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Red Hook, Urban Design

AECOM, Red Hook development, Brooklyn affordable housing

What do you get when you cross the new-waterfront nature of Battery Park City with the previous underutilization of Hudson Yards, and throw in a little Brooklyn? This massive proposal from big-time construction and engineering firm AECOM that would turn a huge section of the Red Hook waterfront into a residential mega-development with more than 12 towers, 45,000 units of housing (25 percent of which would be affordable), an extension of the 1 train, acres of parkland, and “waterfront-flood protections that would revitalize and protect the low-lying neighborhood from storms and future sea-level rise,” as Crain’s first reported.

AECOM is presenting the idea today at the NYU Rudin Center for Transportation. They’ve already admitted that it “lacks key details” like hard costs, but they do estimate that one of their scenarios could generate $130 million in revenue for the city. The sites in question are the 80-acre Red Hook Container Terminal owned by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, a similarly sized parcel along Columbia Street overlooking the Gowanus Bay that’s owned by the city, and unused land at the Red Hook Houses. Under their plan, the sale or lease of land to developers, would fund the aforementioned infrastructure projects.

More details and renderings ahead

Architecture, New Developments, Red Hook, Starchitecture

280 Richards Street, Revere Sugar Factory, Norman Foster, Red Hook development, Thor Equities

In June, 6sqft revealed renderings of Norman Foster‘s first commission in Brooklyn, the waterfront complex from Thor Equities planned for the former Revere Sugar Factory site in Red Hook. The sole rendering showed “his signature mix of contemporary panache (glassy construction with a cantilevering portion) and contextual thoughtfulness (low-scale, boxy structures in keeping with the industrial area).”

Now, a second rendering comes to us via Curbed, which shows off the structure’s “undulating penthouses and combined 3.6 acres of green roof.” They’ve also noted that the project has an official website, leasing is underway, and it’s been dubbed Red Hoek Point, a play on the area’s Dutch name Roode Hoek from the 1600s.

Find out more

Architecture, New Developments, Red Hook, Starchitecture

Thor Red Hook development, Norman Foster, Red Hook waterfront, 280 Richards Street

Back in 2005, the Joesph Sitt-led Thor Equities spent $40 million on a vacant, 7.7-acre parcel of land in Red Hook that juts 700 feet into the Erie Basin, between the Ikea parking lot and the Fairway. Preliminary visions for the former Revere Sugar Factory site included retail, office space, and residential buildings, but according to a press release sent out today by Thor, there will be no housing.

Today’s major announcement, however, is the architect selection: Norman Foster will helm the design of the new waterfront office complex, which will “include two heavy timber frame buildings totaling more than 600,000 square feet of creative office space, and 23,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space.” Foster is a surprising choice for the project, as his commissions are typically flashy and in high-profile areas like Midtown or the Financial District. In fact, this will be his first building in Brooklyn. But the sole rendering shows his signature mix of contemporary panache (glassy construction with a cantilevering portion) and contextual thoughtfulness (low-scale, boxy structures in keeping with the industrial area).

More details ahead

Featured Story

Events, Features, Interviews, New Yorker Spotlight, People

Native New Yorker Gil Shapiro founded Urban Archaeology in the early 1970s, when the salvaging movement was just catching on. With a collector’s–and creator’s–eye and an entrepreneurial spirit, he began re-imagining architectural remnants as treasured additions to the home environment. This month the company has been preparing for an auction taking place on March 27th and 28th, handled by Guernsey’s auction house, when nearly 1,000 of their long-treasured pieces of history will be sold to prepare for a move to a new location.

First opened in Soho in 1978, the store’s early customers–including Andy Warhol and other denizens of what was undisputedly the epicenter of the art world–adored the unique and time-treasured aspects of Shapiro’s restored architectural salvage pieces, yet they would always find ways they wished they could customize their favorite items. Finding that he excelled at bringing a fresh perspective to pieces of historical and architectural importance, he started reproducing individual pieces as well as creating new lines of bath fixtures and lighting, many of which originated in places like the Plaza Hotel, New York’s Yale Club and the St. Regis Hotel.

Read our interview with Gil here

Architecture, New Developments, Red Hook, Rentals, Urban Design

The housing-design experts at Magnusson Architecture and Planning (MAP) have hashed out a feasibility study to redevelop the Revere Sugar Factory site in Red Hook with a 1.7 million-square-foot development to include more than 900 apartments, 250,000 square feet of retail, and 400,000 square feet of parking. The six-acre site at 280 Richards Street is owned by the Joesph Sitt-led, Thor Equities, who purchased the parcel back in 2005 to the tune of $40 million, according to the New York Observer. The vacant parcel juts out 700 feet into the Erie Basin, and sits between the Ikea parking lot and the Red Hook Stores building home to Fairway Supermarket (and Michelle Williams, of course). Though MAP’s rendering date back to 2007, they have yet to be publicized, and we have the first look here.

