View Full Version : Brooklyn waterfront development

February 6th, 2003, 08:54 AM
NY Times...

Competing Ideas to Develop Brooklyn Waterfront

Things are starting to happen on Brooklyn's most promising stretch of undeveloped waterfront. Sort of.

At the end of North 12th Street in Williamsburg, on a lot now filled with oil tanks, a man named Adam Victor, assisted by the son of a famed Soviet dissident, wants to build a $1 billion Frank Gehry-inspired complex lined with art galleries, video galleries and a sculpture park. It would be, Mr. Victor said, "representative of the thriving artistic community that is the north side of Williamsburg."

It would also, not incidentally, house an 1,100-megawatt power plant, big enough to light a million homes.

Just to the north, a woman who sometimes dresses in Civil War uniforms to deliver school lectures hopes to buy a cove from a Saudi-owned oil company for a museum dedicated to the warship Monitor, the Union ironclad, which was built nearby.

To the south, one of Mr. Victor's potential neighbors has a big "Fight the Power" mural painted on the side of his building. This gesture of grass-roots solidarity with local preservationists is motivated largely by the man's fears that the plant would kill any chance for him to build a 34-story apartment tower on his parcel.

That would be right next to the spot where the city proposes to hold the beach volleyball competition at the 2012 Olympics.

Of all the wasted waterfronts in the city, the crumbling stretch of the East River in Williamsburg and Greenpoint might be the biggest. It is at the foot of two of the city's most vibrant neighborhoods, yet for years its breathtaking views of Manhattan have been enjoyed only by rats and trespassers.

Certainly, not all of these visions will be realized. If the last 20 years of attempts to redevelop the Williamsburg waterfront are any indication, none of them may. What happens next will depend to some degree on what the Bloomberg administration wants, and that has been a mystery.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has promised grand plans for housing and parks on the waterfront in Greenpoint and Williamsburg. But the city is in dire need of electricity, and it is reluctant to chase off a potential supplier at a time utilities are having trouble finding money to build plants.

Today, the city is scheduled to announce whether it will weigh in with the state on Mr. Victor's TransGas Energy Systems application.

But whatever happens, the discussion is likely to be lively.

"This is not your average not-in-my-backyard situation," said Stephen K. Hindy, a member of the community board who opposes the plant. He is also the president of Brooklyn Brewery, a few blocks in from the water. "We're really talking about the future of an incredible resource for the city of New York. You're really talking about New York City's backyard."

"The plant doesn't need to look nice to fit in with this," said Mr. Solzhenitsyn, an urban planner who works for an environmental consulting firm in New Jersey called TRC and is the son of Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn, the Nobel laureate and Soviet dissident.

But TransGas Energy, which has contracted to buy the land from Bayside, promises that it will.

The building, Mr. Victor and his consultants say, would echo the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao and the Sydney Opera House in Australia.

Not only that, they say, the plant would burn relatively clean natural gas and recycle its waste heat to make steam to heat buildings in Manhattan. Mr. Victor, 49, who has built a 250-megawatt plant in Syracuse, said he would also remove the underground residue — mostly petroleum and coal-tar waste — from the site.

"This is a facility," Mr. Victor said, "that cleans up the air, cleans up the soil, saves water, improves electric reliability, generates half a billion dollars in economic activity, and will save the electric and steam ratepayers in New York City tens of millions of dollar a year at the same time that it serves as a catalyst for the redevelopment of the underachieving North Brooklyn waterfront."

Mr. Victor, who says the site he has picked out is the only practical one because of its proximity to various steam and oil pipelines, says he does not see why the power plant, a park, a museum, housing and beach volleyball courts cannot coexist.

But few people in Williamsburg and Greenpoint seem to share that view. Most of the area's elected representatives have come out loudly against the project, and many residents have rejected the idea.

"We don't really care how nice the galleries are," said Deborah Masters, a prominent sculptor who lives nearby. "We don't want to live next to 4,000 tons of particulate matter" — the amount the plant's opponents say the smokestack would discharge annually.

Many locals are not excited about the prospect of 30-story apartment houses on the waterfront, either. But next door to the power plant site, a would-be rival developer, Norman A. Brodsky, hopes to be seen as the lesser evil.

Mr. Brodsky, 60, the man with "Fight the Power" painted on his wall, owns CitiStorage, one of the biggest archiving firms in the Northeast. He said he would gladly move his holdings of two million boxes out of his waterfront warehouse if he could build apartments, and added that there is no way anyone would willingly choose to live next to a power plant, no matter how many amenities it had.

"It would kill all waterfront housing development for the next 10 generations," he said.

Just north of the Bayside tanks, Janice Lauletta-Weinmann dreams of building a museum about the Monitor, which was launched in 1862 from Continental Ironworks, along a tiny spur of the river called Bushwick Inlet.

The state granted the museum a charter in 1996, but Ms. Lauletta-Weinmann has not been able to find a home for it. She was negotiating with the owner of the land that borders the inlet, Motiva Enterprises, a gasoline refiner jointly owned by Saudi Refining and the Shell Oil Company. But Motiva withdrew the offer, then withdrew another one it had extended to the Trust for Public Land, which wants to turn the land along the inlet into a park.

There are plans to redevelop the waterfront in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. One plan, for a site at North 12th Street, calls for galleries, a sculpture park — and a power plant.

February 6th, 2003, 04:13 PM
Seems good, either an interesting power plant there or a 30 story apartment building is good for me

I just hope the plant isn't that big

February 6th, 2003, 04:56 PM
There are a lot better things to have there, but at least if they make it nice looking and throw in some nice additions, it makes it a little more palatable.

April 21st, 2003, 03:46 PM
I live in the neighborhood and while this lot is littered with garbage, I still enjoy walking around on a nice sunny day. *I would like to see these lots turned into public parks, for all to enjoy. *Also, note that there are low rise apartment (tenement type) buildings and converted loft buildings (both about 6 stories high) right across the street where plenty of people already live. *Im sure they would NOT appreciate living across the street from a power plant.

April 21st, 2003, 03:53 PM
There will be public parks along the waterfront in the area, just not right there. It's supposed to be an architecturally distinctive building anyway.

April 21st, 2003, 04:19 PM
It does not really matter if it is going to be "architecturally distinctive." *I do not want a power plant in my neighborhood, nor does anyone else. *


April 21st, 2003, 04:36 PM
That's called NIMBYism.

The power plant is necessary. If it wasn't here, it would be somewhere near there. The planners are trying to make it the least intrusive as they can. Your concerns about toxic emissions are exaggerated, as nothing that would be known to directly harm the community would be built. Lastly, please do not debate this unless you have a better argument.

April 21st, 2003, 06:18 PM
I would agree with ag that powerplant does not belong on the waterfront. There are lovely views across the Hudson and it should be residential area.

The need for the power plant is not so straightforward. Although there is obviously a need for a power generation, putting a fossil fuel burning power plant in the middle of a densely populated area is not wise. All power plants have to be outside of the city.

April 23rd, 2003, 10:50 AM
Will the redevelopment even happen if the plant isn't a part of it? *If not, as long as the plant is designed responsibly around other more pedestrian and community friendly elements, it should be okay.

April 24th, 2003, 08:11 PM
If the filtration system in that plant is up to modern standards, the emissions from the facility should be virtually unnoticeable. *As an example look at a number of much older, oil-burning power plants in Manhattan. *This plant will be absolutely spotless compared to those.

As for the need for additional power, it makes little sense to build power plants outside the city, because there is a severe lack of transmission capacity to get power into the city proper. *Even a proposed new transmission line as unobtrusive as an underwater cable from Connecticut to Long Island has turned into a pitched battle, with NIMBY's claiming that the cable will "disrupt oyster beds." *Therefore, if you don't want blackouts, you need to build the plants inside the city.

If, in fact, the facility is architecturally distinctive, I see no reason why it would destroy the neighborhood.

April 25th, 2003, 11:21 AM
Thanks Edward/

April 25th, 2003, 02:07 PM
It seems there are two levels to this discussion, one is how to optimally generate and deliver electric power, and the other how to do it in less than perfect circumstances. Generally speaking, I think that electricity should be produced by nuclear power plants that do not pollute the air and are located outside of cities.

However, I understand that the City of New York has to make decisions in the face of pathetic Federal energy policy and severe lack of transmission capacity. Under these circumstances, building small gas-burning power plants could be regarded as a reasonable solution to the energy problem, but not ideal by any means. And, of course, the waterfront is not the best place to build a power plant.

TLOZ Link5
April 28th, 2003, 08:10 PM
I'd guess any proposed plant would use natural gas or steam as its power source. *These have much less of a pollutant impact than most other power plants. *I actually live a few long blocks away from a steam plant and I haven't been stricken with emphysema yet (although my mother's secondhand smoke may beat the plant to it).

May 6th, 2003, 12:10 PM
TransGas Energy Systems seems to have spent a lot on renderings. \http://www.transgasenergy.com/tgefacility.htm

Here's what the site looks like now.


The following renderings illustrate the TGE facility within the context of off-site parks that have been proposed: *a possible USS Monitor museum, Olympics 2012 facility and waterfront parkland. *The renderings do not imply that TGE is funding parks on the north side of the Bushwick Inlet or south of North 12th street.


Shows how the lights on the tower change color.

Just of the planned facility


I like how they make the smokestack look like a highrise.



Plenty more on the site including views from the ESB and other parts of Brooklyn.

May 6th, 2003, 02:09 PM
I hope this gets built. *It offers possibilities for urban development that move beyond the stale paradigm of a residential playground ringing a corporate theme park. *I'd like to see more new structures that offer residents alternative forms of employment.

May 6th, 2003, 04:02 PM
Definitely the prettiest power plant I've ever seen...

May 6th, 2003, 04:20 PM
Could be a WHOLE LOT worse. Not bad at all, actually. It does look nice like a "tower." *Plus, if it's clean(er) and we need the power and they offer some parkland, galleries, jobs, etc., what's that horrible?

TLOZ Link5
May 6th, 2003, 07:00 PM
The renderings show the Elmhurst gas tanks in the background.

May 7th, 2003, 05:08 PM
I don't know. *Something about having a park next to a power plant doesn't feel right inside of me. *However, this is the type of urban planning and compromise that works for all sides. *Besides, I don't see any other meaningfult developements in the are except other industrial edifices.

May 13th, 2003, 08:08 AM
May 13, 2003

City Opposes Power Plant on Waterfront


The Bloomberg administration said yesterday that it would oppose a plan to build a 1,100-megawatt power plant on the Brooklyn waterfront. The plant has been proposed on a scenic parcel in Williamsburg that many regard as one of the most promising tracts of undeveloped land in the city.

"While the administration acknowledges the need to create new generating capacity within New York City to keep up with our demand for power, it is also our job to make sure that new facilities are in the right place," said Jennifer Falk, a spokeswoman for the mayor.

She said City Hall favored housing and open space on the land rather than a power plant. She said that within weeks the administration would announce its own plan for a 1.6-mile stretch of Brooklyn waterfront that includes the site.

The power plant was proposed by TransGas Energy, which contracted to buy the blighted eight-acre site of a fuel oil depot for the project and said it would also include art galleries and a sculpture park. The site is close to Williamsburg's gallery and restaurant district and has a sweeping view of Manhattan.

