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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

Polls, real estate trends, Transportation

ava dobro, Avalon Bay, 100 Willoughby Street

It’s already been pretty well documented that proximity to subway lines increases rental value. But what about subway access right in the building? Brooklyn Paper recently reported on the new AVA DoBro tower in Downtown Brooklyn that offers, in addition to swanky amenities like a heated dog run and an espresso bar, a brand new subway entrance right on the side of the building. They explain:

Developer Avalon Bay has created a spacious 10-foot-wide staircase and elevator leading to Jay Street-MetroTech — which it paid for out of its own pocket, according to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority — where both residents and the unwashed masses will soon be able to head directly down to the R platform, or connect to the A,C, and F trains.

Though the entrance is publicly accessible, it still makes life a whole lot easier for building residents, who will be paying from $2,440/month for studios to $5,780/month for three-bedrooms, according to Curbed. Prices, of course, aren’t directly related to the subway access point, but it certainly doesn’t hurt. Which leads us to our question — Would you pay extra to live in a building with a personal subway entrance?

Images: Rendering of AVA DoBro (top); AVA DoBro’s new subway entrance via Brooklyn Paper (L); Standard subway entrance (R)

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