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NYguy
March 5th, 2003, 09:30 AM
Daily News...
City may give lift to B'klyn high-rise

Developer Joseph Sitt has towering plans for Downtown Brooklyn - and the city may help.

Sitt, a 38-year-old real estate and clothing impresario, owns the Gallery at MetroTech, located at the Brooklyn complex.

Renovations turning it into a mock-up of Las Vegas' Bellagio Hotel should be done by December, Sitt says.

But he has bigger plans for the 150,000-square-foot parcel, only part of which is occupied by the Gallery. In his office sit designs for a 33-story office building he says will be the borough's tallest.

The 1.2 million-square-foot building will include 325,000 square feet of shopping, a 380,000-square-foot hotel with sky lobby and 500,000 square feet of office space.

He has solicited designs from three prominent architects, including Kohn Pedersen Fox, designers of class-A Manhattan office buildings.

There's one problem. Current zoning doesn't allow a building of that size. But that could change later this year.

Sources told the Daily News the city will propose a zoning change allowing larger-scale development in Downtown Brooklyn, especially along Willoughby Street. Sitt's building would rise at Willoughby and Flatbush.

"I'm the cornerstone of the plan," Sitt said.

Fabb
March 5th, 2003, 09:35 AM
Current zoning doesn't allow a building of that size

Like I once said, zoning is a hindrance to development.
It makes even less sense when it's changed all the time according to the needs of the market.

NYguy
March 5th, 2003, 09:45 AM
Sources told the Daily News the city will propose a zoning change allowing larger-scale development in Downtown Brooklyn, especially along Willoughby Street.

Hopefully, this will mean larger things for Downtown Brooklyn...

JMGarcia
March 5th, 2003, 10:02 AM
Brooklyn, with much better transportation than either Jersey City or Long Island City, should be a main focus of developement in the metropolitan area. Also, being so close to downtown it can only help with the revival of downtown that Mayor wants so much.

dbhstockton
March 5th, 2003, 12:42 PM
Be careful when you say Brooklyn has better transportation than Jersey City. *While there are plenty of subways, bridges, expressways, and railroads for residents of Long Island and NYC, the picture is much less accomodating from New jersey and the rst of the continent. *Brooklyn should be a major hub of development in the NYC metro area, but it's not currently physically feasible for it to be the main focus of development.

JMGarcia
March 5th, 2003, 12:57 PM
I agree that it shouldn't be the main focus for the area but it should be [i]a[/a] main focus for the city. Too much attention is paid to LIC compared to Brooklyn IMO.

Fabb
March 5th, 2003, 01:34 PM
Probably because LIC is much more underutilized than Brooklyn, hence has more potential for development.

BrooklynRider
March 5th, 2003, 01:50 PM
I'm sure the opinion has been communicated before, but, once again, I think that, purely from a skyline perspective, Brooklyn needs a distinctive tower. *


(Edited by BrooklynRider at 1:11 pm on Mar. 5, 2003)

Fabb
March 5th, 2003, 02:08 PM
I agree.
Even a 750-ft tower would be awesome... whereas in Manhattan there are dozens of them that remain mostly unseen.

Kris
March 5th, 2003, 03:05 PM
Sad to say, Brooklyn's skyline is lackluster. The development in Downtown is much too conservative.

Anonymous
March 5th, 2003, 03:06 PM
The WSB has to be surpassed sooner or later, and it can be Brooklyn's tallest building forever.

Gulcrapek
March 5th, 2003, 03:40 PM
The building would take the place of a multilevel open parking structure.

I don't know about the height though. How can it be 512ft+? 33 floors including a hotel doesn't make sense with that. Although he could be saying a tower on top of the Gallery which would be two more floors. But that really wouldn't do it either.

I often wonder why this hasn't happened before. I can only hope the building will be something different. There's too much cautious postmodernism in the area. And no towers... just stubby buildings that may have height but bad proportioning.

There's a site across Duffield Street from here that would also be excellent for development. A surface parking lot and two rundown buildings. I'd put a 30-50 floor residential there, but that's just me..

Good news either way.

billyblancoNYC
March 5th, 2003, 05:09 PM
I think part of the rezoning is to include more height, but also more residential, so it will be a more mixed high-rise area, more of a "24-hour" (to use a buzz term) area.

I hope they get moving, b/c I do think this area is a better alternative for companies than Jersey City. *Get the zoning and the incentives right, and Brooklyn will really boom.

And with the height - I assume the retail and hotel will have higher ceilings than a normal office building.

It would be nice if it was aroung 70 stories and had closer to 1mil sq. ft of office, plus the rest. *But, you can't be too picky.

Agglomeration
March 5th, 2003, 05:25 PM
There is currently a 495-foot height limit in the commercial zone of downtown Brooklyn, and much lower height limits in some other areas surrounding Metrotech. A tower as tall as the Goldman Sachs in Jersey City is unlikely for now. Nevertheless, Brooklyn could use something that goes up to 495 feet, something that approaches the WIlliamsburg Bank.

NYC Rocks
March 5th, 2003, 05:46 PM
Do you think he'll really be able to get zoning changes? Im so sick of the cautiousness nowadays. No one wants to build tall. It'd be great to get some skyscrapers in Brooklyn, do you think it's really a possibility? By the way if you have any more info on this can you post the site? Thanks

NYguy
March 5th, 2003, 06:39 PM
Quote: from dbhstockton on 11:42 am on Mar. 5, 2003
Be careful when you say Brooklyn has better transportation than Jersey City. *While there are plenty of subways, bridges, expressways, and railroads for residents of Long Island and NYC, the picture is much less accomodating from New jersey and the rst of the continent. *Brooklyn should be a major hub of development in the NYC metro area, but it's not currently physically feasible for it to be the main focus of development.

But Jersey City itself is hardly accomodating when compared to Brooklyn. *Its only asset is its vicinity to lower Manhattan. *Newark has a much better transportation network than JC. *JC relies on its connections to New York.

NYguy
March 5th, 2003, 06:43 PM
Quote: from Agglomeration on 4:25 pm on Mar. 5, 2003
There is currently a 495-foot height limit in the commercial zone of downtown Brooklyn, and much lower height limits in some other areas surrounding Metrotech. A tower as tall as the Goldman Sachs in Jersey City is unlikely for now.

This is the main reason the city is proposing the zoning change for the tower and others. *It would allow for such projects in Brooklyn instead of JC, and if this tower is to be Brooklyn's tallest (the developer says), it should come somewhere simlilar to the scale of the Goldman Sachs building, though not as tall.

dbhstockton
March 6th, 2003, 01:56 AM
But Jersey City itself is hardly accomodating when compared to Brooklyn. *Its only asset is its vicinity to lower Manhattan. *Newark has a much better transportation network than JC. *JC relies on its connections to New York.

Spoken like a New Yorker. *Allow this New Jerseyean to politely remind remind you that JC is well connected to the transopratation network of this densely-populated state. *I'll also remind you that there is this thing called North America, to which JC is better connected than Brooklyn. *Please pardon my sarcasm, I mean no offense.

(Edited by dbhstockton at 12:58 am on Mar. 6, 2003)

dbhstockton
March 6th, 2003, 02:09 AM
This thread looks like it's starting to open up a can of worms (I accept some responibility for that), so:

For those who want to continue the old New York vs. New Jersey debate, I dug up the old thread here: http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/topic.cgi?forum=4&topic=338

Gulcrapek
March 6th, 2003, 05:09 PM
Note though that Brooklyn connects to Long Island.

Thomas
March 6th, 2003, 06:51 PM
Look at how good the Nets are doing and what a dive the Knicks have taken since (#33 From Georgetown, Co-Captain, PATRICK EWING!!!) left.

Sorry , couldn't help.

billyblancoNYC
March 7th, 2003, 10:35 AM
Bottom line - the city needs to change zoning laws in selected central business districts in the boroughs outside of Manhattan (DTBK, LIC, etc). to compete with lower cost options such as JC, CT, LI, and Westchester.

It's long ovedue and I hope this is the start of a domino effect similar to the one seen in JC. *There's been a residential/retail/entertainment domino in place for years in the areas surrounding DTBK, so we'll see.

BrooklynRider
March 7th, 2003, 10:45 AM
But I think there are more far reaching concerns in the "outer boroughs". *Manhattan geographically is limiyed by water boundaries on all sides. *It is by and large a tall borough. *Zoning in Brooklyn and Queens is more intricate. *There are clear residential districts bordering the economic zones mentioned (Downtown Brooklyn - LIC) and I think that large scale developers do need to be given leeway in the zones themselves, while being VERY tightly controlled outside those boudaries. *

NYguy
April 15th, 2003, 08:34 AM
Daily News...

City sees new Brooklyn skyline

BY ERIC HERMAN

City officials unveiled a plan yesterday to remake downtown Brooklyn, allowing new office towers plus residential buildings and new parks for office workers.

The re-zoning of the area next to Metrotech could result in four new Brooklyn office buildings. The plan would let developers build low-cost office space, which the city lacked during the economic boom of the 1990s.

"We have got to be ready for the next upturn," said Dan Doctoroff, deputy mayor for economic development. "In order to do that, we've got to make space available."

The re-zoning focuses on a wedge of land south of Metrotech, an office complex that houses units of J.P. Morgan Chase and Bear Stearns. The plan would allow larger buildings to be built in the area, which lies between Willoughby Street, Flatbush Avenue and the Fulton Street Mall.

Real estate executives and officials have said for years that zoning allowing only low-level buildings has choked downtown Brooklyn's economic growth.

"It's completely underzoned. It's underzoned for commercial development. It's underzoned for residential development," said Amanda Burden, chairwoman of the City Planning Commission.

Downtown Brooklyn has 11 million square feet of office space, much of it in Metrotech. Companies there employ 70,000 workers, Doctoroff said. The buildings have proved popular with corporate tenants, since office space is half the price of Manhattan. Downtown Brooklyn's vacancy rate is 0.2% - far below midtown Manhattan.

But limits on building have kept development in check. That hurt the city in the 1990s, Doctoroff said, when New Jersey created over 12 million square feet of inexpensive space, enough for 50,000 workers.

The re-zoning plan would allow 4.5 million square feet of additional office space in Brooklyn, enough for 18,500 workers, plus 700,000 square feet of space for shopping. It would also permit 1,000 new apartments along Flatbush and Livingston Street.

The city will spend $100 million on transit improvements and parks to encourage development, to be done by the private sector. Developer Joe Sitt, head of Thor Equities, owns much of the land slated for commercial development. The Laboz family's United American Land also owns a portion.

NYguy
April 15th, 2003, 08:48 AM
NY Times...

City Has a $100 Million Plan to Develop Downtown Brooklyn
By DIANE CARDWELL

New York City will invest roughly $100 million over the next 7 to 10 years to make Downtown Brooklyn a vibrant commercial and residential hub, officials said yesterday, as part of a Bloomberg administration plan to keep jobs within the five boroughs, and to attract others.

At a time when the talk at City Hall is mostly about pending service cuts and looming layoffs, Deputy Mayor Daniel L. Doctoroff and other officials offered a more hopeful vision at a news conference at the Metrotech Center in Downtown Brooklyn.

"We can't predict the future, when the economy's going to rebound," said Mr. Doctoroff, the deputy mayor for economic development and rebuilding. "But we know that in the last boom, this city did not have the space for companies who wanted to stay here or relocate here. And we paid the price and we paid it, and we're still feeling the pain of that."

Under the city's plan, which calls for rezoning several areas to encourage new commercial and residential construction, officials envision three new office towers, with as much as three million square feet of space, abutting a new 1.5-acre park on Willoughby Street west of the Flatbush Avenue extension. Another office development, potentially accommodating 850,000 square feet, would rise on the west side of the commercial area at Boerum Place.

