Atlantic Yards

Architecture, Downtown Brooklyn, Fort Greene

461 Dean Street, B2 Tower, Pacific Park

Image via Field Condition

After boasting that it had “cracked the code” on modular construction, with plans for a Brooklyn factory, developer Forest City Ratner is exiting the prefab building business, reports the New York Times. The factory at the Brooklyn Navy Yard will be sold to Roger Krulak, a former Forest City executive, along with the technology used to construct the world’s tallest prefabricated steel structure, the 32-story 461 Dean Street in the Pacific Park complex in Brooklyn. Construction on the building has just been completed and 461 Dean is weeks from getting its first residents.

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Featured Story

Architecture, Brooklyn, Carter Uncut, Downtown Brooklyn, Features, real estate trends, Urban Design

Skyline Wars: Brooklyn Enters the Supertall Race

By Carter B. Horsley, Wed, April 20, 2016

Carter Uncut brings New York City’s latest development news under the critical eye of resident architecture critic Carter B. Horsley. Here, Carter brings us his fifth installment of “Skyline Wars,” a series that examines the explosive and unprecedented supertall phenomenon that is transforming the city’s silhouette. In this post Carter looks at Brooklyn’s once demure skyline, soon to be Manhattan’s rival.

Downtown Brooklyn has had a modest but pleasant skyline highlighted by the 350-foot-high Court & Remsen Building and the 343-foot-high great ornate terraces of 75 Livingston Street, both erected in 1926, and the 462-foot-high flat top of the 1927 Montague Court Building. The borough’s tallest building, however, was the great 514-foot-high dome of the 1929 Williamsburg Savings Bank Tower, now known as One Hanson Place, a bit removed to the east from Downtown Brooklyn. It remained as the borough’s tallest for a very long time, from 1929 until 2009. A flurry of new towers in recent years has significantly enlarged Brooklyn’s skyline. Since 2008, nine new towers higher than 359 feet have sprouted there, in large part as a result of a rezoning by the city in 2007. A few other towers have also given its riverfront an impressive frontage.

Whereas in the past the vast majority of towers were clustered about Borough Hall downtown, now there are several clusters with some around the Brooklyn Academy of Music and the former Williamsburg Savings Bank Tower and some around the Williamsburg riverfront.

more on Brooklyn’s skyline here

Architecture, Construction Update, Downtown Brooklyn, Fort Greene, Major Developments

Atlantic Yards B2 Tower

Image via Field Condition

When it was announced that Brooklyn would be host to the world’s tallest prefab tower, many believed that a new era of construction was upon us. Called the B2 Tower, the building would rise as stacked 32-story structure, affording all the perks of a conventional edifice, but be quick and inexpensive to build. But as it has been well-documented, the project, announced way back in 2012, has been a major flop. Stricken with delays and countless lawsuits flying left and right, the building today has only reached about half of its height. So where did things go so wrong? A fascinating piece by the Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Report‘s Norman Oder on City Limits provides some incredible insight into the project that has failed to deliver on just about every promise put forward.

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Architecture, Landscape Architecture

barclays green roof

The 135,000-square-foot green roof planned for the SHoP Architects-designed Barclays Center is shaping up in readiness for its job of reducing noise from the arena, catching rainwater and looking good from below, though it won’t be publicly accessible. But here’s your chance to get on top and see all the work that’s being done in order to bring this project to life.

Watch the roof getting green, this way

Featured Story

City Living, Features, Goldilocks Blocks, Prospect Heights

Between hyper-developed hotspots, main drags in up-and-comers, and those genuinely avoidable areas, there can often be found a city’s “just-right” zones. They aren’t commonly known, but these micro-neighborhoods often hide within them real estate gems coupled with perfectly offbeat vibes. Continuing our Goldilocks Blocks series, this week we look at Lowry Triangle in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn.

It’s…gritty. But it’s Prospect Heights.

Anchoring an oddly magical Brooklyn crossroads where Prospect Heights, Crown Heights and Clinton Hill meet, bisected by noisy, gritty Atlantic Avenue, Lowry Triangle and its surrounding blocks form a literal mashup of three neighborhoods, all of which began hitting their gentrification strides at slightly different times. On a map it’s legitimately Prospect Heights, whose border is a block to the east at Grand Avenue. It’s a small but decidedly cool zone, open and semi-industrial, where old brick buildings share space with a growing number of sleek, modern boutique condos, compact cubes fronted by vast expanses of glass; a fascinating juxtaposition of old and new.

