It’s been a long an tumultuous journey for 461 Dean, also know as the B2 tower, and better known as the world’s tallest prefab tower. The fire-engine-red stacked building has seen numerous delays in the last four years thanks to lawsuits, leaks, and alignment issues. Its developer Forest City Ratner even opted to exit the modular business last month—although that’s not to say that the technology developed is any less valuable (more on that ahead). But now that celebratory champagne bottle can finally be popped, as this afternoon the developer held a grand opening ceremony to kick off the official start of leasing.
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.
Photo of the construction progress at 461 Dean Street in January, via Field Condition
After suffering delays, lawsuits, leaks and alignment issues, Pacific Park’s 461 Dean Street (aka the B2 Tower) is finally wrapping up construction and has just launched its affordable housing lottery. The 32-story structure from SHoP Architects will be the world’s tallest prefab tower, and of its 363 units, 181 will be available to low- and middle-income households. This will range from $559/month studios to $3,012 two-bedrooms and from individuals earning $20,675 annually to families of four earning $144,960.
B2 Tower photo © Field Condition
“A new technology, designed to tame forces that could separate an astronaut’s eyeball from her retina, may also keep the one percent from throwing up,” says The Real Deal. They’re talking about a fluid harmonic disruptor, a device used during space takeoffs to protect astronauts from violent vibrations, which will be employed by structural engineering firm Thornton Tomasetti at Forest City Ratner’s B2 BKLYN, the 32-story modular tower at Pacific Park that could definitely succumb to queasy-making swaying and vibrations. The firm will put six water-filled pipes on the roof of the building, making up 0.5 percent of its total mass; then the disruptor will alter how the fluid, and therefore the building, reacts to wind and other vibrations.
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.
Real Estate Wire: Inside The Shops at Hudson Yards; Park Avenue Pad Sells for Record-Breaking $71.3M, Thu, September 4, 2014
- A 740 Park Avenue pad just traded hands for $71.3M, making it the most expensive NYC co-op ever sold. The apartment was originally listed for $48M. [Curbed]
- Forest City Ratner wants to take over producing the modular units for the stalled B2 tower at Pacific Park next to the Barclays Center. The developer is currently embroiled in a legal dispute with the contracting company, Skanska USA. [Crain’s]
- New renderings of ‘The Shops’, the Hudson Yard’s planned one million square feet of retail space. [NY YIMBY]
- When (and if?) completed, the WTC transit hub designed by Santiago Calatrava will have cost between $3.7 and $4 billion—way over its $2 billion budget. [WSJ]
The Shops (left); 740 Park Avenue (right)