connect Downtown Brooklyn to the Waterfront” is a necessity from an infrastructure perspective.

While improved circulation is a priority, visual connectivity is also on the agenda. Weisz plans to give landmarks visual precedence to celebrate Brooklyn’s history and improve wayfinding throughout the Strand. As a result, the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges are allocated framed views from within the Cadman Plaza Park, Anchorage Plaza, and Trinity Park, in order to reaffirm the sense of place throughout the Strand.

“The Strand’s identity is linked to not losing the layers of history that made Brooklyn what it is today but adapting them for today’s needs,” said Weisz, who added that creating a “cohesive” identity was discussed with stakeholders.

“The main challenge of the Strand has been demonstrating the potential of spaces that are currently invisible to the public,” said Weisz. “Whether it be spaces around, over, or under highways [or] a new vantage for accessing and experiencing the Brooklyn Bridge, residents can look forward to a rejuvenated place that realizes the potential for the Strand to better connect downtown Brooklyn.”

Placeholder Alt Text

Downtown Brooklyn Partnership releases new report on robust development in Downtown Brooklyn

On its tenth anniversary, the local nonprofit development corporation Downtown Brooklyn Partnership has released a report that details just how well the development of downtown Brooklyn is going. Downtown Rising: How Brooklyn became a model for urban development demonstrates how, since its 2004 rezoning, private investors have put more than $10 billion into Downtown Brooklyn. The report was commissioned by the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership and produced by the Rudin Center for Transportation Policy at NYU. “Downtown Brooklyn has harnessed its determined capacity for creative change to undergo a true rebirth over the past decade,” said Tucker Reed, president of the Partnership. “This report demonstrates just how far strong civic leadership can go when it’s bolstered by smart public investment, and provides the first definitive account of how we came so far, so fast—and where we need to go from here.” At a panel hosted at NYU and moderated by Professor of Urban Policy and Planning Mitchell L. Moss last week, Reed, Joe Chan (executive vice president, Empire State Development Corporation), Regina Myer (president, Brooklyn Bridge Park), and Hugh O'Neill (president of economic consulting firm Appleseed) discussed the report and next steps for downtown Brooklyn. Since the creation of a central business district in the Group of 35 report, Downtown Brooklyn has transformed itself into a tech hub, a center of arts and culture, a nexus of higher education. Between 2000 and 2013, the district's population grew by 17 percent. The number of residents with a bachelor's degree nearly doubled, and median household income grew by 22 percent. Reed mentioned that, as part of its community development goals, the Partnership "is working on workforce development" to close a skills and opportunity gap among residents without a college degree. The report has five recommendations for continued growth which center on clearing barriers for development through incentives and flexible zoning, as well as greater investment in transportation, the arts, and public space:
  1. Downtown Brooklyn and the city should ensure that innovative new companies have room to grow through increased—and targeted—commercial office space investment.
  2. The city should learn from the 2004 rezoning of the area, which allowed flexible permissive zoning and land use policies and resulted in a surge in development. The city should avoid trying to achieve narrowly defined policy objectives by enacting overly detailed zoning restrictions and prescriptions.
  3. The city should continue to invest in innovative public space improvements, such as the Brooklyn Strand initiative and completion of Brooklyn Bridge Park, that make Downtown Brooklyn a more attractive place to live, work, invest, do business, and visit.
  4. Developers and property owners, non-profit organizations, and the city need to work together to ensure that cultural institutions, arts organizations, and individual artists can continue to play a vital role in the ongoing transformation of Downtown Brooklyn.
  5. The city needs to address long-standing gaps in the area’s transportation networks, including lack of transit access to the Brooklyn Navy Yard, difficulties in getting between the core of Downtown Brooklyn and the waterfront, and the scarcity of good options for travel between existing and new waterfront neighborhoods and growing concentrations of jobs along the East River.
What do you think: Will these strategies keep the neighborhood on its upward development trajectory, or is the celebratory document failing to consider downsides like the loss of affordable housing and the decimation of independent retail on Fulton Street?
Placeholder Alt Text