Officials also said they hoped to see new residential buildings in several areas, including along the eastern side of the Flatbush Avenue extension, on Livingston Street and on Myrtle Avenue, across the street from the Raymond V. Ingersoll public housing complex.

At the same time, officials said, they would work to preserve the small-scale residential feel of the surrounding neighborhoods, like Boerum Hill and Brooklyn Heights.

The plan would also require shop owners to meet certain design requirements for their storefronts and would require improvements to subway entrances as a condition for development, said Amanda M. Burden, the city planning commissioner.

The plan also provides for more than 1,000 new parking spaces, officials said, and the Department of Transportation will conduct a study and appoint a traffic coordinator specifically for Downtown Brooklyn.

Still, some officials, while praising the proposal over all, say that it does not go far enough. "There is still a very big gap in their plan," said City Councilman David Yassky, who represents part of the surrounding area. "To make it really successful as a commercial core, the plan needs to be more aggressive about traffic and transportation measures to ease congestion."

City Councilman James E. Davis also had high praise for the plan but balked at the notion that the new zoning would allow office buildings to rise without limit, potentially soaring beyond the unofficial ceiling of 34 stories and 512 feet set by the Williamsburgh Savings Bank building, on the edge of Fort Greene.

Yesterday, Mr. Doctoroff pledged to work with local advocates as the plan moves ahead. An environmental impact study will begin this month, he said, with the first public forum on the proposal held in May. Officials said they hoped to have the zoning changes approved by next April.

Bk Italian 123
April 15th, 2003, 12:28 PM
Oh yea baby! that is exactly what we (Brooklyn) need. *A no restriciton on building heights in D-Town, that will be great. *But the plan should also be expanded to all the buisiness area's of my Borough. *This will really make Brooklyn's financial aspect rise, and not for an ephemeral amount of time, but for a llong time; not being re-zoned. *This really good, this made my day... the next thing that would make my month, is if Juventus wins the Euro-Cup, i drove in the Ferrari Enzo and Cadillac 16, and got with Britney Spears, and Carmen elctra, and other hot supermodels! lol.
Bloomberg isn't that bad, he really is helping out the other Boroughs than Manhattan... all except for Staten ISland... lol, the forgotten Borough.

NYguy
April 15th, 2003, 05:01 PM
Newsday...

Developing Downtown Brooklyn
City plans to invest $100M for office towers, extra housing

By Glenn Thrush
April 15, 2003

The Bloomberg administration plans to invest $100 million in Downtown Brooklyn over the next decade in the hope of convincing private developers to build four office towers and 1,000 units of housing.

The area adjacent to the Metrotech Center office complex would be rezoned to allow the construction of 5.4 million square feet of office space - in towers of any height a developer wants.

"We have got to be ready for the next upturn and in order to do that we've got to make space available," said Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff, who unveiled the proposal yesterday at Metrotech.

The proposal is part of Mayor Michael Bloomberg's attempt to spur development through infrastructure investment and zoning changes in Long Island City, the West Side and lower Manhattan.

City planning commissioner Amanda Burden said no developers have been chosen and the city hasn't figured out how to consolidate all of the land, most of which is privately held.

Construction on the commercial buildings could begin as soon as 2005 but "we are making no predictions whatsoever about when this will occur - we cannot predict markets," Doctoroff said.

The city would pay for two new parks, including a 1.2-acre square at Willoughby Street, along with major improvements to local streets and parking for 2,000 cars.

The zoning changes, which require City Council approval, would allow Polytechnic University and other local colleges to construct new facilities.

New apartment buildings would be built on Myrtle Avenue in Fort Greene and Livingston Street in Brooklyn Heights.

The city would only buy some of the necessary land as a last resort, and city officials say they have no plans to use tax breaks to lure businesses.

Bear Stearns signed a 20-year lease at Metrotech last month after threatening to relocate 1,500 jobs to New Jersey. The company had received millions in city tax abatements since moving into the complex in 1991.

The four towers could be built at any height a developer wanted because restrictions would limit an architect's creativity, Burden said.

NoyokA
April 15th, 2003, 08:24 PM
Good news, but who's going to put forward the space.

Bk Italian 123
April 15th, 2003, 10:43 PM
This is some great stuff! *ITz about time they passed this thing! Go my Borough, itz my birf day (birf.. lol) :)!~!!

NYguy
April 16th, 2003, 09:34 AM
Quote: from Stern on 7:24 pm on April 15, 2003
Good news, but who's going to put forward the space.

Its too soon to say. *One of the planned towers is mentioned at the beginning of this thread.

NYguy
April 16th, 2003, 09:35 AM
Here's an older view of Metrotech, the area where the new developments will take place...


http://63.240.68.115/FirmFiles/8/images/39812-AerialView-640.jpg

Some of the newer buildings in the area...


http://www.fcrc.com/images/projects/g1mtcb.jpg?


http://www.fcrc.com/images/projects/330JayStreetb.jpg?

http://www.fcrc.com/images/projects/ninemetrotechsouthb.jpg


http://www.fcrc.com/images/projects/Ppmainb.jpg

Gulcrapek
April 16th, 2003, 03:09 PM
^1 Pierrepont is not new. Maybe replace it with Renaissance Plaza..

NYguy
April 16th, 2003, 05:56 PM
I didn't really mean "new", but you get the idea..

NYguy
April 16th, 2003, 06:03 PM
Short video clip...
http://www.ny1.com/ny/Boroughs/SubTopic/index.html?topicintid=3&subtopicintid=9&contentint id=29385

(Edited by NYguy at 5:03 pm on April 16, 2003)

Evan
April 16th, 2003, 09:16 PM
Great project!!!

NYguy
April 20th, 2003, 01:07 PM
(Daily News)


Building a new future
City backs vast downtown develop plan

By BILL FARRELL

There have been so many dramatic changes in downtown Brooklyn in the past dozen years that it sometimes appears the towers of lower Manhattan and downtown Brooklyn create a single skyline.

Now Mayor Bloomberg's administration has come up with a rezoning and development plan that would expand and raise the local skyline to new heights, and make downtown Brooklyn a much larger player in the city's economic development game plan.

City officials, including Daniel Doctoroff, deputy mayor for economic development and rebuilding, and City Planning Director Amanda Burden outlined the downtown plan last week at MetroTech.

The city intends to spend $100 million in the next seven to 10 years on parks and other amenities to help create and retain jobs in New York City, Doctoroff said.

"In the last boom, the city did not have the space to keep companies that wanted to stay or attract companies wanting to come here," he said. "Now we're paying the price."

To the delight of Brooklyn's business leaders and elected officials, the rezoning plan will allow office towers higher than the 512-foot Williamsburgh Savings Bank.

Included in the plan:

Three new office towers with 3 million square feet of space built around a 1.5-acre park at Willoughby St., west of Flatbush Ave. Extension. There would be parking space for more than 700 cars underneath the park.

An office tower at Boerum Place near the entrance to the Fulton Mall.

New mixed-use residential and office space east of Flatbush Ave., from Tillary to Willoughby Sts. and along Myrtle Ave.

A residential corridor along Livingston St. from Smith St. to Flatbush Ave.

Brooklyn's business leaders could barely contain their enthusiasm. They collaborated in the planning of downtown development, including Brooklyn Bridge Park, Atlantic Terminal, the BAM Cultural District and expansion of the seven area colleges.

Vision thing

"A wonderful day for all of Brooklyn," beamed Borough President Marty Markowitz. "It shows a real vision for what Brooklyn can become."

The $100 million city investment in parks and other amenities does not include an MTA plan to link the IND and BMT lines at Jay and Willoughby Sts. Burden described the subway initiative as "a transit gateway to be completed in 2008."

But it is the rezoning that is expected to spur the new construction, development and improvements stretching from Brooklyn Heights and DUMBO to Fort Greene, Atlantic Center and Bedford-Stuyvesant.

Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce President Kenneth Adams noted that after MetroTech and Renaissance Plaza there was nowhere to go.

"Developers looked around and said, 'What's next?' but nothing could be done - the zoning wasn't right," he said. "This plan will provide the zoning and fill the gaps from the Brooklyn Bridge Park to the Atlantic Center, creating all types of new opportunities for development."

Doctoroff said public hearings required for land-use reviews and impact statements will begin as soon as next month.

The business leaders said that questions about traffic, housing and employment opportunities will certainly be raised.

"Overall, it's a solid plan, and the important thing is everyone will be included in the process," said Councilman James Davis (D-Fort Greene).


nycfoto.com pic
http://www.100megs5.com/~nycfoto/pictures/640x480/2003/March/22/nycfoto_P3221118.JPG

(Edited by NYguy at 12:09 pm on April 20, 2003)

Gulcrapek
April 20th, 2003, 02:06 PM
Notice what a hypocrite Markowitz is.

Kris
April 20th, 2003, 02:32 PM
"To the delight of Brooklyn's business leaders and elected officials, the rezoning plan will allow office towers higher than the 512-foot Williamsburgh Savings Bank."

Hurray. Looking forward, not backward.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

ZippyTheChimp
April 20th, 2003, 03:47 PM
That last photo appears to be Smith St at President St. I was born in this neighborhood.

NYguy
April 20th, 2003, 07:11 PM
Quote: from ZippyTheChimp on 2:47 pm on April 20, 2003
That last photo appears to be Smith St at President St. I was born in this neighborhood.

Imagine the future towers that will be in that view. *I wouldn't be at all surprised if we saw a 1,000 ft icon for Brooklyn. *There is no height limit, even if it would be expensive to build. *Still, its about time for Brooklyn!

Gulcrapek
April 20th, 2003, 07:28 PM
There's an FAA height limit as the area is in an LGA flight path. I don't know what it is but I'd guess 900-1200 ft.

Gulcrapek
April 29th, 2003, 01:49 PM
I emailed KPF. Liz Austin says the client doesn't want any renderings released. Poo.

NYguy
May 16th, 2003, 07:45 PM
Some renderings (not plans) that give an idea of what the redevelopment of Flatbush Ave and new office/residential towers could look like...


http://63.240.68.115/FirmFiles/8/images/41026-AerialView-full.jpg


http://63.240.68.115/FirmFiles/8/images/41026-FlatbushView-full.jpg


http://63.240.68.115/FirmFiles/8/images/41026-ParkView-full.jpg


http://63.240.68.115/FirmFiles/8/images/41026-WilloughbyView-full.jpg

Kris
May 16th, 2003, 08:43 PM
I hate architectural watercolors. So precious.

Do you think they will dare let the towers breathe with all-glass façades like that or keep suffocating them with reassuring masonry "warmth"?

Gulcrapek
May 16th, 2003, 10:04 PM
I hope to hell they keep the glass.

BTW I count 56 storeys in the spire building.

(Not that these are likely to be close to the actual designs as they progress)

(Edited by Gulcrapek at 9:27 pm on May 16, 2003)

DominicanoNYC
May 16th, 2003, 11:31 PM
Great buildings. They're currently u/c right?

Gulcrapek
May 16th, 2003, 11:42 PM
No. That's a conceptual design.

Only one of the new buildings in the rendering is a serious proposal right now, on top of the Gallery at Metrotech.

Evan
May 17th, 2003, 10:18 AM
The designs work for me. *I hope they use a lot of glass.

DominicanoNYC
May 18th, 2003, 10:13 PM
Quote: from Evan on 9:18 am on May 17, 2003
The designs work for me. *I hope they use a lot of glass.
I agree.

ddjiii
May 25th, 2003, 04:05 PM
Quote: from DominicanoNYC on 9:13 pm on May 18, 2003

Quote: from Evan on 9:18 am on May 17, 2003
The designs work for me. *I hope they use a lot of glass.
I agree.

