The day after securing a $93 construction loan, the Rabsky Group has announced that 100 out of the 500 rentals at their massive Rheingold Brewery development will be below-market rate. As Curbed notes, Bushwick residents have been advocating that the 400,000-square-foot project include affordable housing since it was first announced, spurred not only by the neighborhood’s need, but the fact that Rabsky had no legal obligation to include affordable units.
We hear so frequently about the players behind Manhattan’s billion-dollar real estate projects and how foreign investors are pouring a global vault’s worth of currency into New York City property, often shielded by LLCs. It’s illuminating to get a closer look at the city’s larger real estate landscape–one that has changed so much in recent decades–and learn who’s behind the soaring property values, skyrocketing rents, frenzied flipping and veritable horse-trading that has driven the unprecedented and transformative gentrification beyond Manhattan’s rarified development scene.
A recent story by The Real Deal titled “Learning and earning: Hasidic Brooklyn’s real estate machers” reveals that a huge slice of the borough’s real estate pie is owned by the Hasidic community. The ultra-orthodox sect reportedly includes some of Brooklyn’s wealthiest property owners, to the tune of $2.5 billion.
In March of 2015, the cube-happy architects at ODA revealed their design for 10 Montieth Street, part of Bushwick‘s 10-block Bushwick’s Rheingold Brewery site. The 400,000-square-foot, 400-unit rental building from the Rabsky Group has a bow-tie shape with a sloping zig-zagging green roof and amenity-laden courtyard.
Last week, renderings were released for a second project from ODA at the Rheingold site, this one with developer All Year Management. Inspired by a “European Village” and dubbed Bushwick II, this rental one ups 10 Montieth; it will encompass one million square feet over two city blocks and have 800-900 units, as well as an entire system of interconnecting courtyards and common spaces that break from the street grid, an 18,000-square-foot central park, and a 60,000-square-foot rooftop with an urban farm and recreational spaces including a pool. Dezeen has uncovered additional renderings of Bushwick II that showcase these outdoor spaces, and they do not disappoint.
Design firm RAAD is no stranger to boundary-pushing projects (their founder James Ramsey is a co-creator of the Lowline underground park), and their latest endeavor may grant them bragging rights as the designers behind the city’s, perhaps even the world’s, largest urban farm.
Brownstoner spotted conceptual renderings (read: the developer has not filed permits nor have they confirmed they’ll move ahead with RAAD’s vision) for 930 Flushing Avenue in Bushwick, part of the Rheingold Brewery mega-development. The mixed-use project, officially known as 1 Bushwick, would offer commercial, retail, residential, hotel, cultural, and agricultural spaces. The aforementioned rooftop farm would be nearly 165,000 square feet; Brooklyn Grange, which is currently the world’s largest rooftop soil farm, occupies 108,000 square feet across two sites. A description of 1 Bushwick says: “Guests relaxing in the rooftop pool will be regaled by a rare experience: views of the skyscrapers of Manhattan — and cornfields.”
Google Earth rendering of the new residential buildings going up in Downtown Brooklyn, via CityRealty
We recently reported that New York City was entering its biggest building boom since 1963. Building permits rose 156 percent over the last year, accounting for 52,618 new residential units. If that number seems large to you, keep in mind it’s spread over the five boroughs, including the supertall towers of Manhattan. But a new report from CityRealty shows that northern Brooklyn alone with get 22,000 new apartments over the next four years.
According to the report, which only looked at buildings with 20 or more units, “around 2,700 new units are expected to be delivered in 2015. That number will nearly double in 2016, when approximately 5,000 apartments will be ready for occupancy.” The majority of these units, 29 percent or 6,412 apartments, will come to Downtown Brooklyn, followed by Williamsburg with 20 percent or 4,341 units.
ODA’s 10 Montieth Street (L); BIG’s 8 Tallet (R)
If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then Bjarke Ingels should give himself a big pat on the back. A newly revealed residential design by architectural firm ODA for the Rheingold Brewery site in Bushwick looks a lot like Bjark Ingels Group‘s (BIG) 8 Tallet in Copenhagen.
The Denmark building takes the shape of a figure 8 with a sloping ramp that runs from the base of the building to its roof, creating a large interior courtyard. Similarly, the 400-unit rental building planned for Bushwick at 10 Montieth Street has a subtle bow-tie shape with a sloping, zig-zagging green roof and amenity-laden courtyard. And just as 8 Tallet is the largest private development ever undertaken in Denmark, ODA’s 400,000-square-foot building would be the largest residential building ever built in the area if completed.
Of Brooklyn’s gentrifying neighborhoods, few have seen such rapid change as Bushwick. The neighborhood, which sits in the northern portion of the borough, running from Flushing Avenue to Broadway to Conway Street and the Cemetery of the Evergreens, has grown as a natural extension of Williamsburg—a haven for creatives and young folks looking for lower rents. But well before its trendy vibe put it on the map, Bushwick was a forested enclave originally settled by the Dutch—its name is derived from a Dutch word “Boswijck,”defined as “little town in the woods”—and later, German immigrants who began building breweries and factories.
Unfortunately, as the breweries along Brewer’s Row and factories closed and farms disappeared, derelict buildings and crime took hold—with the looting, arson and rioting after the city’s blackout during the summer of 1977 playing a starring role. According to the New York Times, “In a five-year period in the late 1960s and early 70s, the Bushwick neighborhood was transformed from a neatly maintained community of wood houses into what often approached a no man’s land of abandoned buildings, empty lots, drugs and arson.”