Opposition by the city does not necessarily halt the project, since the state controls the location of new power plants. Adam Victor, the owner of TransGas, said yesterday that state regulators would conduct a 12-month review of its application, and that the city's position would be weighed against arguments in favor of the plant.

The state regulators "should see this for what it is, another reminder that everybody wants power, but nobody wants plants."

The plant envisioned by Mr. Victor would generate enough electricity to light one million homes, burn relatively clean natural gas and recycle its waste heat to make steam that would heat buildings in Manhattan. Ms. Falk said that TransGas Energy had provided an "innovative design" and that the city would "work proactively to identify alternative locations" for the plant.

Mr. Victor responded last night by saying, "There is no other place it can be sited," in part because the Williamsburg parcel would provide access to Manhattan's steam pipes through a new tunnel to be built under the East River.

David Yassky, a member of City Council whose district includes the site, said late yesterday that "the mayor has made a terrific decision to move forward with waterfront revitalization."

"A power plant would destroy that chance," he said.

Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

May 13th, 2003, 10:21 AM
I pretty much agree that this is better as residential and park/leisure, but the city and state are awful at doing anything. *Lokk at friggin' Queens West! *Will this actually get done. *it should, but will it? *

June 19th, 2003, 07:48 AM
June 19, 2003

City Seeking to Rezone Brooklyn Waterfront


City officials yesterday announced a rezoning plan that would open the crumbling East River sections of Williamsburg and Greenpoint in Brooklyn to housing and recreation.

The plan is the first concrete step that the Bloomberg administration has taken since it announced last month that it would oppose a proposed 1,100-megawatt power plant on the Williamsburg waterfront. The city's plan calls instead for housing and open space on the 1.6-mile stretch of Brooklyn riverfront between the Williamsburg and Pulaski Bridges, and increased residential and commercial zoning in a 170-block swath inland.

Community groups that had long opposed the power plant applauded the city's plan, which includes zoning for residential towers along the waterfront and provisions for low-income housing among market-rate apartments.

"It's historic," said Adam Perlmutter, a lawyer for the Greenpoint-Williamsburg Waterfront Task Force, which opposed the plant. "It's an opportunity to put a waterfront out there worthy of Sydney, Seattle, and San Francisco."

The area has been largely zoned for manufacturing for 42 years. In recent decades, as waterfront industries were replaced by residents and stores, the area took on a patchwork of uses.

"We walked block by block, street by street, and it became clear that a standard rezoning was inappropriate," said Amanda M. Burden, the chairwoman of the City Planning Commission.

The commission's 18-month study used community input to come up with a combination of residential, mixed use, and commercial zoning. The proposed zoning map is full of indentations where the zoning was fine-tuned to fit in with current use. The proposal includes low-to-middle-income housing, legalization of lofts, extensive public access to the waterfront, and a riverside esplanade with adjacent recreational space. In line with a request to protect existing industry, the plan preserves manufacturing in currently industrial areas like the Domino's Sugar factory. The most striking change would be the erection of 150- to 350-foot-high residential towers in a landscape that is nearly as flat as it was a century ago.

Community groups and elected officials praised the plan yesterday. "They seem to be determined to make this a centerpiece of a very unique waterfront community," said Christopher Olechowski, the chairman of Community Board 1's rezoning task force.

Supporters cited the plan's designation of a state park at an 8-acre riverfront site at North 12th Street where TransGas Energy has applied to the state to build a power plant. David Flanagan, a spokesman for the State Public Service Commission, said that it is very early in the state approvals process but that " zoning will be a key issue for the case."

The park would be financed by the Olympics and used for beach volleyball and archery if the Games come to New York in 2012. A few blocks south, New York University plans to build playing fields, which would also be used for the Games. A spokeswoman for the City Planning Commission said that the plan calls for open space on the site, even without the Olympics.

Daniel L. Doctoroff, deputy mayor for economic development and rebuilding, said that the area should remain recreational space. The TransGas application, he said, is not consistent with the city's proposal.

Over years of industrial use, parts of Greenpoint and Williamsburg have suffered from environmental contamination. Adam Victor, the owner of TransGas, said it would cost at least $35 million to clean the North 12th Street site enough to use it as a park. But Mr. Doctoroff said there was no study to back that figure and added that cleanup would be paid for by corporations that had caused the contamination. The city also plans to offer up to $200 million to help developers clean up the sites.

Last night the city presented the plan to a Community Board 1 zoning task force, and on Tuesday it will present it to the public. In coming months, the department will review the plan with Community Board 1, business, neighborhood and civic groups, and elected officials, with final approval required by the City Council.

Some residents have fought new industrial plants and new residential towers. But Steve Hindy, owner of the Brooklyn Brewery on North 11th Street and a member of Community Board 1, said allowing towers was necessary. "There's a pretty large number of people in the community that are opposed to anything above five or six stories," he said. "But 30 years of saying no to housing proposals on the waterfront is what brought us the proposal for a garbage transfer station, which we were very lucky to defeat, and it's what brought us the proposal for the power plant, which we hope to defeat. So I hope people realize that they've got to say yes to something here."

Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

June 19th, 2003, 07:49 AM
#Moderation Mode

<a href="http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/topic.cgi?forum=3&topic=202" target="_self">Moved here</a>

July 7th, 2003, 09:55 PM
Hey, sorry if this has been mentioned, or if this is strictly a Greenpoint thread, but there's some waterfront developments going on South of Greenpoint too.

In addition to the Brooklyn Bridge Park, which maybe expanding to 6 piers, before it's even started. Additionally, The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, also known as the Jehovah’s Witnesses, announced this week their interest *in selling their landmark printing facility at 360 furman st. on the Brooklyn Piers between Jorealemon st & Atlantic ave.

“It’s a million square feet and it has absolutely spectacular views of the Harbor and Lower manhattan.

It's a gorgeous 1928 factory building with enormous potentional for great loft/residential or commecial space.

You can read more about it here:


(I haven't posted here before, but I'm impressed with the relative civility of these boards compared with most of cyberspace.)

July 7th, 2003, 10:02 PM
Here's a few other links to this news, with some photos. The building is right between piers 5 & 6 and, surrounded by the future brooklyn Bridge park. Any residentional development will have astronomical prices, with the views of Wall st., the Verrazano bridge, statue of liberty and brooklyn bridge. Oy!




July 7th, 2003, 10:21 PM
I didn't even know it was owned by them.

It would do well as a residential conversion, though I doubt too many people would enjoy looking out their windows and seeing the BQE.

August 1st, 2003, 11:10 AM
Better that large scale development is created on the Brooklyn shore than on the Jersey shore.

August 3rd, 2003, 02:28 PM
What the city has in mind.
Rendering by Morello Art & Design
Ehrenkrantz Eckstut & Kuhn Architects

August 3rd, 2003, 04:58 PM
What is this from??

August 3rd, 2003, 05:01 PM
Ah, W'burg and Greenpoint. *I wonder if this is their plan for Red Hook, too. *

August 10th, 2003, 05:55 PM
Looks good. And lots of public park. I hope the designs turn out similar to the study.

September 19th, 2003, 10:47 PM
These Waterfront ideas are spectacular and Greenpoint/Williamsburg can use the facelift. I am supplying 2 more beautiful Waterfront properties on Kent Ave.... Hi end residential Hi-rises. Some apartments are condo and some are rentals.. with about 20% subsidized. I have not seen the exterior architecturals, but the plumbing fixtures will be medium to high end (and modern styling).

Someone asked about Red Hook ... if there were easier public transit access, Red Hook would be booming now too. Several developers I have spoken with LOVE the area, but are afraid they won't attract the NYC crowd without better train access.

October 17th, 2003, 02:19 PM
Building buildings THAT big THAT close to the waterfront?

This is not the pallisades you know! You build a wall of buildings that high that close to the strip and it will discourage further development behind it.

I think the same regulations they have for the island should be applied here. Only a certain height for a certain distance from the shoreline.

A careful balance must be struck or you will get unchecked development as what is being built along the Jersey Shore right now with monstrocities in Downtown Jersey City, or popcorn like condo development in Weehawken and Edgewater.

Shanghai is currently developing a section of its waterfront in much of a similar way, but at least they had the sense to allow a setback for the taller buildings that was a bit more reasonable that the one shown here....

TLOZ Link5
October 17th, 2003, 02:53 PM
The development has been carefully planned, and it has been lauded by most of the community. The maximum height is only 350 feet, and most of the buildings will be much shorter. It's not going to be a sheer row of towers, either; there'll be plenty of space in between and sight lines will be preserved. This is a very exciting project and definitely worth the time and effort.

October 21st, 2003, 10:36 AM
Link man, come over to Hoboken and take a look at what I am talking about....

Those buildings along the waterfront there are only 150-200 feet high, but they are being built up all over.

They were not a wall to begin with, but the spots in between were built up after the first ones were done. The Shipyard and the South Waterfront are prime examples.

April 12th, 2004, 05:57 PM
Watchtower building sold

The Jehovah's Witnesses have made a deal to sell their 1 million-square-foot building on the Brooklyn waterfront to RAL Development Services, a residential development company.

The purchase price for the 12-story building, at 360 Furman St., was not disclosed. The religious group's Watchtower Bible and Tract Society had been handling worldwide shipping and distribution of Bibles and religious literature from the facility, but is relocating those operations to other buildings in Brooklyn and upstate New York. It will remain as a tenant in the building for one year.

RAL says it will coordinate development of the building, which was built in 1928, with the city's and state's plans to develop the Brooklyn Bridge Park. Manhattan-based RAL recently converted the former Arthur A, Levitt state office building at 270 Broadway to a residential and commercial use building, with 39 luxury condominiums.

Copyright 2004, Crain Communications, Inc

April 12th, 2004, 06:22 PM
It would probably be best used as commercial, residential, and hotel. The first 2 or 3 floors can be commercial (maybe retail on 1st) due to the BQE immediately adjacent to the building. Above that, the side facing the rest of the park could be hotel and the other side apartments.

April 12th, 2004, 10:38 PM
Good. The Jehovah's buildings are a blight on the waterfront.

April 12th, 2004, 10:49 PM
Unfortunately this one was probably the least of the blight. Do whatever you can to prevent their new complex at 85 Jay Street.

May 29th, 2004, 09:25 PM
May 30, 2004


Plan for Towers Looms Over Local Objections


A long-discussed proposal from the Jehovah's Witnesses to build a 1,000-unit residence hall and parking garage in Dumbo, Brooklyn, has reached the desks of city planners, worrying residents who are troubled by the project's size.

"Right now you think of Dumbo as 12-story buildings and 8-story buildings," said Nancy Webster, president of the Dumbo Neighborhood Association. "These are going to be 14, 16, 18 and 20."

The development at 85 Jay Street would cover the three-acre block bounded by Jay, Front, York and Bridge Streets. The religious group plans to house some 2,000 staff members, as well as an underground garage big enough for 1,100 cars, according to a rezoning request submitted to the Department of City Planning last month.

The Jehovah's Witnesses own about 30 buildings in Brooklyn Heights and Dumbo, which they use for offices, printing facilities, residences and shipping. The new residential buildings would bring life to an unpopulated lot, the proposal argues, while the parking garage is necessary because construction of the planned Brooklyn Bridge Park will force the society out of 700 spaces it leases on Pier 5. Calls to a Witnesses spokesman, Richard Devine, went unreturned.