With all due respect, you guys are nuts. When did Brooklyn become (or want to be) Houston? We have a culture and tradition here, and it calls for masonry facades. There's no law that says brilliant cutting edge architecture has to be glass.

Kris
May 25th, 2003, 05:34 PM
There's no law that states architecture in Brooklyn must use masonry just for the sake of it. It is done to look traditional but is a custom common to all architectural backwaters, not a Brooklyn tradition. It makes no sense because the openness glass can provide is a possibility with fewer and fewer technical drawbacks. To reject that openness is a sign of social, not only architectural, conservatism. A place's identity is not defined by something as limited as a building material.

Evan
May 25th, 2003, 06:03 PM
Quote: from ddjiii on 3:05 pm on May 25, 2003
[quote]With all due respect, you guys are nuts. When did Brooklyn become (or want to be) Houston? We have a culture and tradition here, and it calls for masonry facades. There's no law that says brilliant cutting edge architecture has to be glass.

Times change. *And this proposal for Brooklyn only makes it better. *Having new glass towers to complement the old masonry towers will only add to the culture of Brooklyn. *

NoyokA
May 26th, 2003, 07:53 PM
Times change. *And this proposal for Brooklyn only makes it better. *Having new glass towers to complement the old masonry towers will only add to the culture of Brooklyn. *

Fully agree, feeling obligated to pay respect to the past and to completly ignore the present is the wrong attitude. The era we are reproducing was modern in its own right pushing the envelope at its own time, unless we are to admit the defeat of Brooklyn as an expanding entity, we must build to the full extent of the modern, today.

BrooklynRider
June 2nd, 2003, 10:11 AM
On the Flatbush side of the Galleria, on th parking structure, Thor Equities has posted a large billboard with a rendering of a 50+ story glass tower. *Nice design - but it does say, "Will build to suit". *

Gulcrapek
June 2nd, 2003, 12:28 PM
Please... take a picture...?

NYguy
June 2nd, 2003, 03:20 PM
Quote: from BrooklynRider on 9:11 am on June 2, 2003
*Nice design - but it does say, "Will build to suit". *

I'm guessing that means the interior spaces.

I was planning to go to Downtown BK to get some photos after next week, but if no one gets a photo soon I'll have to make a special trip for the billboard pic. *I really want to see that rendering!

BrooklynRider
June 2nd, 2003, 04:38 PM
Sorry - no camera here. *

JCMAN320
June 2nd, 2003, 05:24 PM
Why is everybody knockin JC. Jersey City could practically be another borough with all the businees over here. Remeber Brooklyn is part of NYC. Its not an individual city unlike us. Don't get me wrong I love Brooklyn I gotta alot of family *and friends over there. But don't insult us. Were not tryin to steal businees form NYC intenionally, but with Bloomberg rasing the sales and property taxes, JC is looking more appitizing. The rest of NJ for that matter. Just look JC: 3% sales tax compared to NYC: 8.75%. More businees is gonna start comin over here. We have alot of retail as well, we have 6 major shopping centers. This just forces NYC to ante up. Just think about this-NYC and JC twin cities on oppostie sides of the Hudson. JC needs NYC and NYC needs JC. Another thing JC is well connected. We have the Light Rail that is eventually gonna go from the southern most tip of Bayonne, all the way to Teaneck, already going from 34th St in Bayonne to Hobken already, connecting to the PATH system in downtown JC, Hoboken Terminal, and Port Imperial in Weehawken, the PATH which runs from Newark Penn Stat. to 33rd and eventually Lower Manhattan in the near future. There are 5 path stations in Manhattan and 4 in JC, 14 Light Rail stops in JC, and 7 Ferry Slips, which will increase to 11 when GS builds there ferry terminal. Not to mention we have Hoboken terminal right next to Downtown JC, which has trains coming in from all over NJ, which brings people into NYC and JC, then connects to the Light Rail and Path. We have Journal Square Port Authority Terminal where regional buses come from and NYC and NJ, and is the major station for PATH. So find the facts out first before you start knockin us and sayin that we have no annemities.

Gulcrapek
June 2nd, 2003, 05:36 PM
We said that....?

NoyokA
June 2nd, 2003, 05:57 PM
Seriously, welcome to the Wired New York Forum.

DominicanoNYC
June 2nd, 2003, 08:16 PM
Quote: from ddjiii on 3:05 pm on May 25, 2003

Quote: from DominicanoNYC on 9:13 pm on May 18, 2003

Quote: from Evan on 9:18 am on May 17, 2003
The designs work for me. *I hope they use a lot of glass.
I agree.

With all due respect, you guys are nuts. When did Brooklyn become (or want to be) Houston? We have a culture and tradition here, and it calls for masonry facades. There's no law that says brilliant cutting edge architecture has to be glass.



I don't agree. As Christian said there is no limitations to how buildings are built. Then again the mansonry buildings really do signify much in Brooklyn's architecture.

NYguy
June 2nd, 2003, 08:39 PM
Quote: from JCMAN320 on 4:24 pm on June 2, 2003
Why is everybody knockin JC. Jersey City could practically be another borough with all the businees over here.

JCMAN, no one is really knockin JC. *It is often referred to as the "sixth" borough. *But NYC doesn't need JC. *Its JC that leaches off the businesses in NY. *Do you really think it would have as much development there if not for its proximity to Manhattan?

dbhstockton
June 2nd, 2003, 09:39 PM
"Do you really think it would have as much development there if not for its proximity to Manhattan?"

A truly absurd question, if you really think about it.

Zoe
June 3rd, 2003, 10:25 AM
I have lived both in NYC and Hudson County and do not think of it in terms of one city versus the other. *I am in favor of smart urban development for the entire metropolitan area. *Whether people like it or not, what happens to one community effects the other. *The sooner people come to accept this concept the sooner we can stop having this same conversation over and over (I mean no offense to anyone here). *You may not like your extended family, but they are still your family, like it or not.

(Edited by Zoe at 9:33 am on June 3, 2003)

NYguy
June 3rd, 2003, 05:21 PM
Quote: from dbhstockton on 8:39 pm on June 2, 2003
"Do you really think it would have as much development there if not for its proximity to Manhattan?"

A truly absurd question, if you really think about it.


Why is that? *Where else would the companies come from?

TLOZ Link5
June 3rd, 2003, 06:40 PM
Newark? *Philadelphia?

I know I'm nitpicking, but you still have a point, Guy.


(Edited by TLOZ Link5 at 8:39 pm on June 4, 2003)

JCMAN320
June 4th, 2003, 12:35 PM
Im not saying that we would have as much development if it wasn't for NYC, but don't get on our back for us *being sucessful. Be glad to have some healthy competition on the other side of the Hudson.

billyblancoNYC
June 4th, 2003, 01:08 PM
It is competition, and I hope Brooklyn and LIC blow JC out of the water, now that the city seems to finally have decided to get their act together. *

JCMAN320
June 4th, 2003, 02:07 PM
But remeber, LIC and Brooklyn is part of NYC, were an individual city.

Gulcrapek
June 4th, 2003, 02:59 PM
Can we get back to the topic?

Gulcrapek
June 4th, 2003, 03:22 PM
By the way, I'll be taking a photo of the rendering tomorrow and posting a usual construction update.

(sorry for being repetitive)

NYguy
June 4th, 2003, 08:05 PM
Quote: from TLOZ Link5 on 5:40 pm on June 3, 2003
Newark? *Philadelphia?.


I'm assuming you are joking. *Newark, while active, would hardly have had enough to draw from for JC to get that kind of development. *And you don't really think companies would relocate from Philly all the way to JC.

JCMAN320: *Not to knock JC, but JC in NY would be just another neighborhood.

Gulcrapek: *Get that photo!

TLOZ Link5
June 4th, 2003, 09:39 PM
Don't worry Guy, I'm definitely joking.

Gulcrapek
June 5th, 2003, 07:36 PM
Here we are.

http://galleries.soaringtowers.org/albums/album05/gamt.jpg

I count 48 floors before the glass change. It looks like a cross of Bloomberg and Cira Centre in Philadelphia.

Gulcrapek
June 5th, 2003, 07:54 PM
Sorry again, but note: please don't post this on skyscraperpage.com until tomorrow afternoon... I'd like to get first dibs at a diagram. It's selfish, but...

JMGarcia
June 5th, 2003, 08:07 PM
Even better than I hoped. Fantastic!

Are there any exact height statistics yet?

NoyokA
June 5th, 2003, 08:28 PM
Is this Brooklyn's tallest proposal at first mention. This would rival Citicorp Queens, I suppose.

Gulcrapek
June 5th, 2003, 08:28 PM
Yes, it is.

NoyokA
June 5th, 2003, 08:32 PM
What do you think of the design Gulcrapek?

Gulcrapek
June 5th, 2003, 08:33 PM
I like it. It's certainly fresh to the area. I'm not so crazy about the hotel part which looks like it crashed into the rest of the building, but the rest is nice.

DominicanoNYC
June 5th, 2003, 09:28 PM
It looks great. Skyscrapers.com really needs to keep up with these proposals. I've visited the site lately and they aren't keeping up with NYC proposals and approvals.

Kris
June 5th, 2003, 09:31 PM
It looks nice, but it could be of a more radical prismatic shape instead of this compromise. The setbacks are rather awkard. It doesn't quite break free.

NYguy
June 23rd, 2003, 07:03 PM
Hey Gulcrapek, I had forgotten about that rendering until today. *Anyway, I grabbed a shot as well...

TLOZ Link5
June 23rd, 2003, 10:50 PM
And this is a definite go, Guy? *Looks pretty tall.

TLOZ Link5
October 29th, 2003, 05:58 PM
Thought I'd ressurect this thread since we're all excited about Brooklyn construction :)

Gulcrapek
October 29th, 2003, 06:01 PM
I e-mailed Thor Equities last week, but as expected, never received a reply.

TLOZ Link5
October 29th, 2003, 06:18 PM
No need to get discouraged.

NYguy
December 2nd, 2003, 08:58 AM
NY Post...

BRAND NEW B'KLYN

By HEIDI SINGER

December 2, 2003 -- Downtown Brooklyn will become a financial, shopping and cultural mecca with new skyscrapers and tree-lined, Parisian-type boulevards under a bold master plan unveiled yesterday.

City officials said the $100 million plan, which would spruce up streets and allow taller buildings along Willoughby Street, Fulton Street and Flatbush Avenue, will halt the flow of corporate jobs and taxes to Jersey City and other points west of the Hudson.

In addition to new stores and housing, the plan would turn underachieving Flatbush Avenue into a lush Champs Elysées, making it one of the great avenues of New York.

"It will be a place everyone wants to walk," said Amanda Burden, chairwoman of the City Planning Commission, which certified the mayor's Economic Development Corp. plan yesterday. It now begins a seven-month public-approval process.

A tree-lined public square, surrounded by three, 35- to 45-story office towers, would be built on the southern side of Willoughby between Gold and Duffield streets. The scheme would replace the current mix of parking lots, stores and apartments.

Downtown Brooklyn is already a major transportation hub, but the MTA promised to improve transit in the area by upgrading some stations and putting subway entrances inside buildings.

Roughly 130 apartments will be destroyed and 50 to 60 businesses, mostly small retail shops, will be torn down. Owners and tenants will be relocated.

Nearly seven acres could be seized to create the square, housing and two commercial towers.

But the plan alters the zoning code so that owners can sell their low-rise buildings to developers who will tear them down to build modern high-rises.

