Rendering of 86 Fleet Place via Goldstein, Hill & West (L); Construction as of October 2016, via CityRealty
Way back in 1982, the CEO and owner of Red Apple Group, John Catsimatidis (you may know him better as the billionaire owner of Gristedes or for his failed Republican run in the last mayoral election) paid $500,000 for a 2.5-acre, four-block site in Downtown Brooklyn, on the western edge of Fort Greene. Thirty-five years later, construction is wrapping up on the final, and by far the tallest, of the four-tower development. The curving glass building at 86 Fleet Place was designed by Goldstein, Hill & West and will rise 32 stories/350 feet and house 440 rentals, 29 of which are set aside as affordable and have just come online through the city’s affordable housing lottery. They range from $833/month studios to $1,247/month three-bedrooms and are available for those earning 45 to 60 percent of the area media income.
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Developer John Catsimatidis’ Red Apple Group has filed plans for a 21-story tower on a Surf Avenue parcel that he purchased last summer according to Brooklyn Daily; the tower is part of a three-building Coney Island project that will likely include 415 apartments and retail. In the billionaire grocery mogul’s typically patient fashion, he has slowly been acquiring the Boardwalk-adjacent lots between West 35th and West 37th streets for the project, called Ocean Dreams, since 2005.
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Construction has begun on the final building of the four-tower development on the western edge of Fort Greene. The 32-story tower at 86 Fleet Place will house 440 rental units and will be the culmination of a 15-year redevelopment of a low-slung, Robert Moses-era retail strip along Myrtle Avenue.
The developer of 86 Fleet, and three other sibling buildings to the east, is Red Apple Group’s CEO and owner John Catsimatidis, who we might better remember as the billionaire Republican candidate in the last mayoral election and the owner of the oft-maligned Gristedes grocery store chain. According to the Wall Street Journal, Red Apple picked up the 2.5-acre, four-block site for $500,000 from Long Island University in 1982. The site spans 900 feet along the southern frontage of Myrtle Avenue, between Flatbush Avenue Extension and Ashland Place, and shares its blocks with the Toren condominium to the west and the Fred Trump-built University Towers complex to the south.
More details on the development
Patience is a virtue; one that billionaire tycoon and former mayoral candidate John Catsimatidis clearly has in droves.
Cats demonstrated this when he had the foresight to purchase a block of land on Myrtle Avenue in Fort Greene, over 30 years ago, back when the street was appropriately nicknamed Murder Avenue. Not many people would have seen the value in property in an area where Cats jokes that he had to carry two guns “just in case one of the guns runs out of bullets”. However, Cats saw it as a worthy investment. And boy was he right. A few decades and a change of zoning laws have allowed Cats to turn this once terrifying spot into the building site of 4 residential skyscrapers with retail stores on the ground floor. Not a bad deal for a piece of property purchased for under a million dollars says the understatement of the century.
Learn more about Catsimatidis’ development project here
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