Dumbo has between 1,500 and 4,000 residents - estimates vary - and the addition of 2,000 in a building that includes four towers has many residents concerned. Councilman David Yassky, whose district includes Dumbo, wants the Witnesses to pay for improvements to the adjacent York Street subway station and a nearby park. "My concern,'' he said, "is to make sure the infrastructure is upgraded along with the massive influx of people."

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

May 29th, 2004, 11:59 PM
The reason for opposition is off; the real detriment the complex will hand to DUMBO is the lack of ground-floor retail and the traditionally lackluster architecture of new JW buildings.

May 30th, 2004, 09:35 PM
:? well I hope they get a good architect fot this project. That will be a big complex.

May 30th, 2004, 09:55 PM

June 11th, 2004, 06:19 PM
Brooklyn Papers...

Watchtower’s DUMBO plans revealed to Brooklyn Papers


The Brooklyn Papers has obtained the first images of the four towers planned by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, the Jehovah’s Witnesses organization, for its vacant land along Jay Street.

By Deborah Kolben

The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society certified plans with the city this week to build a four-apartment-building complex at the edge of DUMBO and Vinegar Hill.

The Department of City Planning has been working with the Watchtower Society, the corporate entity of the Jehovah’s Witnesses religion, for the past year and a half to develop an appropriate design for the massive project a half block from the Manhattan Bridge.

Its world headquarters blocks away, the Watchtower is looking to consolidate many of its smaller residential facilities, which house thousands of volunteers.

The new development — on an immense, vacant plot of land bounded by Jay, Front, York and Bridge streets — would include 1,000 one-bedroom apartments divided between four towers reaching 20, 18, 16 and 14 stories. The tallest of the planned towers would be 220 feet. Four courtyards within the complex will be gated, but remain open during the day.

The plans include a three-story assembly hall with a seating capacity of 2,500, a 1,600-person dining facility and an 1,100-space underground parking garage.

The Watchtower Society expects to complete the massive construction project in 2006.

“We’re very anxious to share this with the public and get reaction,” said Watchtower spokesman Richard Devine.

The certification of the plans starts the clock on the city’s rigorous land use review process, with public hearings before Community Board 2, Borough President Marty Markowitz, the City Planning Commission and the City Council.

Currently zoned for manufacturing, the Watchtower Society originally planned a printing facility for the site and even began demolition that has left the plot vacant for the past 12 years.

But the organization this year shifted its printing facilities 90 miles outside the city to upstate Wallkill, N.Y., and decided to use the site for apartments instead.

The new Jehovah’s Witness visitors’ center would also be included at street level at the corner of York and Jay streets. Some 60,000 to 70,000 people visit the headquarters each year.

Area residents opposed to the plan have started circulating petitions and have already collected more than 1,200 signatures, according to Christy Nyberg, a Vinegar Hill resident who wants the plan scaled back.

“We’re going to have transient residents who don’t have any interest in our neighborhood,” said Nyberg, who lives on Bridge Street, and who started the Web site 85jaysreet.org to keep other residents informed about the development.

Critics of the project say the development will divide DUMBO and Vinegar Hill and will create a dangerous corridor with no retail shops. Others are worried about the additional traffic.

Citing religious reasons, the organization said they could not include businesses on the three-acre site.

The DUMBO Neighborhood Association and Councilman David Yassky are asking the Watchtower Society to invest in improvements to the dilapidated and dangerous York Street F train station and in the adjacent park.

June 12th, 2004, 12:13 PM
Not bad. They design moved up from Jehova witness crap to typical NYC residential crap.

June 12th, 2004, 12:27 PM
Definitely not a fan...

June 14th, 2004, 09:20 AM
On the one hand, I want to see a radical rise in the Brooklyn Skyline to compete with Jersey City. On the other hand, the buildings make a seemingly sensible transition from low rise Dumbo toward Downtown.

I agree it is uninspired architecture, certainly not the grand "citylights" design we had be seeing in previous posts.

June 14th, 2004, 08:04 PM
It has the feeling of a wall on both sides.

October 18th, 2004, 06:33 PM
At last, 100 Jay Street is found on The Hudson Companies' site as the J Condo:


Rising 33 stories with terrific panoramic views, J Condo will be a luxury residential condominium with ground floor retail space and a parking garage. As the tallest building in Dumbo, J Condo will add an easily recognizable icon to the Brooklyn skyline with its dramatic curved, sail-like façade of floor to ceiling windows viewable from the Manhattan Bridge, East River and Manhattan.

J Condo will offer 267 studio to three-bedroom apartments with luxury finishes, services and views not previously available in a new condominium building in Dumbo or downtown Brooklyn.


TLOZ Link5
October 18th, 2004, 06:48 PM
Is this what became of the Light Bridges development in DUMBO? It's nice, just not particularly inspirational.

October 18th, 2004, 08:05 PM
Yup, site of Light Bridges. I find the design to be lacking in its lower third. Really dull. The setup there is similar to Gruzen Samton's Tribeca Pointe.

November 21st, 2004, 03:00 PM

December 5th, 2004, 09:09 PM
Unsure if right thread...

Jehovah's Witnesses Win Approval For Residential Towers



Construction has reportedly been approved for a massive residential complex along the Brooklyn waterfront for Jehovah's Witnesses.

The Watchtower Society's three-acre parking lot at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge will be turned into a giant housing complex for nearly 2,000 members.

Neighbors complained that the four tower complex would be too big for the area. The tallest tower is expected to be 20 stories high. Critics also said the project would ruin DUMBO's charm and sense of character.

But, according to the New York Post, City Council's Zoning Subcommittee has cleared the way for construction begin next year.

December 5th, 2004, 09:11 PM
IMO, Id prefer to see residential towers opposed to a 3 acre parking lot.

December 5th, 2004, 09:29 PM
I'd rather see the parking lot for a year or two more.

The Watchtower Society has deadened much of the Brooklyn waterfront already. With this development, they will be taking a prime site in DUMBO and building a non-contributor. The only thing thing 85 Jay Street will add to the neighborhood is shadows, which I'm not usually against, but the proposed architecture is not exactly enthralling.

I also don't understand the no retail argument - why not let another company build and run the retail space?

December 5th, 2004, 10:14 PM
I also don't understand the no retail argument - why not let another company build and run the retail space?

Thats the part I dont like. It needs retail.

TLOZ Link5
December 5th, 2004, 11:26 PM
I guess that it's the belief of Jehovah's Witnesses that they can't live in the same building as a business.

December 6th, 2004, 02:19 AM
Well, it's some development of a parking lot, and it should free up a number of other properties in DUMBO and BK HTS. They've also sold (or are about to) that massive site on the water. This will be condos and part of BK Bridge Park, so they're not all bad.

December 7th, 2004, 10:59 PM
The image of 100 Jay Street changed on THC's site -


Now I really don't like it. It looks like they're using the slight "differentness" of the glass protrusions to take the eye away from the bland lower floors. GS did the same thing with Tribeca Pointe.

December 9th, 2004, 10:10 PM
I'm surprised the community hasn't flipped about this yet. Check out this article. Nothing new here, just people trying to preserve their views in the name of community activism.


Groups seek to downzone DUMBO
by Jess Wisloski
November 27, 2004
The Brooklyn Papers

December 9th, 2004, 10:18 PM
Does anyone have a pic of the BROOKLYN skyline? I cant seem to find one. :?

December 9th, 2004, 10:41 PM
JMGarcia took a good one more than a year and a half ago, and though missing the significant new construction since then, it it the best angle I've seen.

http://www.geocities.com/brooklyn_rise - main image

December 10th, 2004, 03:08 AM

December 10th, 2004, 01:39 PM
I continue to salivate at the thought of the NEW Downtown, along with Atlantic Yards and the Williamsburg/GP waterfront (and LIC). What a sight that should be in the somewhat near future. I just want some concrete plans instead of "chatter."

December 10th, 2004, 01:57 PM
"Somewhat in the near future" I hope so! But honestly, I bet it will be a LONNNGG time. :( BTW, Thanks for the pics everyone! BK has a great skyline! (Dosnt get enough credit)

TLOZ Link5
December 10th, 2004, 04:47 PM
"Somewhat in the near future" I hope so! But honestly, I bet it will be a LONNNGG time. :( BTW, Thanks for the pics everyone! BK has a great skyline! (Dosnt get enough credit)

Agreed. If Brooklyn were anywhere else in the U.S., it would be a fairly recognizable skyline. It's just overshadowed so much by Manhattan.

March 4th, 2005, 04:48 PM
Check out this panorama from Greenpoint's waterfront. You can roll over individual buildings in Manhattan and find info on them also.


April 24th, 2005, 08:11 PM
B'klyn waterfront off the back burner
Council moving toward rezoning vote

Published on April 25, 2005

Real estate developers may soon be able to begin building on a long-abandoned two-mile stretch of prime Brooklyn waterfront.

The City Council is slated to vote by May 18 on whether to convert 175 blocks in Greenpoint and Williamsburg, now zoned for industrial activity, into a mixed-use area for housing, parks, open space and some commercial use. Two council panels--the Land Use Committee and its Zoning & Franchises Subcommittee--will first take up the plan on May 3.

The New York City Planning Commission has been working with the mayor's office for several years to find a way to make better use of the neighborhoods, which have seen a precipitous decline in industrial activity. While an influx of artists and young professionals has driven up real estate values, much of the area near the East River remains undeveloped.

A key issue in the rezoning is affordable housing. The proposal targets roughly 23% of the planned 10,000 units for lower-income families. The Planning Commission, which argues that it's striking a balance between the demands of developers and housing advocates, believes the plan will pass muster.

"We think there will be a consensus," says Amanda Burden, chair of the Planning Commission. "If we don't do this, these 100 acres will fall prey to noxious uses, like power plants or waste transfer stations."

City officials, taking an approach similar to the one used to rezone Hudson Yards in Manhattan, are not imposing minimum levels of affordable housing. Instead, the Greenpoint-Williamsburg plan gives developers a financial incentive--the option to build more market-rate units if they build lower-priced housing.

For example, developers that offer 15% to 25% of their units at below-market rates will be allowed to build up to 4.7 times the area they purchased. But if they don't create affordable housing, they can only develop projects at a floor-area ratio of 4.

Private real estate interests have signed on. Park Tower Group has purchased 19 acres, the largest chunk of the rezoning area, and intends to include affordable housing.

"Based on the existing proposal, we hope to build a total of a 4.7 (floor-area ratio)," says Elizabeth Counihan, executive vice president of Park Tower, which has developed many Class-A office buildings in Manhattan. "This is a fabulous opportunity to create a piece of an existing neighborhood."

Park Tower plans to build 4,000 units over 10 years, with some becoming available as early as January 2008, Ms. Counihan says.

Not everyone is enthusiastic about the plan. Neil Sheehan, a housing advocate in Williamsburg, says the plan's voluntary mandate to build affordable housing makes it unlikely that developers will actually do so.

"There's not enough incentive in any way, shape or form for developers to decide to build affordable housing," he says.

--Anita Jain


April 24th, 2005, 08:16 PM
Glad to hear Park Tower Group is active again, I really like their stuff, George Klein is one of those developers who believes in signing big name architects as part of the overall design program.

April 29th, 2005, 08:20 PM
As always its not sensible to get your hopes up, too much.

New York Daily News:

Plan would stop plant by rezone

Not so fast, critics say


On the eve of a pivotal City Council vote on the future of Williamsburg and Greenpoint, a developer warned that an unpopular power plant will rise if rezoning is voted down.