More information on the project here

Featured Story

Features, Green Design, Landscape Architecture, Staten Island, Urban Design

Living Breakwaters, SCAPE, Kate Orff, Oysters, Tottenville, Rebuild by Design, Staten Island, Ecology,

Image courtesy of SCAPE / LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE PLLC

We know what you’re thinking: what is oyster-tecture, anyway? Just ask Kate Orff, landscape architect and the founding principal of SCAPE Studio. SCAPE is a landscape architecture and urban design office based in Manhattan and specializing in urban ecology, site design, and strategic planning. Kate is also an associate professor of architecture and urban design at the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, where she founded the Urban Landscape Lab, which is dedicated to affecting positive social and ecological change in the joint built-natural environment.

But the Living Breakwaters project may be the SCAPE team’s most impactful yet. The “Oyster-tecture” concept was developed as part of the MoMA Rising Currents Exhibition in 2010, with the idea of an oyster hatchery/eco-park in the Gowanus interior that would eventually generate a wave-attenuating reef in the Gowanus Bay. Describing the project as, “a process for generating new cultural and environmental narratives,” Kate envisioned a new “reef culture” functioning both as ecological sanctuary and public recreation space.

Find out more about what oysters and other creatures can do for NYC

Architecture, New Developments, Red Hook, Urban Design

Red Hook Innovation District, Estate Four, NBBJ Architects

If you’ve been to Red Hook lately chances are you were visiting the Fairway for lunch or taking the ferry to Ikea for a new $10 end table and some Swedish meatballs. But we soon may have many more reasons to visit the sleepy, industrial, square-mile Brooklyn neighborhood.

The Red Hook Innovation District is a plan for a 12-acre, 1.2 million-square-foot, mixed-use project that would include offices, retail space, performance venues and a promenade. Last month, Los Angeles-based development firm Estate Four purchased the final property on the site. They now plan to roll out the $400 million project in phases over five years.

More details ahead

Featured Story

Features, Interviews, New Yorker Spotlight, People, Red Hook

erin norris of grindhaus, erin norris, grindhaus

A former construction manager, music publicist, Bergdorf’s window dresser, dominatrix and dungeon owner, Erin Norris has lived enough lives to make all of us feel like a bunch of old fogies. The founder of one of Red Hook‘s newest eateries, Grindhaus, the sassy blonde is the embodiment of the resilience, edginess and charm that defines New York City.

Back in 2008, Erin set out with the goal of bringing a sausage parlor and beer hall to Red Hook, but as was the case for many in her ‘hood, Hurricane Sandy had other plans. After a long (and expensive) rebuilding effort, Erin finally opened the doors to Grindhaus in 2013. Things may not have gone as planned, but even so, she managed to create something that went far beyond her dreams. Today, Grindhaus is one of the city’s best restaurants, luring in the most discerning of food critics, from the palates over at Zagat to New York Times restaurant critic Peter Wells (who, by the way, even had her dish him seconds).

But beyond food, Erin is all about her waterfront neighborhood and the colorful characters that make it one of the most inimitable places in all of NYC. We recently caught up with Erin to get an insider’s look.

Read our interview with Erin here

Red Hook, Transportation

Those who’ve been dying to check out up-and-coming Red Hook will now have a much easier, much more comfortable way of getting to the cozy, cute nabe. The New York Water Taxi Commission has just added a brand new stop that will ferry passengers to Van Brunt Street from Lower Manhattan, DUMBO and Midtown on the West Side. Locals residents have been championing for a stop for the last few years, citing that it would be a boon to business development in the area, particularly for those still hurting from the effects of Superstorm Sandy.

Find out more here

Featured Story

Carroll Gardens, City Living, Cobble Hill, Features, real estate trends, Red Hook

columbia street brooklyn, columbia street waterfront district, red hook brooklyn

Image: rutlo cc

It’s not a shocker that some Brooklyn neighborhoods are outselling their Manhattan counterparts. What’s a bit of a surprise is that the Columbia Street Waterfront District, a quirky 22-block enclave wedged between Red Hook and the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, is one of them.

Until recently, Columbia Street was known as a far-flung and largely forgotten strip that fell victim to Robert Moses’s highway expansion project—the BQE—which, when built on a below-ground slice of Hicks Street in 1957, severed the area from the rest of Carroll Gardens and Cobble Hill, breaking up what was then “South Brooklyn” into distinct neighborhoods.

More on Columbia Street’s Comeback

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