TEN Arquitectos’ mixed-use downtown Brooklyn building tops out

TEN Arquitectos' 286 Ashland Place, a 384-unit, 32-story mixed-use development in Downtown Brooklyn, has topped out. The building's 45,148 square feet of community space will host 651 ARTS, The Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts, the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), and the Brooklyn Public Library. The New York– and Mexico City–based firm has a number of major projects in design and under construction. Their campus for Centro, a technology, design, and business university in their home city, opened in September 2015, while plans for the Mexican Museum and residential building at 706 Mission Street in San Francisco are moving forward. Last month, TEN Arquitectos revealed renderings of a luxury resort in the Cayman Islands. At 286 Ashland Place, 20 percent of the units in the building are set aside for affordable housing. The building will host 21,928 square feet of retail. Construction is expected to be complete this summer, YIMBY reports. The project is located within the Brooklyn Cultural District, a Fort Greene development plan anchored by BAM. The triangular lot, across the street from BAM and a block from Atlantic Terminal, fronts high-traffic areas on all sides. On the Flatbush Avenue side, ground-floor retail and a stepped plaza break up what could have been a monotonous street wall. The facade is reminiscent of the firm's Mercedes House, in Midtown West. There too, the facade is broken up by a nonstandard arrangement of windows and built-in air treatment units. Mercedes House's outstanding features are terraced cubes and snaking profile respond to the site's steep elevation. 286 Ashland Place has a more standard site, and relies on an origami-ed facade for visual interest from afar. Though it obscures a previously unobstructed view of the Williamsburgh Savings Bank building the articulations of the facade draw the eye outward, towards the surrounding streetscape.
Placeholder Alt Text

Kohn Pedersen Fox unleashes a 600-foot-tall office building in Downtown Brooklyn

It's a big week for big Brooklyn skyscrapers. Yesterday, SHoP Architects and Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates unveiled plans for towers within a block of each other, in the Brooklyn Tech Triangle. KPF is developing the 400,000 square foot office and retail project at 420 Albee Square in partnership with JEMB Realty and the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC). At 600 feet tall, the tower will be 400 feet shorter than SHoP's, but it will still reign as Brooklyn's second tallest building. Plans for tall towers in Brooklyn are years in the making.  In 2004, the Downtown Brooklyn Development Plan rezoned the district bounded by Flatbush Avenue, Fulton Mall, and Willoughby Avenue to spur the development of office space and academic facilities (the area includes parts of the Brooklyn Tech Triangle). Blocks adjacent to this commercial core were rezoned to accommodate denser residential development and ground floor retail. The city has invested $300 million in open space and infrastructure improvements in the Tech Triangle. In a statement, KPF claims that 420 Albee Square is the "first ground-up construction of commercial space since the re-zoning." The effects of the zoning changes in the city's third largest commercial district are especially noticeable on Fulton Mall, where longtime businesses catering to low- and middle-income shoppers are being replaced (homogenized, some say) by upscale national chains. The NYCEDC claims that, to remain competitive, the city needs 60 million square feet of office space built by 2025. How the additional office space catalyzes change in downtown Brooklyn remains to be seen.
Placeholder Alt Text

Early renderings of SHoP’s 1,000-foot-tall Downtown Brooklyn skyscraper revealed

In August, AN speculated that a super skinny, supertall tower was coming to Brooklyn. Now, real estate watchblog YIMBY has uncovered a design by SHoP Architects for the 90-story, 1,000-foot-tall tower slated for Downtown Brooklyn. The tower, at 340 Flatbush Avenue Extension, will have 550 residential units and 140,000 square feet of commercial space. A representative from SHoP, however, stated that the "current rendering circulating is preliminary and outdated. We cannot provide additional material at this moment." The project's tentative completion date is set for early 2019. JDS Development is financing the project. Sound familiar? SHoP and JDS partnership are currently collaborating on the 1,428-foot-tall condominium tower rising at 111 West 57th Street. Two important structures share the same block. The (landmarked) Dime Savings Bank, at 9 Dekalb Avenue, was purchased for $90 million from JP Morgan Chase as part of the development package. The bank will be incorporated into the scheme of the structure, though SHoP has not revealed how this will happen. The other structure, Junior's restaurant, sits at the prow of Flatbush and Dekalb, but cheesecake fans can relax: after turning down a $45 million offer from an unnamed developer last year, the owners are unlikely to accept a buyout.
Placeholder Alt Text