"There's a huge risk" that the proposed TransGas power plant project on Kent Ave. and N. 12th St. will go forward should Council members reject the rezoning plan for the waterfront neighborhoods, said Adam Perlmutter, a lawyer speaking for developer George Klein.

Klein was one of dozens of interests jockeying for a say in the sweeping plan to rezone 175 blocks of Williamsburg and Greenpoint before the City Council Land Use Committee votes on it Monday.

"We've gotten just hundreds of calls and letters from so many people, advocacy groups and developers," said Councilwoman Melinda Katz (D-Forest Hills), chairwoman of the Land Use Committee. "It's high pressure; this is a huge rezoning."

But those fighting for neighborhood concerns such as affordable housing, park space, manufacturing jobs and limited building heights - issues at odds with the interests of real estate developers - disagreed with the lawyer.

"I don't think that he's being realistic," said Councilman David Yassky (D-Brooklyn Heights). "If we don't get the waterfront rezoning right this time, we'll do it right next time."

"No matter how you look at it, it's a bad argument. I sort of question his motives," said Peter Gillespie of Neighbors Against Garbage, a group that opposes the TransGas bid.

Klein's company, the Park Tower Group, is in contract for a 19-acre property in Greenpoint and stands to benefit enormously if the city changes zoning from manufacturing to residential.

His property is the biggest of several that will be developed with condo apartments if the rezoning measure passes. The 4,000 apartments the Park Tower Group intends to build are a large chunk of the total 10,000 apartments anticipated in the rezoning.

Meanwhile, heated talks between Council members and city leaders hammering out the final form of the proposed plan are expected to last through Sunday night, sources said.

Any plan approved by the committee is likely to pass the full Council, which is scheduled to vote on the plan Tuesday.

Hot-button issues such as how much affordable housing the plan will include have threatened to derail negotiations between the Bloomberg administration and the Council.

The administration's proposal calls for 23% of all the apartments built to be reserved for low- to moderate-income residents, while community advocates demand a heftier 40%.

"We know there's going to be compromises in the plan, but will they be acceptable to the community?" asked Beka Economopoulos, a Williamsburg advocate who is planning a rally at City Hall on Monday.

May 2nd, 2005, 04:05 PM
April 2005

Waterfront projects may put green in Greenpoint

By Dorn Townsend

On a recent sunny weekend afternoon, a small group of bed-headed twenty-somethings waited for a table outside the Greenpoint Coffee House on Franklin Avenue. New arrivals in what used to be the most overlooked and run-down section of the neighborhood, they pointed out some of the new bars and galleries and said they were comforted by the area's budding chic.

"The hardest thing about living in this neighborhood is getting to Manhattan for work," said Eric Marshall, a 29-year-old graphic artist. "But our remoteness works both ways; it means that it's also hard for people to get here, so maybe this area won't go crazy with development like other parts of Brooklyn."

But had this group heard about the proposed rezoning of the adjacent waterfront?

"I hear they're still fighting that one out in court, so it probably won't start for a few years," said Marshall.

Marshall and his friends are part of a continuing influx of new, young residents who have brought this Polish enclave a smattering of bright ethnic restaurants, bars playing alternative rock, and sharply rising rental costs. Last month, the city planning commission approved a plan to rezone a huge swath of the Williamsburg- Greenpoint waterfront, ushering in a transformative new era of development that will affect the neighborhood's last frontier. The plans have been sent to the City Council for review, the final step in the city's formal, seven-month public review process known as the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure. The Council is expected to hold hearings this month.

Plans include a two-mile-long pedestrian esplanade to replace chain-link fences now blocking access to the waterfront. Studded along that landscaped ribbon, 20 condominiums of varying heights will be built. Plans also exist for several playgrounds, retail space at the base of those condos, and water taxi service linking Greenpoint with Midtown.

"The whole landscape of Greenpoint will change," said Tom Le, a Fillmore broker. "This is a very exciting time, and the waterfront development will impact the whole market."

No definitive plans exist, but brokers anticipate that over the next decade between 3,000 and 8,000 new units will be built along the waterfront in Greenpoint. All of this construction will occur in what is now the most desolate pocket of the neighborhood.

Brokers say that the waterfront construction will greatly accelerate developments already changing that no-man's land. In the last two years, several new cafes, bars, galleries, and yoga studios opened along Franklin Avenue, the main artery of that sliver of Greenpoint. Despite the lack of convenient public transit to Manhattan, brokers say that many of their young walk-in clients are looking to rent space in that area.

"The same thing that happened along Bedford 10 years ago is happening along Franklin Avenue right now," said Rosemarie Pawlikowski, a real estate agent for Albero Parkside Realty. "Young people and artists have begun turning those warehouses into loft spaces. That part of Greenpoint is becoming the new Williamsburg."

It is unclear just how much waterfront development will change Greenpoint's real estate market. According to Fillmore, the cost of one- and two-family houses has already risen by 25 percent to 38 percent, depending on whether the home is built with brick or wood.

Rental prices, however, have stabilized. Several years ago the average monthly cost of a one-bedroom apartment was about $1,400, but these days, brokers agree similar apartments are going for $1,200.

"Greenpoint is a very stable neighborhood and the biggest problem has always been the lack of transit directly to Manhattan," said Le. "But what's about to happen to this neighborhood is going to change the whole landscape."

Copyright © 2003-2005 The Real Deal.

May 2nd, 2005, 06:48 PM
I think the 2 mile stretch of pedestrian waterfront will be extraordinary for the nieghborhood...sort of like the Promenade for Brooklyn Heights. I hope that this passes soon! :)

May 2nd, 2005, 07:29 PM
Plan to Transform Brooklyn Waterfront Advances at City Hall

Published: May 2, 2005

City officials reached agreement today on a plan that would transform the decaying north Brooklyn waterfront, with its relics of Brooklyn's industrial past, into a neighborhood of soaring residential towers with a parklike esplanade along the East River.

The plan, which rivals the ambition and scope of the creation of Battery Park City, would rezone a 175-block area of Greenpoint and Williamsburg, two neighborhoods that have surged in popularity because of the proximity to Manhattan but whose development has been curtailed because much of it is now restricted to industrial use.

The rezoning, unanimously approved by a pivotal City Council committee, would transform a long-crumbling waterfront into a vibrant residential neighborhood complete with 40-story luxury apartment buildings, restaurants, shops and manicured recreation areas. As envisioned by city planners, the rezoning will remake a largely flat skyline within eyeshot of Midtown Manhattan while also protecting a neighborhood that has long been considered a repository for unpopular projects like power plants, waste transfer stations and pornography shops.

And the plan would help realize decadeslong efforts to capitalize on one of New York's most underutilized assets: miles of neglected waterfront.

"This rezoning will ensure that the reuse of this priceless but long derelict waterfront will be for the purposes of housing and recreation and not for such inappropriate uses as waste transfer stations and power plants," Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg told reporters at a late afternoon news conference.

The plan, which is expected to be formally approved by the full City Council next week, imposes some novel requirements for developers seeking to build the housing.

In order to build to the maximum height of roughly 30 or 40 stories, they must keep up to one-third of the homes affordable to low- and middle-class New Yorkers, making it among the most aggressive such programs in the nation, city officials say. And the developers must build the waterfront esplanade, which will eventually be turned over for management to the city's Parks Department.

Copyright New York Times 2005

May 3rd, 2005, 12:40 AM
So anyone knows the difference between the 'pivotal City Council committee' and 'the full City Council committee'?

Either way, it is so cool that this rezoning was approved!

May 3rd, 2005, 09:56 AM
Mike makes housing deal

Mayor Bloomberg's plan to revitalize the Brooklyn waterfront took a giant leap forward yesterday when a last-minute deal was struck to reserve 33% of all new apartments for low- and moderate-income residents.

Tense talks between Bloomberg officials and City Council members ended just minutes before a Council committee approved the plan to create nearly 11,000 new apartments in Williamsburg and Greenpoint over the next decade.

"It's the largest commitment to affordable housing creation for low- and moderate-income households the city has ever made in such a rezoning plan," Bloomberg boasted.

The plan, which requires $130 million from the city, calls for towers of up to 40 stories with stunning river views. The deal will also create 54 acres of new public parks, including a 2-mile-long East River promenade.

The mayor said the plan - expected to pass a full Council vote on May 11 - was a "substantial improvement" over earlier versions that included 23% affordable housing.

Most of the estimated 3,548 affordable flats will be for families of four making less than $50,250.

Hugh Son

Originally published on May 2, 2005

All contents © 2005 Daily News, L.P.

May 3rd, 2005, 10:48 AM
Mike makes housing deal

The plan, which requires $130 million from the city, calls for towers of up to 40 stories with stunning river views.

Up to 40? hmmm i didn't read that one before, oh well.

May 4th, 2005, 11:14 AM
Housing deal gripes bloom
Locals pushing for more parks


The day after city officials signed off on a sweeping housing plan for the Williamsburg-Greenpoint waterfront, residents grumbled they were shortchanged on new public parks.

Although they applauded the fact that a third of the nearly 11,000 new apartments will be for low- and moderate-income residents, park activists said the 54 acres of new open space in the plan weren't nearly enough. Advocates wanted the city to add 70 acres of parkland by developing empty lots into green spaces.

"I think overall this is an excessively meager response given the dire parks need we have currently," said Joe Vance of the Greenpoint Waterfront Association for Parks and Planning.

The area's main public green space, McCarren Park, is rundown because of the thousands of residents who jam the area's only large-scale park, he said.

"It's horrendous," said Lillian Hnat, 55, gesturing to a basketball-court sized scar of exposed dirt in a field near Union and Driggs Aves. yesterday.

"I don't enjoy coming down here," Hnat said as she briskly pushed a stroller bearing her grandson Justin, 2. "When I see the parks that other neighborhoods have, it ticks me off."

"Yeah, it's kind of rundown," said Thomas Baker, 14, a student at nearby Automotive High School. "They should just hook it up a little; you know, fix it up."

Parks Department officials pointed to plans for a 28-acre waterfront park in Williamsburg that would be expected to host activities for the 2012 Olympics - should the city be named - and a 2-mile-long East River promenade.

"The parkland in the plan is a significant increase to what exists currently in the area," said Parks spokesman Warner Johnston. "The development plan balances the competing needs for housing and open space."

In tense negotiations this week, city officials sweetened the deal by promising to spend $25 million to turn an MTA-owned bus depot and a city sludge treatment facility in Greenpoint into 5 acres of park space.

Other improvements include $1 million to turn a derelict pool house in McCarren Park into a performance space and $600,000 for lights at a new soccer field.

The Parks Department also will study whether to convert Driggs Ave and Lorimer St. - which run through the park - into parkland.

Meanwhile, residents were bracing themselves for the coming flood of 40,000 new settlers expected in the next decade.

"It's terrible," said David Boyle, 46, an electrician. "A lot of people who fought to make this a better neighborhood aren't going to be here to enjoy it."

"I don't like it, but I see it as inevitable," said Williamsburg painter Heather Holden, 61. "Progress has to go on. People need places to live, and we artists always get kicked out."

Originally published on May 4, 2005

All contents © 2005 Daily News, L.P.