Under the new zoning, tall buildings could soar above the landmark Williamsburg Savings Bank clock tower and could become a sticking point among neighborhood activists.

The plan will require City Council approval.

As a potential candidate for mayor, Council Speaker Gifford Miller (D-Manhattan) may be especially sensitive to community concerns about traffic congestion and parking, a council source said.

Mike McGurk, owner of Kevin Barry's Pub, said he'd happily consider selling his Willoughby Street building to the highest bidder.

"Depends on the money," he smiled. "Every building in the world is for sale if the money's right."

The plan came as a shock to Noor Mayan, who bought Luther's Fried Chicken last week.

Mayan, who was already making plans to renovate the popular chicken shack, had no idea he'd bought a restaurant that could turn into an office tower if his landlord decides to sell.

billyblancoNYC
December 2nd, 2003, 11:16 AM
This is very exciting. I can't wait for this to happen. It's so important to the city. I just hope there is enough room in the plans for even more apartments and offices. Also, does this boost the BAM cultural district plan in any way (another excellent plan for the city)?

Clarknt67
December 2nd, 2003, 01:50 PM
I don't know what was new about this annoucement? the whole article feels like re-cap to me. I guess they made some incremental, tiny administrative move toward it?

I'm looking forward to the BAM performing art library (search forum here for details). The BAM development is part & parcel of this commercial development.

I think the pro sports arena would be a great addition to that area. Since the hood already has dance studios, several theaters, BAM cinema, adding a sports venue would ensure the nightlife/entertainment dollars would be constantly following through the fort greene/downtown area.

Gulcrapek
December 2nd, 2003, 04:32 PM
It's good and all. I just have a question and comment:

Why would 'everyone want to walk down' Flatbush Avenue? The projects are immediately adjacent. I'm sure it will be much better than it is now, but they make it seem like it'll be heaven on earth...

And 35 to 45? I'm pushing it and I know it, but that's a little disappointing. EEK's massing models went up to 56 floors. And what happened to no height limit?

Clarknt67
December 2nd, 2003, 05:27 PM
It's good and all. I just have a question and comment:

Why would 'everyone want to walk down' Flatbush Avenue? The projects are immediately adjacent. I'm sure it will be much better than it is now, but they make it seem like it'll be heaven on earth...

I'm not sure what projects you're talking about, the whole run of flatbush from the manhattan bridge to Grand army plaza seem to be completely commercial. I walk from downtown to fort greene on Flatbush often enough, but, agreed, it's not very pleasant, it's kinda dirty and noisy.

I guess they're imagining that some landscaping and if it's modified to a blvd, it will be more enticing.

(how are they going to make it a blvd, btw, won't that cut into traffic lanes and make the already congested artery to the Manhattan Bridge even worse?)

And another thing: after they clean it up and landscape, do they really think the area residents won't still feel compelled to drop their nasty fried chicken bones all over the sidewalks?

Gulcrapek
December 2nd, 2003, 05:48 PM
The resident base will probably change a little, people who care a little more and are conscious of their neighborhood (which will most likely jump in value)...

I was talking about the Ingersoll Houses.

As for the boulevard, I suppose maybe the tiny block to Prince St. might be demapped and the street expanded to accomodate the central island. But who knows...

NYguy
December 2nd, 2003, 06:23 PM
And 35 to 45? I'm pushing it and I know it, but that's a little disappointing. EEK's massing models went up to 56 floors. And what happened to no height limit?


I don't know if anything happend with limits. But they are still talking the tallest of Brooklyn...



Under the new zoning, tall buildings could soar above the landmark Williamsburg Savings Bank clock tower and could become a sticking point among neighborhood activists.

Clarknt67
December 2nd, 2003, 06:38 PM
The resident base will probably change a little, people who care a little more and are conscious of their neighborhood (which will most likely jump in value)...

I would hope so. A friend of mine visited me from Crown Heights, he couldn't believe how clean the street of Brooklyn Heights were. And I thought about it (having spent some time in Crown Heights) and realized how right he was. It's sad that some people don't have any respect for their environment. It make me feel grateful for living in a place where people DO bother to hang onto their trash for the block or two it takes to find a public wastecan. Never understood why some people think it's ok to litter.

JMC
December 2nd, 2003, 09:47 PM
I'm bummed about Luther's. Whenever I got to a party, in The City, I try to pick up a dozen biscuts for the crowd...

NYguy
December 3rd, 2003, 08:55 AM
globest.com

Traffic Study is Next Step for Downtown Brooklyn Plan

By Barbara Jarvie
Dec 2, 2003 08:57AM

BROOKLYN, NY-The Downtown Brooklyn Plan was certified and now it will face a public review process. The expansion project could bring 5.4 million sf of commercial space and 1,000 housing units to the area. The key challenges are possible traffic problems and attracting big-name businesses.

To deal with the traffic concerns, the Department of Transportation will begin an in-depth study. Downtown Brooklyn Council executive director Michael Burke tells GlobeSt.com that a city-hired traffic coordinator is expected to release findings from a survey by the end of 2004. "A tremendous amount of work has been done," Burke says. "This is a long-term plan--a traffic survey will be a huge step forward."

While developers will make their own efforts toward marketing the area, Burke anticipates that there will be a public-private cooperation toward that regard, as well. A comprehensive plan for a marketing effort will also be completed by the end of next year with the goal of making the area more attractive for office and retail development.

Originally announced in April, the plan calls for the city to increase zoning allowances, assist in the assembly of key sites and undertake infrastructure and streetscape improvements to help facilitate the creation of new office, residential, retail, open space and cultural facilities.

The plan calls for the creation of three office towers, which will have as much as three million sf of space, to be built abutting a newly created 1.5-acre park on Willoughby Street just west of the Flatbush Avenue extension, as well as an office development anchoring the west end at Boerum Place with a total development potential of nearly 850,000 sf.

There will also be residential and commercial opportunity on the eastern side of Flatbush Avenue extension and the addition of approximately 2,000 parking spaces.

The plan also works with cultural institutions and the area's seven existing academic institutions, which occupy more than 900,000-sf of campus area. A mixed-use cultural district with a new library, theaters, galleries, rehearsal spaces and other cultural venues, as well as mixed income housing is in the works for the area surrounding the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

ZippyTheChimp
December 3rd, 2003, 09:45 AM
Downtown Brooklyn Project (http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/html/dwnbklyn2/dwnbklynintro1.html) on Dept of City Planning webpage.

Right on schedule.

BrooklynRider
December 3rd, 2003, 10:55 AM
I don't know what was new about this annoucement? the whole article feels like re-cap to me. I guess they made some incremental, tiny administrative move toward it?

I agree with your assessment, but, if nothing else, it gives the NIMBY's something to rally around.

Clarknt67
December 3rd, 2003, 03:33 PM
I'm bummed about Luther's. Whenever I got to a party, in The City, I try to pick up a dozen biscuts for the crowd...

Buck-up! It's not like Downtown is in danger of underserving the fried chicken market, however. They're on every block. And i'm sure the institution of Luther's will relocate.

My friend was a Luther's addict. I always preferred Popeyes.

JMC
December 3rd, 2003, 05:38 PM
Kennedy Fried Chicken (the "other" KFC), is probably in no danger of getting squeezed.

:lol:

NYguy
December 3rd, 2003, 05:38 PM
I don't know what was new about this annoucement? the whole article feels like re-cap to me. I guess they made some incremental, tiny administrative move toward it?

I agree with your assessment, but, if nothing else, it gives the NIMBY's something to rally around.


Its an ongoing process. You will here about it as it passes the various stages of city approval...


"It will be a place everyone wants to walk," said Amanda Burden, chairwoman of the City Planning Commission, which certified the mayor's Economic Development Corp. plan yesterday. It now begins a seven-month public-approval process.

sniperwolf
December 4th, 2003, 01:29 AM
what is the date the process should be completed? i caught a bit of a cable access show where a member of the brooklyn chamber of comerce was interviewed saying "i wouldnt be surprised to see construction begin in summer of 04" im assuming he was refering to the gallery at metrotech tower.

NYguy
December 4th, 2003, 04:46 PM
Who knows how long this could take. It must go through that review process, and who knows if any city council members may still want to tinker with it...

Clarknt67
December 5th, 2003, 03:00 PM
Who knows how long this could take. It must go through that review process, and who knows if any city council members may still want to tinker with it...

Cut and pasted from the nyc.gov website:


Schedule:
The proposed timeline for this project is subject to change and this page will be updated on a regular basis to indicate dates of public meetings.
2001 - 2003 Stakeholder meetings
April 2003 Public presentations of development plan
Release draft scope for the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)
May 2003 Public meeting on draft scope for EIS
September 2003 Begin Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) process:
Community Board
Borough President
City Planning Commission
City Council
April 2004 Conclude ULURP and EIS process
Ongoing Outreach meetings and progress reports

They seem to be right on schedule. Aside from the evitable grumbling from displaced businesses, I've heard very little oppositon to the plan, surprisingly. If they really do get past the ULURP & EIS by April 2004, it is conceivable construction could begin this summer. :D This is assumming Luther's Fried Chicken doesn't throw a big wrench in the plan. :wink:

I was posted earlier in the thread but bears repeating. Here's the link to the plan, there's two PDFs about it. Very interesting read (to me). Willoughby square promises to be beautiful.

http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/html/dwnbklyn2/dwnbklynintro1.html

Does anyone think Willoughby Square isn't the best name? Why not Flatbush Square? that sounds very Brooklyn (but perhaps too blue-collar in conotation for a Class-A office park address?). Or Harriet Tubman Square could placate some of the angry activists who were twarted in their effort to rename Fulton Street in her honor.

ZippyTheChimp
December 5th, 2003, 04:09 PM
It depends on who Willoughby was in Brooklyn history. If he was an early developer with the same artistic qualities as Ratner, then hell yes, change it.

Clarknt67
December 5th, 2003, 04:49 PM
It depends on who Willoughby was in Brooklyn history. If he was an early developer with the same artistic qualities as Ratner, then hell yes, change it.

Yeah, I guess you're right, I don't know who Willoughby is, I guess it might change my mind if I know. It just doesn't really roll off the tongue, like Union Square or Rock Center.

MonCapitan2002
February 27th, 2004, 04:07 PM
I happen to like this development. I think Brooklyn should have a more impressive skyline than it currently has. If this plan is successful and the Ratner plan is successful, they could possibly pave the way for even more tall buildings.

Clarknt67
March 2nd, 2004, 11:58 AM
I happen to like this development. I think Brooklyn should have a more impressive skyline than it currently has. If this plan is successful and the Ratner plan is successful, they could possibly pave the way for even more tall buildings.

I think where you fall on the plan depends on what you think of urban growth. There are people who resist it because they moved to Brooklyn to escape the density and chaos of Manhattan.

My feeling is, the dense urban center of NYC has to expand to areas outside Manhattan. (In fact it already has to Jersey City, the impetus for this plan.) The area above the Atlantic Ave. Station is prime for dense development.

Complaints about traffic seem stupid to me. The streets are no less able to handle traffic than the streets around Times Square, and they put big towers up there. I believe urban traffic reaches a critical mass and at that point, even the stupidest, most selfish, SUV-loving American realizes, it's easier to take public transportation than to drive. Downtown Brooklyn public transportation can handle that bump and that's what will happen. As the 4000 residential units are built in the area, more people will be within walking distance.

Neighborhoods change, I believe this plan is well-thought out for the long-term picture of what's good for NYC.