57th Street comes to Downtown Brooklyn with a possible 1,000-foot tower

Downtown Brooklyn's ever-growing, not-all-that-inspiring, skyline could soon see a 57th Street–style addition. That's right, Brooklyn might be getting its first supertall tower. It was only a matter of time, really. Crain's reported that Michael Stern of JDS Development, which is behind SHoP's very tall 111 West 57th Street, has partnered with Joe Chetrit of the Chetrit Group to build a Brooklyn tower so tall it could rival, or eclipse, the Empire State Building. To do so, the two developers have reportedly purchased the landmarked Dime Savings Bank (and its 300,000 square feet of development rights) at 9 Dekalb Avenue for $90 million from JPMorgan Chase. Stern would use these rights to build a supertall next door at 340 Flatbush Avenue Extension, a site he co-owns with Chetrit. With the combined air rights of that site, the developer duo would have almost 600,000 square feet to work with. Crain's noted that the historic bank could be used as a lobby for the new tower or as a stand-alone retail space. An architect for the project has not yet been named. For those wondering, the iconic Junior's restaurant next to the site isn't going anywhere anytime soon.
Placeholder Alt Text

Bernheimer and Dattner start work on BAM building as construction in Brooklyn’s art district kicks up a notch

As Downtown Brooklyn's skyline grows taller, denser, and a bit more interesting, construction is whirring along in the BAM Cultural District just across Flatbush Avenue. The latest project to break ground within the area is bringing the borough new cultural institutions, affordable housing, and well, architecture. It's the Brooklyn Cultural District Apartments. The 115,000-square-foot structure was designed by Bernheimer Architecture and Dattner Architects with some landscaping accoutrement by SCAPE. The mixed-use building includes a restaurant along with the Center for Fiction and space for the Mark Morris Dance Group. Above the building's cultural podium are 109 apartments, 40 percent of which are below market-rate. "Extensive glazing at the lower floors highlights the cultural components and activates the pedestrian experience," Dattner explained on its website. "In-set balconies and double-height terraces articulate the upper base and tower." The Brooklyn Cultural District Apartments is intended to flow into the collection of high-design buildings and public spaces that are appearing one after the other on numerous sites around it. The building's restaurant, for instance, flows into Ken Smith's Arts Plaza which itself flows into the slightly cantilevering Theatre For a New Audience by Hugh Hardy of H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture. Between the new apartment building and the existing theater and plaza is yet another planned building—a 200-room hotel with a jagged facade by Leeser Architecture. There's one more big project to mention on the block: FXFOWLE's 52-story mixed-income residential tower that is quickly ascending into Brooklyn's skyline. On the other side of Fulton Street from the tower is the BRIC Arts Media House, another Leeser project. Adjacent to all of this is the site of Francis Cauffman's very artsy and wavy medical center that is currently under-construction. And across Lafayette Avenue is TEN Arquitectos' 32-story, mixed-use residential tower that is beginning to make its ascent.
Placeholder Alt Text

Step inside COOKFOX’s new Brooklyn tower complex

Prolific construction watcher Field Condition recently toured phase two of COOKFOX's under-construction City Point development in Downtown Brooklyn. The firm's new pair of towers are already standing out in Brooklyn's bummer of a skyline with their non-glass facades and series of setbacks. The shorter of the pair—standing 19 stories tall—is 100 percent affordable and clad in grey-blue metallic panels. It stands next to the 30-story market-rate tower that has a primarily terracotta facade. The two buildings are scheduled to be completed next year, but why not take a look at where things stand now.