May 8th, 2005, 12:57 PM
May 08, 2005

L&M plans 750 units on Williamsburg waterfront

With final approval of the North Brooklyn rezoning expected in two weeks, New York City developer L&M Equity plans to build 750 to 800 housing units on the Williamsburg waterfront.

Ron Moelis, partner of L&M Equity, says his company plans to begin construction on four-and-a-half acres early next year with partner RD Management. Mr. Moelis says L&M hopes to build about 200 affordable housing units.


May 8th, 2005, 06:23 PM
Wow, this is great news, i can't wait for renderings on this one

May 10th, 2005, 03:11 AM
Ferrer and Mayor Clash on Brooklyn Rezoning

Published: May 10, 2005

The campaigns of Fernando Ferrer, a Democratic candidate for mayor, and Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg clashed yesterday over Mr. Ferrer's claim that industrial jobs are being threatened by the rezoning of the North Brooklyn waterfront.The city's plans include taking over two parcels where a storage business and a fuel company now operate to create a 28-acre park with an aquatics center that is part of the Olympic bid.

"Every time you scratch the surface of one of these Olympic deals you begin to see the bleeding of hundreds if not thousands of jobs," Mr. Ferrer said, adding that the use of eminent domain to obtain sites for the park would eliminate several thousand jobs.

Mr. Ferrer, who made his remarks in downtown Brooklyn also criticized the administration for discouraging business from American Stevedoring, a shipping company that says it employs 600 people. Mr. Ferrer added that if the area were designated an Olympic site, Bloomberg administration officials would be giving it more attention, and at one point referred to Daniel L. Doctoroff, the deputy mayor for economic development and rebuilding, as the "deputy mayor for the Olympics."

Pressed by reporters, Mr. Ferrer did not offer an alternative plan of his own except to say that he would have found a way to preserve jobs on the waterfront, which he conceded are in the hundreds, not thousands. He also said he would have worked to save jobs away from the waterfront as well.

In response, Mr. Bloomberg's campaign disputed the number of jobs left on the waterfront and accused Mr. Ferrer of suggesting policies that would drive jobs away.

"On over 100 acres of the Greenpoint-Williamsburg waterfront, there are fewer than 200 total jobs today, less than two jobs for each acre of waterfront land, and exactly zero manufacturing jobs," said Stu Loeser, Mr. Bloomberg's campaign spokesman.

Mr. Loeser said his job estimates were based on statistics from the New York State Department of Labor as used by the Department of City Planning.

But Norman Brodsky, the owner of CitiStorage, a document storage business that would be condemned under the plan for the waterfront park, said that his business employed 450 people full time. "The mayor doesn't know how to count," he said. Mr. Loeser did not offer an explanation for the discrepancy.

Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company

May 11th, 2005, 09:57 PM
Crains NY

B'klyn rezoning wins Council approval

The City Council overwhelmingly voted today in favor of the mayor's plan to rezone the Brooklyn waterfront plan, approving the proposal by a 49-to-1 vote. The plan calls for the rezoning of 175 blocks of Williamsburg and Greenpoint, to create a residential neighborhood complete with retail.

Good Good, whats that? Do I see a greta skyline coming?

May 11th, 2005, 10:51 PM
Greta who?

TLOZ Link5
May 11th, 2005, 11:30 PM
Greta who?

Garbo, obviously. It'll be a famous, mysterious, yet temptingly elusive skyline: a celebrated, skyscraping media darling everyone gabs about but few have been lucky enough to see.

May 11th, 2005, 11:45 PM
I can't wait for this! the anticipation!

aye aye

May 12th, 2005, 02:50 PM
Garbo, obviously. It'll be a famous, mysterious, yet temptingly elusive skyline: a celebrated, skyscraping media darling everyone gabs about but few have been lucky enough to see.

But, will it "talk" to us?

May 19th, 2005, 05:30 PM
From the Village Voice (http://www.villagevoice.com/news/0520,moses,64034,5.html):

A New Colony
Williamsburg deal great for Manhattan developers, but not everyone will be priced out
by Paul Moses
May 17th, 2005 12:08 PM

The colonization of northern Brooklyn will no doubt quicken under the city's Williamsburg-Greenpoint waterfront rezoning deal, which clears the way for Manhattan developers to mine real estate gold. The plan sets into motion forces that within a decade are expected to bring in 40,000 "settlers" (the Daily News' apt word), completing Williamsburg's transition from working-class enclave to skyscrapered Manhattan annex.

And yet, the deal the City Council reached two weeks ago has gotten applause from advocates for the poor and local politicians who tried to stop the Bloomberg administration from imposing a plan the community detested. The reasons go beyond the widely reported compromise for a third of the new housing units to be affordable. Pushed by a well-organized, grassroots opposition campaign, city officials agreed to important precedents that deserve more public attention than they've received.

First off, the deal upended the tax break given "as of right" to residential developers who build anywhere in the city except for an exclusion zone roughly between 14th and 96th streets in Manhattan.

For the first time, that exclusion zone for high-priced real estate will be extended outside Manhattan. It makes sense: If a piece of Brooklyn is going to be Manhattanized, the Manhattan rules should apply.

What it means is that if the developers are going to get the lucrative 421-a tax break, 20 percent of the new housing units will have to be affordable to low- and middle-income people.

This deal suggests that it's high time for the city to take another look at the 421-a subsidy, which last year cost its treasury $252 million and blotted out nearly $2 billion in assessed valuation.

"The question is now clearly on the table," said Brad Lander, director of the Pratt Institute Center for Community and Environmental Development.

Assembly housing committee chairman Vito Lopez had pushed for the change. "It's over a billion dollars the city was going to give up over the length of the exemption," which is 25 years, the Brooklyn Democrat said.

Interesting idea: The city's taxpayers should get something in return for their generosity—some affordable housing. But the deal went further, also establishing that poor and working-class people should be able to live in those tax-subsidized developments.

Before this, builders were granted "certificates" that meant they could put the affordable units they'd agreed to someplace else. According to several participants, the deal nearly unraveled in the wee hours of May 2 when Lopez insisted that the affordable units be located in the waterfront district itself. Lopez said he was able to push that point thanks in part to support from Bishop Joseph Sullivan of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn.

The deal also included a provision for the major developers to pay prevailing wages to service workers from Service Employees' Local 32BJ.

"You're talking about the difference between somebody making $30,000 a year and $40,000 a year and having health benefits," Lander said.

The deal set precedent by providing $20 million for nonprofit groups to aid manufacturers. And it created a $2 million fund to battle residential displacement.

In other words, if northern Brooklyn must be colonized by Manhattan interests, then there should be reparations. Here, the reparations are being paid in advance—another precedent.

That's not to say it's a happy ending.

"I think a lot of senior citizens will get housing, which is great. People with documents will get housing, which is great," said the Reverend Jim O'Shea, who helped organize residents through Churches United for Fair Housing and who supported the deal. But "the real poor people," undocumented immigrants, will be swept out by the accelerated gentrification, he said, adding that "in the real world," this was still the best deal possible.

And Adam Friedman, executive director of the New York Industrial Retention Network, was not optimistic about the prospect for keeping displaced manufacturing companies in the city. "The truth is, there's very, very little industrial space available in the city of New York," said Friedman, who praised the decision to set aside money to help find space for industry.

There were enough concessions from the city to draw support from most critics. But the headband-wearing Williamsburg Warriors, who convinced many a hipster that all those boring public hearings matter, will have none of it. These newcomers to Brooklyn were attracted to the neighborhood's Brooklyn-ness, not to a string of 40-story towers.

And besides, said Eve Sibley, the group's co-founder, there is still no guarantee in the deal that developers will take the subsidy to build affordable housing. But the longtime local groups pushing for affordable housing were pleased with the outcome—neighborhood residents will find that at least some of the "settlers" will be familiar faces.


June 28th, 2005, 01:18 AM
On the New Waterfront, a Place for the Old


Published: June 28, 2005

A certain postindustrial beauty still haunts the blocks along North Brooklyn's waterfront, where a Hopperesque panorama rendered in rust and brick stretches from Williamsburg to Greenpoint. Frozen in time and twisted in shape, some of these streetscapes once abuzz with factories are now better known as generic urban backdrops for cop shows.

A rezoning plan approved last month will allow much of this forlorn stretch to be remade by waterfront high-rises. Provisions were made to include a significant portion of housing affordable to low- and moderate-income residents, which allayed the fears of many opposed to wholesale luxury development.

While few would argue that the largely fallow waterfront was being wisely used before, the adjoining inland blocks are another story. They have long been home to scores of small factories that make everything from cabinets and candles to frames and food. As nondescript as they were affordable, their future is in flux as rezoning could allow landlords to opt for the big bucks by turning factories into loft homes.

The last thing someone living in a luxury loft wants to hear is the high-pitched shriek of buzz saws or rumble of delivery trucks that are part of the daily rhythms for the area's industrial ancestors.

"The city is all going to be service oriented and there will be no manufacturing left," said Bruno Holst, a woodworker whose shop was gentrified out of several Brooklyn neighborhoods until he settled into a Greenpoint factory that is off-limits to developers. "If you're not a doctor or a lawyer, where are you going to work? We all can't be computer experts. Everybody has a car, but nobody's a mechanic."

Mr. Holst is one of nearly 100 tenants inside a former rope factory located in a 19th century brick building at the end of Manhattan Avenue, where the Newtown Creek meets the East River. On the Queens side of the creek, the smokestacks that once marked that part of Long Island City as solidly industrial are being razed to make way for apartments. There is even talk of putting up an Olympic Village on land that was once home to the Fink Bakery and the Pepsi-Cola bottling plant.

On the Brooklyn side, longtime tenants in Greenpoint say they are facing pressure from landlords intent on cashing in on the area's improving fortunes. But local industry advocates insist the area still has many manufacturers who need to be in the city and not in New Jersey or on Long Island.

"The era of New York as a center of commerce with an active port and a lot of waterfront manufacturing, that's gone," said Paul Parkhill, the director of planning and development for the Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Center, a nonprofit industrial developer that runs the Manhattan Avenue building. "But there are a lot of small manufacturers who cater to a market within New York City. Many of them are creative enterprises who need to be close to their market and employ people who live close by."

Industry, Mr. Parkhill said, helps define the very nature of urban life.

"What makes a city a city?" he asked. "It seems to me a mix of uses is integral to urban life. If people are just living and consuming, is that why people live in a city?"

He estimated that there are more than 250,000 industrial jobs in the city, and they serve as important a role now as they did generations ago when they were the first and only resort for immigrants.

"Historically, those jobs were a way to climb into the middle class," Mr. Parkhill said. "They give jobs to people who cannot adapt easily to the service sector or who do not have the language skills for work even at a big-box store like Wal-Mart."

It was only a decade ago that warehouse-style stores were seen as the successor to industry in some neighborhoods, though in recent years they have been kept at bay by labor and community groups. City officials have begun to enact an industrial policy that they hope will help retain manufacturers.

The proposals, which state legislators passed late last week, would include a tax credit for manufacturers who relocate to specific industrial zones around the city that would then be protected from rezoning.

"We need to update and reflect the current industrial pattern in New York," said Carl Hum, director of the newly created Mayor's Office of Industrial and Manufacturing Businesses. "It's not smokestacks or factories where people are manufacturing widgets. Manufacturing is about things you see every day."

Bill Schunk makes something seen by thousands, perhaps millions, of people. He owns Frames New York, which builds frames for museums and galleries. He and two other employees cut the wood and assemble the frames before applying a finishing varnish inside a walk-in spraying booth.

