Historic Brooklyn Heights Site May Be Redeveloped Into 40-Story Condominium

Posted On Tue, September 8, 2015 By

Posted On Tue, September 8, 2015 By In Architecture, Brooklyn Heights, condos, Downtown Brooklyn, New Developments

Concept studies by the design firm SRA Architecture + Engineering (SRAA+E) reveal that an existing five-story commercial building in Downtown Brooklyn may be redeveloped into a dramatic retail and condominium tower. The prominent 19,000-square-foot, triangular site at 205 Montague Street is located at the gateway of Brooklyn Heights and currently holds a 1960s-era marble and glass office-retail building that was picked up by Joseph Cayre’s Midtown Equities back in 2010.

In 2012, the development firm filed permits doubling the building’s size, envisioning a 100-unit residence that would convert the structure’s three upper levels into apartments and add another six stories above. The permits, also filed by SRAA+E, were never approved, but in 2012 an insider told the Brooklyn Eagle, “an awful lot more can be built than what’s in the Buildings Department plans.” Midtown Equities, who is also busy rebuilding the Empire Stores in Brooklyn Bridge Park, could not be reached for comment.

205 Montague Street, Midtown Equities, SRAA+E

205 Montague Street, Midtown Equities, SRAA+E

205 Montague Street, Midtown Equities, SRAA+E
All renderings courtesy of Hoyin Tong, SRAA+E

SRAA+E’s concept models, shown above, depict a much larger development than previously filed. A slender, Flatiron-like, 40-story tower soars above the old office building and is crisscrossed by diagonal cutaways. The prominent corner of Montague Street and Cadman Plaza West was once home to a ten-story Italianate-style building that housed the offices of the Brooklyn Dodgers and was the location where Branch Rickey signed Jackie Robinson to become the first African-American major league baseball player. The building was replaced in 1962 by the 77,250-square-foot Class A office building that stands here today.

205 Montague Street, Midtown Equities, SRAA+E
All site images courtesy of Midtown Equities

According to The Real Deal, property transaction firm Massey Knackal holds a 19,000-square-foot lease for the third floor until 2016. The retail storefronts have held a succession of bank branches over the years and TD Bank and Bank of America are its current tenants.

205 Montague Street, Midtown Equities, SRAA+E
Left to Right: 280 Cadman Plaza West, 146 Pierrepont Street, and 153 Remsen Street

Surrounding the development site, several new residential projects are on the horizon. One block away, the Stahl Organization is putting the finishing touches on the transformation of the Brooklyn Trust Company Building into 12 spacious condominiums that are priced around $1,400 per square foot. On another triangular-shaped lot on Cadman Plaza West, Hudson Companies has been making headway to build a Marvel Architects-designed, 36-story condo tower that provides a city branch library in its base. According to data from CityRealty, Brooklyn Heights has recorded average closing condo prices of $1,133 per square foot, or at an average price of $1,124,757, through the first six months of this year.

Two rental projects near the site are also underway. One door down from Midtown Equities’ site, Jonathan Rose Companies is readying a block-though lot at 146 Pierrepont Street for a 68-unit, 19-story rental development. Another 19-story rental tower is underway at 153 Remsen Street by Quinlan Development Group.

Follow updates for 205 Montague Street and all Brooklyn Heights developments at CityRealty.

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Neighborhoods : Brooklyn Heights,Downtown Brooklyn

  • Michael M.

    This epidemic of condos and residential buildings eating up commercial buildings and office buildings only means higher taxes and bigger deficits for everyone else. NO ONE else but developers benefit from these transformations. There has to be something done to protect office, commercial space as is done with industrial areas. Commercial/ office centers are so much more important to the citys tax base, financial well being, jobs and vibrancy.

    Imagine if all the office buildings in downtown where transformed to residential and condos. What would you have left? How many companies lost, Jobs lost?, tax revenue lost?. what would it be like to walk around there? In my opinion it would feel like battery park. Desolate, soulless. Only doormen and chain retail stores, sprinkled with a few starbucks, specialty stores and fancy expensive restaurants. People can say Downtown Brooklyn is ugly, congested, sketchy, however one cant argue with its productivity, financially and a place with thousands of jobs. Businesses want to be there if they can find the space.

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