NYguy
March 10th, 2004, 08:34 AM
Things are moving closer now...(NY Post)

TROUBLE FOR NETS AS BEEP OKS NEW B'KLYN

By PATRICK GALLAHUE

March 10, 2004 -- The city's ambitious $100 million plan to build massive office and residential towers in Downtown Brooklyn got its first thumbs-up last night.

Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz approved the city's Downtown plan - but it's far from a sure thing.

The proposal has become embroiled in a related clash over a proposed arena for the NBA's Nets in neighboring Fort Greene - and this has led to new complications.

Developer Bruce Ratner bought the team and wants to bring them to Brooklyn.

Both plans involve using eminent domain - forcing owners of private property to sell out so government agencies can use the land - to clear out existing homes and businesses.

Opponents of the arena have joined with those who stand to be displaced if the Downtown plan passes, launching a massive lobbying campaign against the idea.

"The feeling is, these projects are tied together," said Heloise Gruneberg, president of Brooklyn Vision, one of the many groups founded to oppose both the Downtown and the arena plans.

"These plans impact one another," she added, stressing her group's major problems involve traffic concerns and eminent domain.

Markowitz - who also supports the arena - gave a thumbs-up to the Downtown plan.

But he set some conditions.

Among the changes he called for are:

* Better subway service.

* Residential permit parking.

* A jitney loop connecting Downtown to ferries and public transit hubs.

He also raised the possibility of building a new subway tunnel to Manhattan.

Markowitz further suggested that corporate tenants in existing office buildings should give up some private parking spaces to city agencies, to reduce congestion.

Markowitz said he's happy with most aspects of the plan - which the city says will bring 8,000 construction jobs - and eventually 18,500 office jobs - to Downtown.

He expects local residents and businesses owned by minorities and women to be among the prime beneficiaries.

The plan, which was launched last year by city officials, would rezone swaths of Downtown Brooklyn to create an estimated 4.5 million square feet of office space and around 1,000 units of housing.

The proposal is intended to stem the flight of companies in need of affordable "back-office" space to New Jersey.

Markowitz has asked that 20 percent of the new housing be "affordable."

The crush of cars that the arena and the Downtown development project stand to attract has already prompted the city to undertake a new analysis of the traffic in the area.

The borough president's approval is the first favorable endorsement in the public review process.
The local community board rejected the proposal last month.

Now the plan goes before the City Planning Commission.
Should the commission pass it, the plan will go before the City Council.

The city plans to spend $100 million for several projects, including infrastructure improvements and transit upgrades.

BrooklynRider
March 10th, 2004, 05:03 PM
Thyis thing is going to sail through all the approval processes, then hit a wall with lawsuits. I'm still on the fence with the overall plan, but there exists some mighty opposition and it is very organized.

TLOZ Link5
March 10th, 2004, 06:01 PM
Why is it still going through when the proposal was rejected by the City Council?

Clarknt67
March 10th, 2004, 06:24 PM
Why is it still going through when the proposal was rejected by the City Council?

It was rejected by the local community board (I think they mean CB2, downtown/Fort Greene) not the City Council. Their rejection or approval is purely a courtesy and not binding.

TLOZ Link5
March 10th, 2004, 07:37 PM
Crap. Made a mistake in typing that.

Feeling silly :oops:

Clarknt67
March 11th, 2004, 01:48 PM
Crap. Made a mistake in typing that.

Feeling silly :oops:

Cool, no big deal. I just thought you misread the article. It's very confusing the many layers of approval/blah/blah/blah, I don't have a full handle on it either.

NYguy
March 31st, 2004, 11:37 AM
I happen to like this development. I think Brooklyn should have a more impressive skyline than it currently has. If this plan is successful and the Ratner plan is successful, they could possibly pave the way for even more tall buildings.

Don't let the councilwoman hear it...

(The Brookln Papers)

Tish: Scrap skyscraper site from Downtown Plan

http://www.brooklynpapers.com/html/issues/_vol27/27_12/27_12james.jpg

Councilwoman Letitia James testifies at Wednesday’s public hearing.

By Jotham Sederstrom

City Councilwoman Letitia James is calling on the city to remove from its massive rezoning plan for Downtown Brooklyn a small plot of land that is also a key element in developer Bruce Ratner’s Atlantic Yards arena and office tower plan.

The site, on the corner of Flatbush and Atlantic avenues, is the only parcel of land included in both plans, and it is where Ratner would build the tallest of his Frank Gehry-designed office skyscrapers. That has raised the ire of James, other elected officials and opponents of the arena plan who believe that the two plans should either be looked at as one or as completely separate.

James made her statements at Wednesday’s public hearing on the Downtown Brooklyn Plan before the City Planning Commission.

“It should be completely stricken from the record,” James said at the March 24 hearing at the New York City College of Technology.

The item in question, No. 19 in the massive Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) application for the Downtown Plan, is a submission by the Department of Housing and Preservation and Development that seeks to “facilitate residential development on Site 6A and development of a public library and other community facility use with below-grade parking on Site 20.”

James said she only wants mention of site 6A, a triangular plot on the corner of Flatbush and Atlantic avenues, to be stricken. She said she supports development of the public arts library and what was announced this week as a $22 million, 299-seat, Frank Gehry-designed theater, both of which would be built near Ashland Place and Lafayette Avenue.

She had originally called for both the Altlantic Yards and the Downtown plans to be considered as one, citing that both developments would affect traffic downtown and in surrounding neighborhoods.

The Department of City Planning issued an amended environmental impact statement this month, which studied the traffic impacts of the Downtown Plan assuming the building of Ratner’s arena and office and residential tower complex but it came too late for review by the community board and borough president.

The first-term councilwoman, who represents Fort Greene and Prospect Heights, said she supports most of the Downtown Plan, but has criticized portions of it that would condemn seven acres of land, including 130 residential units and 100 businesses.

In contrast, she has vocally opposed the Ratner Atlantic Yards plan, which would span 28 acres and include a 17,000-seat basketball arena, and 13 commercial and residential towers. A key element of that plan is also the condemnation of property by the state.

“The Williamsburgh Savings Bank, to me, is the edge of Downtown Brooklyn, that’s where those towers should end, and where the downtown residential community begins,” said James. “That’s why I oppose the [Atlantic Yards] plan entirely. It would overwhelm the residents here.”

Asked about the councilwoman’s suggestion to sever all links between the two plans, Greg Atkins, chief of staff for Borough President Marty Markowitz, said his boss does not support such a recommendation.

“I understand the councilwoman’s concerns to split the two plans up,” said Atkins, who gave testimony at the public hearing. “But since the ULURP was really meant for the public library and the arena project was going to be done for a state agency, the two projects are essentially separated and unrelated.”

But Downtown and Brooklyn Heights Councilman David Yassky, who also spoke at the public hearing, told The Brooklyn Papers on Friday that he supports evaluating the plans separately.

“My position is that the Downtown Brooklyn Development Plan should be, and is, absolutely separate from the arena plan,” said Yassky. “Anything that’s in the Downtown Brooklyn land use action that relates to the arena development should be taken out and kept separate because they’re two very different proposals and need to be evaluated separately.”

Gulcrapek
March 31st, 2004, 05:44 PM
Um, am I missing something or doesn't that site have to be zoned by the rezoning plan (hence the name) for the building to be buiilt? It's just standard and legal process. It's more legal than if it wasn't rezoned; I thought that would make them a little less idiotic... I guess not.

And her position is politically-correct, I-don't-know-a-thing-about-planning-but-if-I-want-to-run-for-something-again-I'll-be-the-whore-of-my-district, bullshit.

MonCapitan2002
April 1st, 2004, 04:37 AM
I happen to like this development. I think Brooklyn should have a more impressive skyline than it currently has. If this plan is successful and the Ratner plan is successful, they could possibly pave the way for even more tall buildings.

Don't let the councilwoman hear it...



Tish: Scrap skyscraper site from Downtown Plan

http://www.brooklynpapers.com/html/issues/_vol27/27_12/27_12james.jpg

Councilwoman Letitia James testifies at Wednesday’s public hearing.

SNIP



Ms. James can go boink herself for all I care. I think this plan is a good thing for Brooklyn and if she has a problem with it she can go sit on it and rotate.

NYguy
April 1st, 2004, 08:59 AM
The Brooklyn Papers...

Ratner tower won’t play by city rules
Despite overlap, D’town Plan meaningless

By Jotham Sederstrom

A sliver of land caught in the crosshairs of two separate but equally far-reaching development plans may find itself home to Brooklyn’s tallest structure — a 620-foot office tower — regardless of what might happen to it as it courses through the city’s public review process under the guise of a residential parcel.

The site abuts the plot on which developer Bruce Ratner hopes to build an arena for his recently-purchased New Jersey Nets basketball team. The Empire State Development Corp., a state authority that would likely sponsor a plan by Ratner to build that skyscraper, can override city zoning laws, according to spokespersons for both the Department of City Planning and the Economic Development Corporation.

The city-owned and MTA-leased site in question is on the corner of Flatbush and Atlantic avenues, the Williamsburgh Savings Bank Tower, currently Brooklyn’s tallest building.

Ratner’s Frank Gehry-designed office tower at that site would be 108 feet taller.

As described in a master proposal for Ratner’s Atlantic Yards development, the skyscraper would be the dominant element of Gehry’s 13-building design, which would include a 19,000-seat arena. Office towers and apartment buildings round out the plan.

Just which state agency will sponsor the Ratner development will be decided soon, said Joe Deplasco, a spokesman for Ratner’s Forest City Ratner Company, who said the lead agency choice was “still under discussion.”

If the Ratner plan does, as expected, get sponsored by the Empire State Development Corp., it would be held up to much less stringent public review than under the city’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure. Rather than have its merits debated in at least four public hearings, a state review would only require Ratner’s plan to be publicly scrutinized at an environmental impact hearing under the State Environmental Quality Review Act.

Atlantic Yards would be built on MTA-owned rail yards with the rest of the parcel pieced together through state condemnations of private property under its power of eminent domain.

“At a minimum, the City Council should be looking at both plans, and at a minimum, they should be holding hearings on both plans,” said Norman Siegel, the former head of the New York Civil Liberties Union, who is representing many of the Prospect Heights residents who would be evicted.

The Atlantic Yards proposal is not nearly as far along as the Downtown Brooklyn Plan, which is currently being reviewed by the City Planning Commission, the third stop along the city’s ULURP process. Community Board 2 failed to make a recommendation on the massive rezoning proposal and Borough President Marty Markowitz approved the plan, sending along to the planning commissioners a laundry list of suggested modifications to the plan.

If approved by the City Planning Commission, the Downtown Plan would next come before the City Council.

Under that plan, more than 60 blocks in the area roughly bounded by Tillary and Schermerhorn streets, from Adams Street to Flatbush Avenue, would be rezoned to allow for the development of 6.7 million square feet of office space, 1 million square feet of retail, 1,000 units of housing and 2,400 new parking spaces.

As for the sole Atlantic Yards site that overlaps with the Downtown Plan, at the intersection of Atlantic and Flatbush avenues, the city is seeking to rezone the commercial site to residential use.

“Our plan was done before the yards plan,” said Janel Patterson, a spokeswoman for the Economic Development Corporation, which is a sponsor of the Downtown Plan. “Doing that site residential seemed the most practical scenario due to the small, odd shape of the site.”

And while it would seem that the zoning change would be a setback to Ratner’s office tower plan, people familiar with city and state zoning laws tell The Brooklyn Papers that with the MTA and Empire State Development Corp. as partners, Ratner could come in and trump those decisions.

“It seems to me the intentions of Ratner, [Mayor] Bloomberg, [Deputy Mayor Daniel] Doctoroff and [Gov. George] Pataki is to get this out of the City Council review, out of this whole process at the city level going on now, and get it into state hands,” said Patti Hagan, president of the Prospect Heights Action Coalition, an anti-Atlantic Yards neighborhood group.