"The booth is a good place to walk into and scream," Mr. Schunk said. "That alone pays for itself."

Screaming was something he was on the verge of in his old location in Downtown Brooklyn, after his landlord of 18 years gave him 30 days to move. The site, he said, is empty, still waiting for the day when the Nets arena will further boost real estate prices.

Mr. Schunk's business is now inside the Manhattan Avenue factory building. He figures he could have moved to Long Island, but at a cost.

"Before noon, I had three people drop things off," he said. "Almost all of my business is in Manhattan, so I would have had to send a truck around. You lose the human touch."

On the other side of Manhattan Avenue, Greenpoint's past and future continue to vie with one another. On one street, Stanley Gurewitsch is in the early stages of moving Star Candle to a Bronx industrial park. The company his father started in 1938 to make religious candles needed more space, thanks to the success of the younger generation, who, he said, pushed the company into making new products like scented candles.

"But there was no space available in the neighborhood," he said. "Everything was being eaten up by developers and the prices were exorbitant."

He said he could have saved money had he gone to New Jersey - but that would have meant giving up on the 200 New Yorkers he employs. The Bronx location, which he obtained with the help of the Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Center, allows him to keep most of his 200 employees.

Not too far from him, a small mom-and-pop carpentry shop with five employees faces a more uncertain future. After spending 19 years in a rented 5,000-square-foot garage-turned-woodshop, the couple learned the building had been sold out from under them when the new owners showed up to take measurements.

"I saw the plans," said the shop's owner, who refused to give his name for fear his clients would panic and cancel orders. "They want to put two eight-family homes here."

His wife still can't figure it out, plans or not.

"I grew up on this block, and I've seen places that nobody wanted to take now being turned into million-dollar condos," she said, also declining to give her name. "Two four-room railroad flats combined into a four and four. And people bought it!"

The locals are being pushed out, she said, all the way to Ridgewood. She and her husband have no idea where they will go.

"This is not going to be middle class," she said. "When I was a little girl you had Polish people and Russian people. When I was a teenager, you had Spanish people. Now it's just a yuppie influx. The only ones who can afford this are the ones in Manhattan."

She meant not just the borough across the river, but the avenue around the corner, which after a lifetime was just as far out of her reach.

Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company

June 28th, 2005, 01:31 AM
"The city is all going to be service oriented and there will be no manufacturing left," said Bruno Holst, a woodworker whose shop was gentrified out of several Brooklyn neighborhoods until he settled into a Greenpoint factory that is off-limits to developers. "If you're not a doctor or a lawyer, where are you going to work? We all can't be computer experts. Everybody has a car, but nobody's a mechanic."

No sh*t, Sherlock. It's not only a trend confined to the city, it's national. Manufacturing jobs will, within a few years, cease to exist on a grand scale. They will be one of two things: highly specialized, low-scale production of expensive goods that tout their "organic roots" resulting from their uniqueness as a "made in America" item; higher scale assembly of technological and medical equipment that will, oddly enough, only be available to those with some kind of college degree. Manufacturing, as we know it, is gone. Forever. Outsourced to places with cheaper labor. If you don't have a college degree in 2020, and you're white, forget about getting a job anywhere. Even the low-paying ones will be filled with immigrants willing to accept lower pay. The concerns raised by these workers are legitimate and worth considering, but there's only so much that incentives can accomplish. On the bright side, if these areas are leveled for widespread residential development, at least there will be a big demand for construction workers.

September 12th, 2005, 02:47 PM


September 12, 2005

Residents of tony Brooklyn Heights are threatening a lawsuit to stop the development of luxury waterfront high-rises in a planned $150 million riverside park.

The plan would build the first major park in 135 years in the borough.

Opponents of the roughly 1,200 luxury apartments are consulting with lawyers just as the project goes up for public comment in front of a local planning board today.

Adversaries charge they were promised a park only to have apartments added to the proposal late last year.

"It's not a park, it's luxury-condominium complex," said Judi Francis, a leader of the opposition.

The 85-acre, 1.3-mile city- and state-funded park has been in the planning stages for years, with the intention that commercial components of the project would fund the estimated $15.2 million annual operating cost.

The park is intended to be self-sustaining in order to keep the recreational space from competing "with other parks for scarce resources," said Wendy Leventer, president of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corp.

"The project has evolved over the last two years," she said. "A plan is an evolving thing."

Assemblywoman Joan Millman (D-Brooklyn Heights), a supporter of the park, said, "We need commercial activity there — but what produces the most revenue would certainly be housing."

Millman said she was hoping to decrease the size of some of the buildings, which could rise as high as 30 stories.

Copyright 2005 NYP Holdings, Inc.

TLOZ Link5
September 12th, 2005, 03:41 PM
Someone doesn't want her views blocked...

Then again, who doesn't?

September 19th, 2005, 10:33 AM
Proposed Brooklyn Park Draws Class Lines

By NICOLAI OUROUSSOFF (http://query.nytimes.com/search/query?ppds=bylL&v1=NICOLAI OUROUSSOFF&fdq=19960101&td=sysdate&sort=newest&ac=NICOLAI OUROUSSOFF&inline=nyt-per)
September 19, 2005

When is a park just a glorified front lawn? That's the question behind the proposed Brooklyn Bridge Park, a 1.3-mile-long waterfront project overlooking one of the most spectacular views in the world: the glimmering wall of towers that rises across the East River at the tip of Manhattan.

The plan, which will be debated late today at a public hearing, has drawn understandable criticism from neighborhood groups in Brooklyn. Their main objection involves a hotel-residential complex and two luxury apartment towers that planners say will pay for the park's maintenance. Those buildings aren't exactly egalitarian in spirit: they'll allow wealthy New Yorkers to lap up the view in blissful seclusion from the picnicking proletariat below.

We live in an age, sadly, when little public benefit arises before a developer takes a cut.

Michael Falco for The New York Times

A view of the Brooklyn waterfront at present,
looking northwest toward the Brooklyn Bridge.

But if the project falls short of the lofty standards set more than a century ago by Frederick Law Olmsted - whose nearby Prospect Park remains one of the great expressions of democratic ideals - it would nonetheless be a major civic asset. Designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, it advances the greening of New York's waterfront while embracing the piers, freeways and bridges that remain its most potent industrial symbols.
It's a big improvement over a 1990's proposal that threatened to litter the waterfront with luxury high rises and retail marketplaces. Intense public opposition killed that project, showing that there are limits to what New Yorkers will hand over to profit-hungry developers.

The new design, by contrast, is conceived as a collage of urban images strung out along a gentle lawn. A long faceted berm sprinkled with trees would extend along the park's western edge, shielding it from traffic roaring by on Furman Street and the Brooklyn Queens Expressway. That flow would be punctuated by five landscaped piers extending like fingers into the water.

The piers, which would be packed with soccer fields, basketball courts and kayak launches, reflect the current craze for recreational activity that has transformed public parks from pastoral landscapes to hyperactive open-air gyms. Still, Valkenburgh seems to intuitively understand that the city's heroically scaled infrastructure can be as intoxicating, in its own way, as a manicured lawn.

The faceted surfaces of the berms, for example, would muffle the noise from the cars streaming by on the expressway above, but visitors strolling through the park would still be able to glimpse occasional views of the cars. (Picture the fragments of buildings you spot through Central Park's canopy of trees, with Brooklyn's horizontal vista replacing Manhattan's vertical towers.)

Similarly, visitors approaching from the north would spot the tip of Manhattan, framed by the powerful stone and steel anchors of the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges. As you round a bend at Fulton Ferry Landing, the entire length of the park would suddenly be visible, punctuated by a single residential tower.

Promising details are scattered along the way. A network of floating walkways and bridges, for example, connects some of the piers, allowing pedestrians get a closer view of the briny columns that support them.

But some elements are disappointing. The project's success will obviously depend on how it is woven into nearby neighborhoods. People will flow into the heart of the park in a kind of pincer movement northward from Atlantic Avenue and southward from Old Fulton Street. But in its current incarnation, the Atlantic Avenue entrance looks tenuous instead of grand. (The Joralemon Street entrance, in a quaint neighborhood of residential brownstones, is appropriately discreet.)

And in a small adjustment with major consequences, planners have eliminated a bridge that would have spanned a cove just north of the Manhattan Bridge. Without it, the area north of the cove becomes virtually inaccessible, reducing it to a front lawn for one of the residential towers.

The project's architecture, at least so far, is a tougher sell. The only building that has been designed, a proposed indoor athletic field by James Carpenter Design Associates, is not much more than a gigantic hangar. Its most unusual feature is a roof of lightweight synthetic panels.

The panels, which look like inflated pillows, rely on the same technology as the transparent domes of Nicholas Grimshaw's 2001 Eden Project in Cornwall, England. What makes the material unusual is its remarkable flexibility - it can be molded into virtually any form. Here, you wish Mr. Carpenter had taken advantage of that possibility to create a more provocative structure.

The rest of the buildings, which have yet to be designed, may eventually pose an even trickier problem.

The slender silhouettes of the residential towers that are to anchor the park's far ends could emerge as compelling architecture if handled with some skill. Far more challenging is the immense scale of the hotel-residential complex near Fulton Ferry Landing, just south of the Brooklyn Bridge. With a 98,000-square-foot footprint, it will devour valuable park space at a critical juncture in the design. This would further diminish the sense that the park belongs to all of us, equally.

This issue, more than the design aesthetic, is likely to prevent the park from ranking among the city's most inviting public spaces.

Copyright 2005 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html)The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

September 19th, 2005, 10:38 AM
This park, besides being rather porrly designed and uninspiring, is doomed. They should start the park from the Green Point end and work toward the Heights. This area is just too full of infighting and overprivileged rich folks who are too demanding and whi have proven unable to rally behind the Promenade which is in total decay.

September 25th, 2005, 08:28 PM
Bridge park due for overhaul

By Erik Engquist & Anne Michaud
September 26, 2005

Major changes are likely in the plan for Brooklyn Bridge Park now that six elected officials have intervened in the controversy over what to do with the site.

Borough President Marty Markowitz, Rep. Nydia Velazquez, Councilmen David Yassky and Bill de Blasio, state Sen. Marty Connor and Assemblywoman Joan Millman are calling for shorter apartment towers, better park access, a new ferry terminal and more green space.

Insiders say Empire State Development Corp., which is in charge of the park, is unlikely to want a public fight with the officials.

©2005 Crain Communications Inc.

September 25th, 2005, 08:29 PM
Port of call: Brooklyn

By Erik Engquist & Anne Michaud
September 26, 2005

The Brooklyn Waterfront will welcome its first cruise ship later this month, according to city officials. The city is spending $45 million to renovate Piers 11 and 12 and has granted exclusive rights to Princess Cruise Lines for the location.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg plans to greet the first ship in late September at a temporary facility. The new terminal will be fully functional in April 2006.

©2005 Crain Communications Inc.

September 26th, 2005, 08:45 AM
Bridge park due for overhaul

By Erik Engquist & Anne Michaud
September 26, 2005

Major changes are likely in the plan for Brooklyn Bridge Park now that six elected officials have intervened in the controversy over what to do with the site.

Borough President Marty Markowitz, Rep. Nydia Velazquez, Councilmen David Yassky and Bill de Blasio, state Sen. Marty Connor and Assemblywoman Joan Millman are calling for shorter apartment towers, better park access, a new ferry terminal and more green space.