What you might not notice if you’re just passing through

Real Estate Wire

15 central park west, 15 central park west apartment
  • A tower unit at 15 Central Park West has sold for nearly $10M, about three times what the owner paid for it. [NYO]
  • The Astoria Cove housing development is required to set aside 20% of its 1,700 units for lower-income residents, but the city may push for as many as 30%. [Crain’s]
  • The Fiscal Policy Institute wants the city to start taxing very expensive pied-à-terres. [TRD]
  • The B2 modular tower at the Atlantic Yards (a.k.a. Pacific Park Brooklyn) could leak says Skanska in documents to Forest City Ratner. The builder and developer are headed to court tomorrow. [Atlantic Yards Report]
  • Brooklyn-based real estate investor and lender Alliance Private Capital Group has purchased a residential development site in Williamsburg for $35M. [Crain’s]
  • A taste of the apartments at 1110 Park Avenue. [Curbed]

15 Central Park West (left); B2 Tower (right)

Real Estate Wire

Pacific Park Brooklyn, Greenland Forest City Partners, COOKFOX, Thomas Balsley
  • The state has gotten approval to seize seven sites for Forest City Ratner’s Pacific Park Brooklyn project (previously named Atlantic Yards). Tenants now have 90 days to vacate their units. [DNA Info]
  • The $1B three-tower expansion for Silvercup West is back on track. [Curbed]
  • Most of the world’s billionaires call NYC home. [TRD]
  • Winston Von Engel has been appointed as the new director of the New York City’s Department of City Planning’s Brooklyn office. [TRD]
  • The BAM Cultural District has received $131M from the city. [NYO]

Pacific Park/Atlantic Yards (left); What’s to come for the BAM Cultural District (right)

Architecture, Landscape Architecture, New Developments, Prospect Heights, Rentals

Pacific Park Brooklyn, Greenland Forest City Partners, COOKFOX, Thomas Balsley

Forest City Ratner Companies and Greenland USA, a subsidiary of Shanghai-based Greenland Group, announced today that their new joint venture, Greenland Forest City Partners, has selected COOKFOX Architects to design two residential buildings at their Pacific Park Brooklyn project. They’ve also chosen Thomas Balsley Associates to design the site’s eight-acre public park, which will be called Pacific Park.

Formerly known as Atlantic Yards, Pacific Park Brooklyn will be a 22-acre site anchored by the Barclays Center and containing 8 million square feet of mixed-use development. The public park will be revealed in phases, with permanent and temporary installations. COOKFOX has begun the design for its two residential buildings– 550 Vanderbilt Avenue, set to feature 275 condominiums, and 535 Carlton Avenue, which will have approximately 300 affordable rentals. Construction is expected to begin on the latter this December, with 550 Vanderbilt not far behind. A third residential building will be designed by SHoP Architects, who were the minds behind the Barclays Center, at 30 Sixth Avenue with another 300 affordable rentals.

Much more on the project here

Architecture, Downtown Brooklyn, New Developments, Rentals, Urban Design

388 Schermerhorn Street, Dattner Architects, Brooklyn, skyscraper, Downtown Brooklyn

L to R: Williamsburg Savings Bank (One Hanson), The Brooklyner, 388 Bridge Street, Avalon Willoughby West, The Hub

Construction filings from the Department of Buildings have revealed that Douglas Steiner’s mixed use tower at 333 Schermerhorn Street, dubbed the Hub, will soar 30 feet higher than previously reported; making it the top contender for Brooklyn’s tallest building at 607-feet.

For more than 80 years, the title of Brooklyn’s tallest belonged to the 512-foot Williamsburg Savings Bank tower at 1 Hanson Place. With its beloved 4-sided clock tower and its majestic banking hall, the tower has stood in relative isolation since its construction in 1929. Bruce Ratner’s Atlantic Yards centerpiece building nicknamed “Miss Brooklyn,” was the first to challenge the tower’s dominance and was slated to soar more than 100-feet above the bank building’s dome. The proposal incited uproar from Brooklynites, leading to its eventual downsizing in 2006 to 511-feet, just one foot shorter than the neighboring bank building.

More about The Hub and Brooklyn’s tallest this way

Architecture, Events, Green Design, Landscape Architecture, Urban Design

Opera Garden in the Machine

The creative mind is so spectacular. There’s nothing more fun for designers than to be given a project where they can allow their imaginations to run rampant. Never was this more evident than with The Warehouse Gallery’s new exhibit opening next month. Five architecture firms were asked to design an idealistic plan of Atlantic Yards, conforming to the same dimensions as the actual project headed up by developer Forest City Ratner. These proportions include 4,278,000 square feet of housing and 156,00 square feet of retail space.

Find out more about the project here

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