NYguy
April 28th, 2004, 08:22 PM
An anti-development article from New York magazine...
http://www.newyorkmetro.com/nymetro/realestate/urbandev/features/n_10288//index.html


New improved Brooklyn
http://www.newyorkmetro.com/realestate/articles/04/brooklyn/

http://www.newyorkmetro.com/images/news/04/04/brooklyn/splash_middle_548.jpg

Gulcrapek
April 28th, 2004, 08:55 PM
Thor's tower is the short model at thue bottom right of the Willoughby Square group - I'm hoping this is just a model again and the tower hasn't been taken into consideration.

NYguy
April 30th, 2004, 07:14 PM
Brooklyn Paper (May 1 edition)

Downtown Plan overhaul
Urban renewal steamroller brakes for design college

By Deborah Kolben

It was targeted to be among the first to go, under the city’s massive Downtown Brooklyn rezoning and redevelopment plan, but this week the Institute of Design and Construction got a reprieve.

The City Planning Commission unveiled changes to the Downtown Brooklyn Plan on Monday, and at the top of the list was taking the site of the 67-year-old architectural school, at the corner of Flatbush Avenue Extension and Willoughby Street, out of the plan altogether.

“We’re elated” Vincent Battista, 58, president of the Institute of Design and Construction, said when he learned about the change this week.

The college was to be claimed under the government’s power of eminent domain and then demolished to create a better view plane from Flatbush Avenue to a 1.5-acre open space the city plans to build across the street. The planned Willoughby Square would be modeled after Post Square in Boston, according to city planners.

“Nobody is against progress or against construction, it’s just a question of size and seeing people being taken care of,” said Battista, who has criticized the city for wanting to “knock down the building and plant grass.”

More reassuring to Battista, an early and vocal opponent of the Downtown Brooklyn Plan, was that his property was also removed from plans to extend the Brooklyn Center Urban Renewal Area, easing his concerns about future condemnation of the property, as well.

Battista’s father, Vito Battista, a political maverick known for his outlandish stunts — he once paraded around town on an elephant — purchased the building at 141 Willoughby St. for $300,000 in 1967.

With the building paid off, the nearly $1.5 million in annual rent from upstairs office tenants allows the building trades school to subsidize tuition. Currently at $4,800 per year, Battista had argued the cost to students would be nearly double without the money generated from the building and that in order to operate in another location the school would need a guarantee of free rent.

He had threatened to sue to stop the taking of his property. If the modified Downtown Brooklyn Plan is approved by the City Planning Commission on May 10 that will no longer be necessary.

Still, more than 130 residential units and 100 businesses will be displaced by the plan, which the mayor and other officials tout as necessary to stem the tide of corporate back-office space moving to New Jersey and elsewhere.

The complex rezoning of 60 blocks to make way for office, residential and academic towers and turn downtown into what city and borough officials say will be a bustling, 24-7 hub, requires condemning at least seven acres of private property.

The Downtown Plan would allow for the construction of at least 6.7 million square feet of office space, 1 million square feet of retail, 1,000 units of housing and 2,500 parking spaces.

Michael Burke, director of the Downtown Brooklyn Council, an offshoot of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce that helped conceive the plan, praised the alterations.

“We see these as positive changes,” said Burke. “The core values of the plan are still there and we have positively responded to the community and it’s a better plan because of it.”

Other changes announced by the planning commission Monday included cutting out a portion of the plan area that overlaps with developer Bruce Ratner’s Atlantic Yards development, a triangular lot at the intersection of Flatbush and Atlantic avenues where Ratner would build the tallest of his Frank Gehry-designed towers, a 620-foot-tall skyscraper that would be the tallest building in the borough.

Together the Downtown Plan and Atlantic Yards would add an additional 14 million square feet of development in the greater Downtown Brooklyn area and would require the taking of approximately 15 acres of private land by eminent domain.

Arena opponents and those concerned about the effects of traffic and other environmental factors packed public hearings on the Downtown Plan calling on the city to consider the impacts of the two plans together when reviewing the Downtown Plan. When those calls went unheeded, Fort Greene-Prospect Heights Councilwoman Letitia James, whose district includes portions of both plans, called on the Atlantic Yards block to be removed from the Downtown Plan boundary.

The move was something of a formality, however, as the Ratner development, because it is likely to be spearheaded by the state, will not have to undergo city review, nor abide by city zoning regulations, according to city and state officials.

Some of the other changes put forth by the planing commission this week will benefit other local academic institutions.

The commissioners also excluded two buildings on Livingston Street near Hanover Place, where Long Island University is looking to build additional classrooms.

Long Island University was in discussions to develop the property before the city announced, as part of the Downtown Plan, it would extend the period of the urban renewal area in which they sit for another 40 years.

In another modification, any development on the site at Boerum Place and Fulton Street — which is targeted by the plan for high-rise development — will now have to include 100,000 square feet of higher education space. The site, owned by Brooklyn Law School, is across the street from the college.

“We currently own and occupy space at 1 Boerum Place that is integral to our educational mission and we look forward to maintaining our presence in any future development that occurs on that site,” Law School officials said in a written statement in response to questions about the modifications this week.

Many community members and elected officials labeled the changes a victory, while many others said there was still more to be done in order to make the plan a “win-win” for the community.

“I’m happy that we were able to save the school and we’re still negotiating about two other items,” said James.

She is now working with several community members along Duffield Street whose homes and businesses would likely be taken to make way for office towers.

Some of those residents claim the Underground Railroad ran beneath their property and should therefore be preserved.

“A big fight for me right now is trying to save those homes,” said James.

Winston Von Engel, deputy director of the Brooklyn office of the Department of City Planning said the city has not been able to find any evidence linking the homes with the Underground Railroad but would have to do an archeological assessment.

Lewis Greenstein, who owns a 150-year-old, brown clapboard residential and commercial building at 233 Duffield St., said it was “disheartening” that the city was not going to preserve the buildings and vowed to continue the fight.

James is also pushing for height restrictions on buildings along Flatbush Avenue, which falls in her district.

Over the past several months community members have voiced their concerns at public hearings hosted by Community Board 2 and Borough President Marty Markowitz. Traffic and public transportation issues topped the list of concerns.

The community board failed to make a recommendation on the plan, while Markowitz voted in favor of the plan last month but submitted a dense list of recommendations, including sparing the Institute of Design and Construction.

“I fully expect that the money saved by the city not acquiring the Institute of Design and Construction will be spent on parkland in the community. However, I hope that … my recommendations, especially my desire to see significant affordable housing will be included in this plan,” Markowitz said this week.

Traffic consultant Brian Ketcham said the plan should be put on hold until the city conducts a major traffic masterplan for downtown.

According to Ketcham, the downtown rezoning will bring an additional 17,500 cars and 95,000 subway riders each day.

That doesn’t include the other surrounding development either planned or approved for the area including the nearly 8 million square feet of development at the adjoining Atlantic Yards site.

Downtown Councilman David Yassky is generally supportive of the plan, his aides say, but has concerns over traffic and transportation. He did not return calls seeking comment on the plan.

Preservations are also pushing the city to consider saving several downtown buildings.

The Brooklyn Heights Association (BHA) and other local community groups have joined forces with the Municipal Art Society to seek the city landmark designation of 16 buildings in Downtown Brooklyn that could face demolition as part of the Downtown Brooklyn Plan..

NYguy
May 14th, 2004, 07:10 PM
(Brooklyn Paper)

Planning panel OKs Downtown Plan

By Deborah Kolben

A plan to turn Downtown Brooklyn into a commercial and retail hub with soaring office towers moved one step closer to reality this week.

The City Planning Commission approved the $100 million Downtown Brooklyn Plan Monday. The rezoning and urban renewal plan calls for the construction of 6.7 million square feet of office space, 1 million square feet of retail space, 1,000 units of housing and 2,500 parking spaces.

As part of the Downtown Plan, the government would also condemn seven acres of private land including 130 residential units, and 100 businesses.

The City Planning commissioners modified the plan somewhat, removing from it an architectural design college at the corner of Flatbush Avenue and Willoughby Street, which was to have been demolished to create a better sight-line from Flatbush Avenue to a planned public square.

The commission also cut out a portion of the plan area that overlaps with developer Bruce Ratner’s Atlantic Yards development, a triangular lot at the intersection of Flatbush and Atlantic avenues where Ratner would build the tallest of his Frank Gehry-designed towers, a 620-foot-tall skyscraper that would be the tallest building in the borough.

And the commissioners excluded two buildings on Livingston Street near Hanover Place, where Long Island University is looking to build additional classrooms. In another modification, any development on the site at Boerum Place and Fulton Street — which is targeted by the plan for high-rise development — will now have to include 100,000 square feet of higher education space. The site, owned by Brooklyn Law School, is across the street from the college.

While all 13 commissioners voted for the plan, some expressed concerns about traffic, infrastructure, affordable housing and the use of eminent domain to seize private property.

Downtown Brooklyn Councilman David Yassky said he supports the plan but is concerned about traffic and open space.
“I still think there are gaps to be filled,” Yassky said.

The application now goes before the City Council, which has 60 days to hold pubic hearings and vote on the plan.

Gulcrapek
May 14th, 2004, 08:33 PM
Gooooooooodddd.

NewYorkYankee
May 14th, 2004, 11:55 PM
GREAT! I think D'town BK needs to be more Manhattanish.

NYguy
June 4th, 2004, 06:50 PM
Brooklyn Papers...

Final Downtown meet Tuesday

By Deborah Kolben

A rezoning plan that would turn much of Downtown Brooklyn into an urban renewal area ripe for the development of office and residential towers is nearing the final stages of the city review process.

A City Council committee will host the final public hearing on the sweeping Downtown Brooklyn Plan at 9:30 am this Tuesday, June 8, in the council chambers at City Hall.

If approved by the full council, the rezoning and urban renewal plan would allow for the construction of 6.7 million square feet of office space, 1 million square feet of retail space, 1,000 units of housing and 2,500 parking spaces.

As part of the $100 million plan, the government would also condemn seven acres of private land including 130 residential units, and 100 businesses.

The plan has been approved by Borough President Marty Markowitz and the City Planning Commission.

Critics are calling for more transportation and infrastructure improvements and are asking the city to scale back the project.

Some Duffield Street residents and business owners whose properties will face the wrecking ball claim the Underground Railroad ran beneath their homes and say the plan would jeopardize the historical slave freedom trail.

The Land Use Subcommittee for Zoning and Franchises will host the public hearing. The full council is scheduled to vote on the plan on Monday, June 28.

krulltime
June 4th, 2004, 07:49 PM
Good News Brooklyn!!! keep your fingers cross. 8)

BrooklynRider
June 7th, 2004, 10:32 AM
The proposed mega-developments in Brooklyn really highlight the fact that housing is not nearly as high on the agenda as commercial space.

Gulcrapek
June 7th, 2004, 07:29 PM
Atlantic Yards will provide a good deal of housing (forgot how much, over 1,000 units, maybe 4,500) and this will provide a good deal too.

BrooklynRider
June 8th, 2004, 11:14 AM
Yes, Atlantic Yards proposes 4,500 units of housing. It is very difficult to gauge what they are talking about when commercial space is described in square footage and residential housing is described in units. An SRO hotel is residential housing and so is a triplex penthouse apartment.

Gulcrapek
June 25th, 2004, 09:53 PM
KPF now says the Gallery at Fulton Street (formerly G. at Metrotech) tower is not one of their projects.