Insiders say Empire State Development Corp., which is in charge of the park, is unlikely to want a public fight with the officials.

©2005 Crain Communications Inc.
I don't get why these people are so obsessed with height, whether it's 12 or 30 stories their views will get blocked. Why not build a thin elegant tower that would add its own sculptural element to the park. Shorter buildings will contain atleast the same number units and thus be obese and eat up not only vistas but also more park space.

Phillip Johnson-Alan Ritchie Architects/H. Thomas H. O'Hara

Though I prefer glass on the water, Phillip Johnson's “Habitable Sculpture”, would fit right in. Conveniently it's 28 stories and it'd be a nice tribute to Phillip right on the waterfront.

September 27th, 2005, 04:48 PM
No kidding. Nobody seems to understand that shorter buildings mean even less open space. I can't believe how some people are so dense.

October 7th, 2005, 10:58 PM
City to help fund Brooklyn waterfront project

by Catherine Tymkiw
October 07, 2005

An affordable housing project marking the first development of the Williamsburg-Greenpoint waterfront since rezoning of the area will get up to $25 million in support, the city announced today.

Construction of 117 housing units for low- and moderate income families at Palmer’s Dock in Williamsburg will begin in August 2006, with up to $8 million capital funds from the city. Another $17 million in low-income housing tax credits will come from the city and state.

The project follows the rezoning of two miles of Brooklyn waterfront to create 54 acres of open space and 10,800 new housing units, including 3,500 classified as affordable.

“The affordable housing at Palmer’s Dock is part of the most ambitious and successful effort in actually creating affordable housing in a quarter century,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a statement. Palmer’s Dock is a joint venture between New York City developer L&M Equity Participants and Dunn Development.

L&M was also involved in a $47 million joint venture project for 350 apartments -- 140 classified as for low-income -- that was just completed at Schaefer Landing in Williamsburg. More than 100 families have been selected out of the thousands that applied to live in the new apartments, the mayor said in a statement. Schaefer Landing also includes 12,000 square feet of commercial space.

©2005 Crain Communications Inc.

October 7th, 2005, 11:51 PM
Link to Palmer's Dock at Dunn Development Corp.: http://www.dunndev.com/L3/palmers.html

The site:


The Project:


October 7th, 2005, 11:55 PM
Can't we do better on the waterfront? Seriously.....

October 8th, 2005, 12:30 AM
Tell me thats not proposed for the waterfront?

That's a fine project for low-income inner-city housing.

October 8th, 2005, 02:11 PM
Yep, just "steps away from the water".

From the website:

Palmer's Dock will be the first affordable housing project developed as part of the City's rezoning plan for the Williamsburg/Greenpoint waterfront. Located steps away from the water and the planned new waterfront park in what is currently a manufacturing zone, Palmer's Dock will provide working families with large apartments at affordable rents – meeting a severe need in this rapidly gentrifying neighborhood. Eleven units will be set aside for adults with developmental disabilities.

Thsi picture from the website shows that this development appears to be at the edge of the newly zoned area and butts up against the existing manufacturing district:


October 8th, 2005, 02:16 PM
A bit of history on Palmer's Dock

The Brooklyn Eastern District Terminal was organized in 1906 by the Erie Railroad. BEDT was formed from the terminal railway known as "Palmer's Dock" which served the Havemeyer and Elder Refinery, whcih later became one of the nations largest sugar refiners, producing the "Jack Frost" brand of sugar.

Info here: http://www2pb.ip-soft.net/railinfo/car-floats/bedt-tracks.html


June 21st, 2006, 04:32 PM
I noticed that Williamsburg Edge seems to have vanished from the Levine Builder's website, and appears late by several months in breaking ground. I called them and they indicated they are still working on the project and think they may break ground around September.

Still, I thought it was strange its off the web page, although maybe they will put it back now that I mention this. Does anyone have any further insight into whether things are really planning to go forward with this project?

June 21st, 2006, 07:15 PM
they are moving much slower than project next door

are there any filings with building dept. regarding permits ?

June 22nd, 2006, 10:29 AM
I noticed that Williamsburg Edge seems to have vanished from the Levine Builder's website, and appears late by several months in breaking ground. I called them and they indicated they are still working on the project and think they may break ground around September.

Still, I thought it was strange its off the web page, although maybe they will put it back now that I mention this. Does anyone have any further insight into whether things are really planning to go forward with this project?

They had the site with development approvals on the market for some time. With no takers, they decided to move forward with it. So, there was a considerable lapse in time before the project actually started.

June 22nd, 2006, 11:46 PM
Thank you for your insights on the Edge delays. Do you happen to know why they were unable to sell the property to others? Was there sale price too high, or was there some technical or marketing challenge to this project that is not apparent.

I'm just surprised, given the hype associated with the waterfront, the successful rezone, and the nice views, that a sale was difficult.

July 22nd, 2006, 06:31 PM
I found these on the Perkins Eastman site - slightly more detailed drawings than I remember being there before: http://www.perkinseastman.com/Pages/Projects.cfm?project=%25%25HW%2FZ%2DX%20%0A&subcategoryname=%2C%3DLZ8OXDS%2DU%2E%40FEY3%0A&startrow=4

I hope they include some sort of ferry. It wasn't that easy to get to this place.

July 22nd, 2006, 07:42 PM
This is two blocks from the Greenpoint Avenue G station - or 20-30 mins from midtown. A ferry wouldn't get you to Rockefeller Center any faster (though it would be a much more fun ride).

July 24th, 2006, 01:55 PM
It's exciting to see a skyline developing along the river's edge, but the design's interaction with the neighborhood behind it remains in doubt. I think the city approved zoning without developing a greater masterplan. Context, context, context. Beyond these shoreling buildngs, what?

I love the vibe of Williamsburg, but the area as a development zone is an aesthetic disaster. There are some wonderfully designed buildings and some truly hideous creations intermixed with the old rowhouses of this former company town. It's such a mumbo-jumbo and what we wind up getting is the great wall of Brooklyn along the waterfront and rag-tag mess of rich, poor, modern, traditional and god-awful ugly behind it.

August 23rd, 2006, 01:43 PM
I hadn't visited Williamsburg up until last summer. I took one of the water taxis over. Walked the peir with my lady friend. Even toured some of the nearby neighborhoods. To my suprise I actually liked the area.

I called and inquired about one of those apartments on the water too, too rich for my blood.

August 28th, 2006, 09:16 AM

GREEN QUEEN: Proposed park would see Greenpoint
live up to its name.

August 27, 2006

The scenes seem more Greenwich than Greenpoint: pedestrians strolling along a shorefront esplanade, kayakers paddling through placid waters, people gathering at an outdoor performance shell.

But if city park planners have their way, it will come true.

As part of a $100 million refurbishment of the Greenpoint waterfront, planners are proposing soccer and softball fields, a visitors center, a boathouse, a beach and a boardwalk for the 25-acre Bushwick Inlet Park.

Also planned is a museum and memorial plaza dedicated to the USS Monitor, the first ironclad ship commissioned by the U.S. Navy, built and launched in Greenpoint during the Civil War.

There will also be a community center, a performance space in the footprint of the soon-to-be-removed Bayside fuel tanks and a floating movie screen on the inlet.

The Parks Department's preliminary and still-evolving designs were unveiled last week at Community Board 1, where reactions were mixed.

While most seem pleased with the design, some complained that planners are simply thinking too big.

Others were angry that the Monitor museum's proposed location has been moved to Kent Avenue, the northernmost part of the park.

The museum, which is now a traveling exhibit, was given land for a permanent home on the inlet's waterfront in 2003. It used a $50,000 state grant to clean the site, which will now be used for other park uses.

"No one's against the park," said Janice Weinmann of the museum. "We just want the museum prominently displayed on the waterfront where the ship was actually launched."

The city is still in the process of acquiring the Bushwick Inlet from five private developers.

Copyright 2006 NYP Holdings, Inc.

September 6th, 2006, 06:36 PM
For all the attention this site has gotten, I'm surprised there isn't construction going on yet. What's the hold up? Anyone know?

September 6th, 2006, 06:41 PM
Apparently the city is ahead of projection in how much is getting built: http://www.therealdeal.net/issues/SEPTEMBER_2006/1157063907.php

May 7th, 2007, 03:57 PM
As a Big Landowner Plans to Sell, Mouths Begin to Water

Published: May 6, 2007

In the lobbies of some of the buildings near the Brooklyn waterfront owned by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, visitors can pick up plastic-wrapped packets of postcards depicting the organization’s various properties. On one, an aerial view of Brooklyn Heights, it seems as if nearly every third building is a Watchtower dormitory.

Since 1909, the neighborhood has been home to Brooklyn Bethel, as the organization, whose members are known as Jehovah’s Witnesses, calls its world headquarters. Other postcards in the packet, though, tell a story of change: They show neatly dressed volunteers at work in a sprawling new complex north of the city in Wallkill, N.Y., where the Witnesses moved their Bible- and magazine-printing operations in 2004.

Now, the residential buildings are beginning to go, too: The Witnesses plan to sell six of their Brooklyn Heights residences, including the venerable 12-story Standish Arms Hotel building, as part of what they are calling an organizational consolidation. With the printing presses gone and the former warehouse and shipping facility at 360 Furman Street sold, Witnesses spokesmen said, the organization needs less space for members to live.

Besides the Standish Arms, at 169 Columbia Heights, between Clark and Pierrepont Streets, the buildings for sale include four-story and seven-story apartment buildings on the same street, and three 19th-century houses nearby.

The offerings, which were reported in The Brooklyn Eagle, have Brooklyn Heights residents buzzing about the potential for the new properties hitting the real estate market. Residents are also speculating about the future of the former Bossert and Leverich Towers Hotels, two other meticulously restored buildings the organization owns in the neighborhood.

“When people hear that they’re selling the Standish Hotel, they start drooling about the Bossert,” Robert Perris, district manager of Brooklyn Community Board 2, said of the opulent tower at Montague and Hicks Streets, where the Brooklyn Dodgers celebrated their victory in the 1955 World Series. “The speculation runs rampant.”

According to Richard Devine, a Watchtower spokesman, the organization is not working with an outside real estate agent and has no set asking prices, but it will evaluate offers as they come in, as it did with the sale of 360 Furman and three other buildings on Livingston, Hicks and Clark Streets that the organization recently sold.

As for the other 24 buildings that Watchtower owns in the Heights and nearby Dumbo, the organization, as it often does, is keeping its plans close to the vest.

“Currently we don’t have any plans to sell any more,” Mr. Devine said. “At least not at this time.”

Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company

February 19th, 2008, 03:34 PM
Nice threads,
Brooklyn development is necessary like water for fish. I believe Brooklyn deserves better, much better. :confused:

Here's more that somebody put together for Brooklyn:

for Queens:

and of course for the city:

there is more if you need for SI and LI:cool:

December 14th, 2012, 05:27 AM
Sandy Who?

New developments prevail on Brooklyn's waterfront in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

by Nicole Anderson

Lightstone Group's mixed-use development along the Gowanus Canal. Courtesy Lightstone Group

There’s no stopping waterfront development, not even by the might of Hurricane Sandy. A month after the storm swept through New York City flooding basements and shutting down power, Brooklyn residents—who live near the water—are still dealing with its aftermath. But even as the city remains locked in recovery mode, developers are forging ahead with new projects on the waterfront, undeterred by the recent damage and the chance that another such storm, and possibly of greater magnitude, could likely hit the East Coast again.

Several new developments are slated for construction in areas damaged by the storm such as Gowanus, Red Hook, and DUMBO. While rising sea levels and climate change could pose a greater risk to waterfront properties in the future, developers have no intention on walking away from these projects. Instead, they say they’re taking into account the impact of the storm and re-thinking certain elements of their plans.

http://archpaper.com/uploads/brooklyn_development_02.jpg (http://archpaper.com/uploads/brooklyn_development_02.jpg)

http://archpaper.com/uploads/brooklyn_development_05.jpg (http://archpaper.com/uploads/brooklyn_development_05.jpg)

Lightstone's waterfront project includes walking paths along the canal.
Courtesy Lightstone Group

This, however, has some community members and government officials worried. Councilmember Brad Lander has been urging the developer Lightstone Group to withdraw its plans to build a 700-unit complex along the Gowanus Canal. In a letter sent to David Lichtenstein, the CEO of Lightstone, the councilman wrote: “I believe it would be a serious mistake for you to proceed as though nothing had happened, without reconsidering or altering your plans, and putting over 1,000 new residents in harm’s way the next time an event of this magnitude occurs.”

Ethan Geto, the spokesman for the developer, said that Councilman Lander never discussed his concerns with Lightstone.

“I think Brad Lander said, and irresponsibly so, that ‘it will put people in harm’s way,’” said Geto. “We not only designed the project to meet the FEMA’s standard but to exceed FEMA’s standard. We had designed the project responsibly.”

Geto says that Lightstone will move forward with the project, but will take whatever extra measures necessary to protect the buildings from flooding.

http://archpaper.com/uploads/brooklyn_development_06.jpg (http://archpaper.com/uploads/brooklyn_development_06.jpg)

http://archpaper.com/uploads/brooklyn_development_04.jpg (http://archpaper.com/uploads/brooklyn_development_04.jpg)

Aerial view (left) and project site along the Gowanus Canal (right). Courtesy Lightstone Group

“Our parking will be above grade, our residential will be above grade, and our mechanical systems will be above grade,” said Geto. “We will design this project to be invulnerable to flooding.”

Councilmember Lander, however, is skeptical. He says that Lightstone hasn’t reached out to his office or provided a response to the letter. “Anyone whose immediate response is we don’t need data or more analysis isn’t serious about building a safe building,” said Councilmember Lander.

The Gowanus Canal is a designated Superfund site, and the substantial flooding from the hurricane has re-ignited residents' concerns about the potential health and safety risks. Lightstone has agreed to help with the cleanup efforts, and in October, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a statement in support of Lightstone’s environmental proposal for the Gowanus.

Prior to the storm, there had been dissent from community members. The Brooklyn Law School Community Development Clinic wrote a letter to Amanda Burden, chairperson of New York City’s Department of City Planning, on behalf of Friends and Residents of Greater Gowanus, a local non-profit group, asking her to deny Lightstone’s application to modify a previously approved permit. Hurricane Sandy happened to hit the shores of Brooklyn on the same day that the Department of City Planning had scheduled a hearing to consider Lightstone’s modifications. A new date for the hearing has yet to be determined.

http://archpaper.com/uploads/brooklyn_development_07.jpg (http://archpaper.com/uploads/brooklyn_development_07.jpg)
The New York Dock Company Building in Red Hook. Courtesy Industry City

Like Gowanus, businesses and homes in Red Hook suffered from serious water damage, but two new ambitious projects are moving forward. Bruce B. Federman, Managing Director of Industry City, is taking steps to develop the New York Dock Company building at 160 Imlay Street into a mixed-use space with condos, artist studios, and retail shops.

The architecture firm, Adjmi & Andreoli, has been selected to renovate this six-story building, in addition to a 130,000-square-foot old factory at 202 Coffey, which developer Alessandro Cajrati Crivelli plans on transforming into a complex of artist studios and exhibition spaces. Morris Adjmi and Aldo Andreoli, partners at the firm, said that they had already prepared for the risk of flooding.

“We knew that the building was in Zone A so the hurricane only confirmed preventative measures that we were already working on,” said Adjmi and Andreoli. “We are also designing based on the knowledge that the water levels from Hurricane Sandy may not be the highest levels we should expect. Our flood plain line that we are working from is still several feet above where the water line was during Sandy.”

http://archpaper.com/uploads/brooklyn_development_10.jpg (http://archpaper.com/uploads/brooklyn_development_10.jpg)
Inside the Red Hook project. Courtesy Industry City

The architects said they will be taking standard precautionary measures such as raising the mechanical equipment above the flood plane on the first or second floor, filling in the basement level, implementing mitigation techniques, and flood proofing areas of the building including the fire pump, trash compactor, water heater, and elevator pits.

If anything, Hurricane Sandy was a strong indicator that flooding is a very real threat to buildings on the waterfront in Red Hook. The auction house, Christies, which leases the adjacent building from Federman, did have water infiltration on the lower levels, but no artwork was damaged since it is located on the second floor.

But Federman never considered letting the project go. “Abandoning never crawled into thought process because if I abandon this project, I have to abandon everything along the waterfront,” says Federman. “Coming up with preventative measures is in our thought process.”

Federman will be re-submitting his architectural plans and applying for permits in 2013, but he is anticipating that there will be changes made to city codes.

“The storm has indeed delayed the permitting process as it is currently, but fortunately we are not yet there and do not expect to be until at least the new year,” said Morris Adjmi. “Regarding a change in permitting there will probably be some adjustments to flood construction requirements, but it will take more time for policy change to be enacted.”

http://archpaper.com/uploads/brooklyn_development_09.jpg (http://archpaper.com/uploads/brooklyn_development_09.jpg)

http://archpaper.com/uploads/brooklyn_development_08.jpg (http://archpaper.com/uploads/brooklyn_development_08.jpg)

Courtesy Industry City

The Department of City Planning (DCP) has been mulling over these issues, and at a hearing on November 13th, Amanda Burden discussed the revisions to the Waterfront Revitalization Program (WRP), which she said “take several important steps towards integration of climate change concerns in the planning and design of projects.” Burden requested an extended review period so the DCP can assess the data from Hurricane Sandy and make any additional revisions to the WRP.

“We have been in continuous discussion with DCP and we have asked for data from them,” said Geto. “The DCP has to act before DOB can do anything. We are discussing these issues with City Planning and they will have a lot of authority and input into this plan.”

In spite of the risks, delays, and added costs, developers aren’t shying away from these projects any time soon. They are banking on New Yorkers’ strong and unrelenting desire to live and work by the water.

“Historically users respective to what they are—retails or residential--return to waterfront in metropolitan areas. There have been other storms. Obviously this was tremendous and significant storm, but people return and rebuild on the waterfront,” said Federman. “I am completely confident in the city, in its resiliency, and that there is a market for these properties.”


March 14th, 2013, 06:43 AM
Could Dismantled Ships Form A Resilient Brooklyn Waterfront?

by Jessica Dailey

http://ny.curbed.com/uploads/2013_aiany_design_awards_urban_design_05-thumb.jpg (http://ny.curbed.com/uploads/2013_aiany_design_awards_urban_design_05.jpg)

Terreform ONE, a design firm that likes to think way outside the box when it comes to eco-architecture, has proposed such craziness as covering the Brooklyn Navy Yard with fungi (http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2011/08/25/ecoarchitect_wants_to_cover_navy_yard_development_ with_fungi.php) and creating giant blimp buses (http://www.terreform.org/projects_mobility_dot.html). For its latest thought experiment (http://www.terreform.org/projects_urbanity_resilient.html), the team, lead by Mitchell Joachim, turned its attention to the Brooklyn waterfront, where they propose using dismantled navy ships to create a strong, more permeable shoreline. The idea, which was recently recognized in the 2013 AIA New York Chapter Design Awards (http://www.bustler.net/index.php/article/2013_aia_new_york_chapter_design_awards_urban_desi gn_winners/) combines the historic maritime uses of the waterfront with the green parks we're now creating.

http://ny.curbed.com/uploads/pers1-thumb.jpg (http://ny.curbed.com/uploads/pers1.jpg)

Renderings show parts of retired military ships used to restore the natural water's edge, letting the sediment, grasses, and river life take over the old boats and form new "land"—or, in more technical terms, a "riparian (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Riparian_zone) buffer zone" that would protect from storm surges and flooding.

http://ny.curbed.com/uploads/perspective2-thumb.jpg (http://ny.curbed.com/uploads/perspective2.jpg)

From Terreform ONE's website:

The goal is to combine the natural sedimentation techniques with the recycling of retired U.S. Naval ships from the National Defense Reserve Fleet and United States Navy reserve fleets to restore the natural water edge, to reinstate a diversified profile, and to slow down the watercourse. This comprehensive model of the reimagined water front is based on one simple premise- instead of keeping the water out, the infrastructure is designed to let the water in. NY does not need to defend against water but instead share its presence with the existing estuary.

Perhaps a bit far fetched, it's an idea (http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2012/04/24/upper_venetian_side_captures_waterfront_design_pri ze.php) we've seen repeated again (http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2012/10/30/8_ideas_to_combat_floods_and_rising_sea_levels_in_ nyc.php) and again (http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2012/02/09/bibs_to_protect_nyc_from_melted_ice_caps_butter.ph p): more permeable waterfronts could help protect the city against future storms and floods.

2013 AIA New York Chapter Design Awards: Urban Design Winners (http://www.bustler.net/index.php/article/2013_aia_new_york_chapter_design_awards_urban_desi gn_winners/) [Bustler]
Resilient Waterfront Infrastructure (http://www.terreform.org/projects_urbanity_resilient.html) [Terreform ONE]

http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2013/03/13/could_dismantled_ships_form_a_resilient_brooklyn_w aterfront.php#more

March 14th, 2013, 01:39 PM
So it's like creating reefs with old subway cars but just above the water? Sweet.

October 28th, 2015, 04:30 PM
Two New Handel-Designed Towers to Sail Onto the Greenpoint Landing Waterfront
By Ondel Hylton
October 28, 2015

Yesterday it was announced that Brookfield Property Partners is making their first Brooklyn venture by purchasing a majority stake in two Greenpoint Landing development sites for $59.7 million. While better known for their commercial ventures, Brookfield will begin construction early next year on 775 market-rate apartments on two waterfront parcels. The towers should be finished sometime in 2019 at the total cost of $600 million as part of the first phases of the of the 22-acre master plan which is being designed by Handel Architects.






More info and images in the post here. (http://www.6sqft.com/two-new-handel-designed-towers-to-sail-onto-the-greenpoint-landing-waterfront/)

January 11th, 2016, 02:44 PM
Could These Twin Glassy Towers Be Coming to the Greenpoint Waterfront?
By Ondel Hylton
January 8, 2016

Momentum is building along the Williamsburg-Greenpoint waterfront. Since the Bloomberg administration’s sweeping 2003 rezoning of the two-mile stretch of East River shoreline, nearly every buildable river-facing plot has been accounted for by developers. More than a dozen master plans are in the works, dominated by residential uses that scale upward to 50 stories and 600-foot heights.



More info and images in the post here. (http://www.6sqft.com/could-these-twin-glassy-towers-be-coming-to-the-greenpoint-waterfront/)