Whoever it was that e-mailed KPF about 1 NY Place and got the same answer, what was the sender address?

TLOZ Link5
June 26th, 2004, 12:50 AM
KPF now says the Gallery at Fulton Street (formerly G. at Metrotech) tower is not one of their projects.

Whoever it was that e-mailed KPF about 1 NY Place and got the same answer, what was the sender address?

Stern was the one who E-mailed them about that.

NYguy
July 2nd, 2004, 07:27 PM
Brooklyn Papers...

Downtown plan gets green light

http://brooklynpapers.com/html/issues/_vol27/27_26/27_26bony.jpg

From left, Councilwoman Letitia James, Borough President Marty Markowitz, Bank of New York CEO Tom Renyi, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and City Planning Director Amanda Burden cut ribbon at new Bank of New York offices at Atlantic Terminal, near the intersection of Flatbush and Atlantic avenues.


By Deborah Kolben

A major rezoning plan that city and borough officials hope will turn Downtown Brooklyn into a booming metropolis of skyscrapers and corporate back-office space was approved this week in a nearly unanimous vote in the City Council.

“This plan will help us keep jobs,” said Councilman David Yassky at Monday’s vote. “It’s good for New York City and it’s good for Brooklyn.”

The plan passed by a vote of 47-0, with one abstention.

On Thursday, the man whose signature the rezoning and urban renewal initiative awaits, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, hailed the Downtown Brooklyn Plan as a “key part of [his administration’s] strategy to preserve and grow jobs.” Bloomberg made the comments at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Bank of New York’s new office space at Atlantic Terminal.

The office tower at Atlantic and Flatbush avenues, which is part of a shopping mall and transportation hub built by developer Bruce Ratner and the MTA, will house 1,400 Bank of New York employees.

“If you want to have jobs you have to make the city more livable and more economically diverse,” said Bloomberg.

Having Bank of New York, whose Lower Manhattan offices suffered heavy damage on 9-11, as an anchor tenant allowed Ratner to apply for and receive Liberty Bonds to finance half of the construction cost of Atlantic Terminal.

The Downtown Brooklyn Plan would allow for the construction of 4.5 million square feet of office space, 1 million square feet of retail, 1,000 units of housing and 2,500 parking spaces.

As part of that plan, the city hopes to attract corporate interest in building three new office towers with as much as 3 million square feet of space abutting a planned 1.5-acre park on Willoughby Street just west of Flatbush Avenue Extension.

Also planned is another office tower, at Boerum Place; the construction of new office and residential space on the eastern side of Flatbush Avenue Extension, between Tillary and Willoughby streets, and along the south side of Myrtle Avenue, east of Flatbush Avenue Extension; and about 2,000 parking spots.

As part of the plan the city intends to condemn seven acres of private property, including 130 residential units and 100 businesses in the downtown area.

But Andrew Alper, president of the city Economic Development Corporation, co-sponsor of the plan with the Department of City Planning, said this week that no condemnation or construction would begin until the city identified developers and tenants for the sites.

“What we want to do is make sure we have tenants first, so we will be out talking to businesses around the country and around the world and make sure we have something to build before we start taking land and doing other actions like that,” Alper said at Thursday’s Atlantic Terminal press conference.

The initial phase of the $100 million plan will include revamping Flatbush Avenue into a “gateway” to Brooklyn, said City Planning Director Amanda Burden. If all goes well, she said, the reconstruction of Flatbush Avenue Extension could begin in a year.

“It will have a center median with trees on both sides — it will be a connector and not a divider — and give a signal that Downtown Brooklyn is really reborn,” Burden said Thursday.

Before the plan goes forward, the council’s landmarks subcommittee has agreed to hold a special public hearing on the potential connection between homes along Duffield Street — one of the primary development sites in the plan — to the Underground Railroad.

When residents along that street first suggested their properties might have once been used to house fugitive slaves, the city commissioned a study to determine the historical significance of the properties, but claimed to have found no such evidence.

That research was partly based on consultations with more than a dozen agencies including the highly respected Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.

But when Christopher Moore, exhibitions research coordinator for the Schomburg Center, testified last month that nobody from the city had ever contacted his organization regarding Duffield Street, council members decided to schedule the additional hearing.

Contacted by The Brooklyn Papers two weeks ago, representatives of the Weeksville Society, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving remains of the free African-American community, and Bridge Street AME Church, the first black congregation in Brooklyn — and a known stop on the Underground Railroad — said that despite being named in the study nobody had actually contacted them.

East New York Councilman Charles Barron, who accused the Bloomberg administration of “blatantly lying” about the Duffield Street research, abstained from this week’s vote.

Asked by The Papers why he did not cast a vote against the plan, Barron said, “The only reason I abstained is because they are compromising and will have the hearing.”

Ever since the city first announced the rezoning earlier this year, residents have been working to ensure their neighborhoods will be protected and not overrun with traffic.

Residents and business owners packed the four public hearings on the plan. The Institute of Design and Construction, a 67-year-old architectural school at the corner of Flatbush Avenue Extension and Willoughby Street that was to be razed to make for better sight-lines from Flatbush Avenue to the planned Willoughby Square, was spared after much wrangling.

Fort Greene and Prospect Heights Councilwoman Letitia James, who initially opposed the plan, voted for it on Monday, citing the mayor’s commitment to affordable housing, traffic mitigation and “the recognition of historical resource and the commitment to some additional historic resources.”

Yassky agreed to support the plan after negotiating with the mayor to fund a study of residential permit parking in the area and to cut back on the number of parking spaces reserved for official government use.

Yassky, Bloomberg and Transportation Commissioner Iris Weinshall held a photo opportunity at the corner of Smith and State streets Thursday morning to announce that more than 110 spaces allocated for city agency vehicles would be eliminated in Downtown Brooklyn by the fall.

NYguy
August 20th, 2004, 07:28 PM
Brooklyn Papers..

Developers eyeing D’town parcels for skyscrapers

By Deborah Kolben
The Brooklyn Papers

With a major rezoning plan for Downtown Brooklyn just weeks old developers are wasting no time in assembling parcels upon which to build office and residential skyscrapers.

Designed as a major push to retain back-office space in New York City, and keep corporations from fleeing to New Jersey, the Downtown Brooklyn Plan is expected to encourage at least 6.7 million square feet of office development in addition to 1 million square feet of retail space and residential development.

The proposal passed early last month and property owners in the 60-block area are now plowing ahead, either selling off plots of land or planning for their development.

A sign advertising class-A office space has been hanging on the above-ground parking lot along Flatbush Avenue Extension and Willoughby Square for months.

Joseph Sitt, who owns both that lot and the adjoining Gallery at Fulton Mall, formerly known as Albee Square Mall, which he recently spent millions renovating, plans to build a 1.2 million-square-foot office tower in place of the garage.

While under the old zoning, Sitt would have had to go through the city’s lengthy land use review process, which includes a series of public hearings, the Downtown Plan eliminates the need for such review, paving the way for development.

There is “considerable interest” in the planned skyscraper, said Lee Silberstein, a spokesman for Sitt, who added that designs for the site were still being hashed out.

That new tower would be just one of three planners expect to flank a 1.5-acre open space to be known as Willoughby Square.

The park will be created by the seizure of private property through the state’s power of eminent domain. As part of the total Downtown Plan approximately 100 residential units and 130 businesses are slated for demolition.

On the western edge of that park, a Queens-based hotel developer recently purchased a range of buildings from 216 through 228 Duffield St. including a parking lot and a popular fish and chips lunch spot, according to Timothy King, a managing partner for the Brooklyn and Staten Island operations of Massey Knakal Realty, which handled the sale.

Just down the street, a Manhattan-based developer bought a six-story building at 55 Flatbush Ave. for $2.2 million.

Because of the rezoning, the property can now be doubled in size, according to King.

“It’s been dramatic,” King said of the recent interest in Downtown Brooklyn. “There’s the old truism that a rising tide lifts all boats — there has been an across-the-board increase in value.”

Over on Myrtle Avenue, grocery store magnate John Catsimatides, chairman and CEO of Red Apple Group and owner of the Gristede’s grocery chain, is going ahead with plans to build both a residential building and an office tower.

While he tapped fellow developer Donald Capoccia to head the project, the deal is still being worked out. Catsimatides owns many of the properties on the south side of Myrtle Avenue between Ashland Place and Flatbush Avenue.

Councilwoman Letitia James, whose district includes the Fort Greene sections of the plan, originally asked for a 250-foot height limit for developments along Flatbush Avenue but comprised on 400 feet.

“I was told that most buildings would not go higher than 30 or 35 stories,” she said.

A developer by the name of Bruce Kaplan plans to build a 200-foot residential building across Myrtle Avenue stretching to Johnson Street between Gold and Prince streets.

That site is not listed as one of the projected development sites in the Downtown Plan.

Kaplan is scheduled to present his plans at the monthly Community Board 2 meeting in October. Some residents who have gotten wind of the project have already started complaining about the height and size, according to James.

But real estate brokers and city officials say they are pleased, overall, with the increased activity downtown.

“This neighborhood has location, location, location, and now the rezoning has made it more fertile ground for investment,” said Rachaele Raynoff, a spokeswoman for the Department of City Planning.

The city has pledged to spend $100 million in infrastructure costs over the next 10 years.

The initial steps of the plan will include revamping Flatbush Avenue into a “gateway” to Brooklyn.

If all goes smoothly, reconstruction of Flatbush Avenue Extension could begin in a year, City Planning Director Amanda Burden told The Brooklyn Papers last month.

“It will have a center median with trees on both sides — it will be a connector and not a divider and give a signal that Downtown Brooklyn is really reborn,” she said.

Critics have called the $100 million “chicken feed” and say much more is needed for traffic mitigation alone.

Despite the plan’s approval, before it goes forward, the City Council’s landmarks subcommittee has agreed to hold a special public hearing on the potential connection between homes along Duffield Street — one of the primary development sites in the plan — and the Underground Railroad.

Gulcrapek
August 20th, 2004, 09:55 PM
Delicious. Any suggested method of contacting Catsimatides or Capoccia would be appreciated.

NoyokA
August 20th, 2004, 09:59 PM
Yellow Pages?

-or-

If you're really feeling shrewd, the White Pages.

NoyokA
August 20th, 2004, 10:00 PM
The bad news however is:

Councilwoman Letitia James, whose district includes the Fort Greene sections of the plan, originally asked for a 250-foot height limit for developments along Flatbush Avenue but comprised on 400 feet.

“I was told that most buildings would not go higher than 30 or 35 stories,” she said.

Gulcrapek
August 20th, 2004, 10:05 PM
That's on Flatbush Avenue. Probably the north side. In the "renderings" of the EEK master plan there were a bunch of 12 story buildings there and one large office building a ways down. However if she means both sides of Flatbush Avenue, we've got somewhat of an issue. But I doubt she does, because Thor Equities is moving forward with its most-definitely-taller-than-400-feet development on Flatbush.

Gulcrapek
August 20th, 2004, 11:06 PM
I just e-mailed Catsimatidis. If he answers, it should be next week.

TLOZ Link5
August 21st, 2004, 12:03 AM
The bad news however is:

Councilwoman Letitia James, whose district includes the Fort Greene sections of the plan, originally asked for a 250-foot height limit for developments along Flatbush Avenue but comprised on 400 feet.

“I was told that most buildings would not go higher than 30 or 35 stories,” she said.

I think she's referring to her district.

Derek2k3
August 21st, 2004, 02:11 AM
I think Gul is right.

From a recent article from Globe St.

"Several changes were made to the plan during the public review and approval process; for example, height limits were established on development on the east side of the Flatbush Avenue Extension from Myrtle Avenue to Willoughby Street. "

Gulcrapek
August 21st, 2004, 02:57 PM
never mind

NYguy
August 23rd, 2004, 09:06 AM
Whatever the case, isn't it interesting that Ratner's tower(s) could also be rising in a year or so? Downtown Brooklyn has so much more to offer as an alternative than Jersey City does, including the better transit. It really shouldn't have taken this long to get things going, but better late than never.

Gulcrapek
August 23rd, 2004, 02:41 PM
Last year I e-mailed Borough Hall about loosening the restrictions on skyscrapers in Downtown. The head of economic development or something wrote back to me saying they were too expensive and developers would never build them... one of the sub-reasons he gave was wind bracing making things more expensive, and another the elevators taking up too much room as a building got taller. Bullcrap. Everything tall in Manhattan is fine with wind bracing and has a solution for elevator shafts. At first I wrote back a simple thanks, but a few hours later I responded countering everything he said and proved him completely full of crap. He never got back to me.

Well now, look at all these proposals.

NYguy
August 24th, 2004, 09:09 AM
Last year I e-mailed Borough Hall about loosening the restrictions on skyscrapers in Downtown. The head of economic development or something wrote back to me saying they were too expensive and developers would never build them... At first I wrote back a simple thanks, but a few hours later I responded countering everything he said and proved him completely full of crap. He never got back to me.


Its attitudes like his that has downtown Brooklyn only now beginning to realize its potential...

Gulcrapek
August 28th, 2004, 02:23 AM
According to Mr. C there's no deal yet for his development.

Gulcrapek
September 5th, 2004, 12:22 AM
Re: the height limit questions:


Several changes were made to the plan during the public review and approval process; for example, height limits were established on development on the east side of the Flatbush Avenue Extension from Myrtle Avenue to Willoughby Street. The Administration also made a commitment to reduce the amount of public agency permit parking in area neighborhoods, provide off-street parking for certain agencies, implement certain road improvements sooner than originally anticipated.

So west side still popping.

NYguy
October 23rd, 2004, 09:48 AM
BROOKLYN PAPERS

Queens hotel developer buys Downtown

By Jess Wisloski
The Brooklyn Papers

A large development site on Duffield Street between Willoughby Street and the Fulton Mall was sold for $9 million on Oct. 11 to a prominent hotel developer based in Queens.

The properties at 216-228 Duffield St., which include a three-story building with a retail shop, leased until 2007, and a parking lot, leased until 2009, may bring the first tall luxury hotel into the area, which was recently rezoned under the Downtown Brooklyn Plan to allow for office and other skyscrapers.

Though broker Brian Leary, whose Massey Knakal agency has aggressively landed many clients in the Downtown Brooklyn area, says the property is well-suited for retail and office space, he had no idea what developer Sam Chang, of McSam Ltd., a development company based in Rego Park, Queens, had planned.

“I think the potential is there for them,” he said. “They predominantly own hotels, but they also do office space, retail and residential.” Leary himself has closed 12 deals downtown, selling nearly 2 million square feet to be developed.

“There’s been inquiries [about downtown] from several national hotel chains,” he said, but didn’t know of any moving in at the moment. He said he’d had inquiries for everything “from boutique hotels, or the several-hundred-unit corporate-style hotels.”

The sold land has 180,000 build-able square feet of space, leaving it limited to a smaller hotel, if in fact that is something Chang is considering.

Massey Knakal identified the buyer as Metro One Hotel, which is one of the independent hotels Chang started, and may be the name of the new development, when it arrives, if he doesn’t build an office building there.

“If Sam bought it, it’s going to be a hotel,” said broker Frank Profeta, from Metro-One Real Estate, in Medford, N.Y.

The hotels, he said, were named after his agency, which used to do business in the metropolitan area.

“He just liked that word, Metro,” said Profeta, who offered some insight to what potential projects may hold.

“What Sam typically will do is make a Comfort Inn or Quality Inn,” he said, or continue with his line of Metro One Hotels limited liability companies, which change in numbers. For example, a Metro Three is a Howard Johnson Express Inn on East Houston Street in Manhattan.

When Profeta learned of the new development company name, “McSam,” he laughed.

“That guy’s got an ego bigger than his buildings.”

Chang, who is McSam Hotel LLC’s founder and owner, also owns MikeSam Construction Corporation, and, based on Internet searches, also own the firm Sam Chang Architects Ltd., which has offices in Honolulu, Hawaii and Beijing, China.

In April, Chang was named “Developer of the Year” by Hilton Hotels Corporation for developing the first Hilton Garden Inn to make it to Manhattan.

Johnnyboy
October 27th, 2004, 08:40 AM
Something tells me that downtown Brooklin has a potential to reach density close to that of lower manhattan. That will be seen but, the question is when. hopefully the boom will be trigger soon

BrooklynRider
October 27th, 2004, 11:19 AM
It will be interesting to see. If you view the Brooklyn skyline from a place like the South Street Seaport, you are reminded of how incredibly old and arrested in time the borough seems. The transformation is underway and so far has been fairly thoughtful in creating new buildings that compliment the existing buildings.

It is also interesting to contrast the Brooklyn skyline, which is largely masonry, with lower Manhattan, which is largely steel and glass. While I look forward to the thoughtful development, I hope Brooklyn retains it's distinct personality. I worked in Manhattan all my adult life, now I work in Brooklyn (Downtown/Heights). Brooklyn is a very different pace and work environment than Midtown and Downtown Manhattan.

Clarknt67
November 15th, 2004, 05:04 PM
(Forgive me if this has been posted, I searched but found no info on it.)

Does anyone know the status of the 40-something story tower that was to be built above the Gallery (nee: Albee Square) Mall in Fulton Mall?

At one point they'd posted an illustration of the tower in the windows (posted earlier in this thread) and cleared out the tenants, presumably in preparation for construction.

Now, there's no illustration and tenants have moved back it. I'm guess the project was aborted huh? Did anyone hear?

Gulcrapek
November 15th, 2004, 08:17 PM
Last I heard Sitt was having architects redesign the building with more office space and I think less hotel space. That was a month or more ago.

Clarknt67
November 16th, 2004, 01:55 PM
thanks, weird that they evicted all the tenants and then were forced to fill it up again.

Kolbster
January 7th, 2005, 02:54 PM
Anyone get any new information on the progress on this building?

Gulcrapek
January 7th, 2005, 03:48 PM
The potential site for a Wal-Mart (as the base of the tower). Butt.

Kolbster
January 7th, 2005, 08:25 PM
O it'll be incorporated in the tower, or would it be seperate...if it does.

Gulcrapek
January 7th, 2005, 09:22 PM
^The base.

Kolbster
January 8th, 2005, 02:55 PM
But that would be stupid tho... a walmart in the base of a skyscraper?

Actually...maybe not, its pretty good for business

Gulcrapek
January 8th, 2005, 04:54 PM
In Brooklyn, Target is the main tenant of Atlantic Terminal's retail base. It's been working very well.

Bob
January 8th, 2005, 06:31 PM
All this discussion of building skyscrapers in Brooklyn ignores the fact there are heavily used air routes directly over the borough. Whatever gets built will have to pass muster with the FAA. This is not to say it's impossible to build tall; only that such development will be limited to particular areas. Brooklyn is never going to be another Manhattan, and that's not because of NIMBYs. It's because of the LGA and JFK arrival/departure corridors. As an air traffic controller quite familiar with the airspace, I can tell you it's complicated enough without having to dodge buildings.

Gulcrapek
January 8th, 2005, 06:36 PM
Ya. There are only a few parcels with unlimited height. LGA patterns can be routed more south to avoid those sites though.

Kolbster
January 8th, 2005, 06:48 PM
All this discussion of building skyscrapers in Brooklyn ignores the fact there are heavily used air routes directly over the borough. Whatever gets built will have to pass muster with the FAA. This is not to say it's impossible to build tall; only that such development will be limited to particular areas. Brooklyn is never going to be another Manhattan, and that's not because of NIMBYs. It's because of the LGA and JFK arrival/departure corridors. As an air traffic controller quite familiar with the airspace, I can tell you it's complicated enough without having to dodge buildings.

Yea, only a few areas got rezoned, the area's that fall under the flight patterns weren't even rezoned, i don't think...might be wrong though.

Also, they can alter thier courses

Gulcrapek
October 20th, 2005, 10:33 PM
The Times had an article with a rendering today. Described it as 60 stories with 1.2msf, including 100K office, 100K retail, I think 300K hotel, and 600K condos.

The design is a bit too Vegas/Miami for me... also, I'm sure they meant 600ft, as the rendering was clearly not 60 floors save the possibility of a setback.

TLOZ Link5
October 20th, 2005, 10:54 PM
Post, please.

Gulcrapek
October 20th, 2005, 11:12 PM
Can't find it online.

TLOZ Link5
October 20th, 2005, 11:18 PM
What section of today's Times was it in?

sfenn1117
October 20th, 2005, 11:36 PM
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/19/realestate/19brooklyn.html

NoyokA
October 20th, 2005, 11:42 PM
I like it.

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2005/10/19/business/brooklyn.184.jpg

TLOZ Link5
October 20th, 2005, 11:48 PM
I counted something around 48 stories.

And is anyone else reminded of Roppongi Mori Tower in Tokyo?

NoyokA
October 20th, 2005, 11:51 PM
I counted something around 48 stories.

And is anyone else reminded of Roppongi Mori Tower in Tokyo?

I am. Its not the greatest design in the world but much better than the original and I anticipate its construction.

sfenn1117
October 21st, 2005, 12:04 AM
I count 50 or so floors too. At least it's glassy, maybe it would be more at home in Vegas or Miami, but you know what, if it wants to be in Brooklyn, go right ahead. I too anticipate its construction.

BrooklynRider
October 21st, 2005, 01:27 AM
Considering what we have downtown? I'll take it. This guy seems overly influenced by Vegas and Hong Kong. That cap on top is pretty bad.

ablarc
October 21st, 2005, 09:27 AM
Looks fat. Wish it were taller and thinner.

Or better still, two towers taller and thinner, preferably of different height.

londonlawyer
October 21st, 2005, 11:38 AM
I like it. Between the new stadium (along with Ratner's accompanying towers) and these projects by Thor and others, this area will thrive. Sadly, at the moment, the area around Flatbush and Atlantic is a hell hole, but it will be great. BAM deserves neighbors like these!

Derek2k3
October 21st, 2005, 09:55 PM
I think that rendering is of an older design that included more office (potentially for the U.N.). That version had no residential component but was just retail, office and hotel in 48 stories. An increase to 60 stories would be necessary to accomodate the smaller residential floorplates in this current plan.

That rendering was posted in a Brooklyn Eagle article a few months ago but they've since removed it. It notes it was designed by KPF.

http://www.brooklyneagle.com/categories/category.php?category_id=27&id=4115

NYguy
October 22nd, 2005, 08:40 AM
As a result of a deal recently worked out with the city, Thor Equities, a Manhattan-based development company, expects to begin construction within a year on the first new mixed-use tower on Willoughby Square. This 60-story 1.2-million-square-foot tower will sit opposite the proposed park on a 40,000-square-foot lot that now holds a city-owned above-ground parking garage.

Disclosing details of their plans for the first time in an interview last week, the developers of the Thor Tower said they expected the building to have 100,000 square feet of stores, 100,000 square feet of commercial office space, 400,000 square feet of hotel space (with two hotels, one moderately priced and the other upscale) and 600,000 square feet of condominiums.

So, I guess we're calling it the Thor Tower now....

BrooklynRider
October 22nd, 2005, 11:29 PM
I like it better than "Miss Brooklyn".

Jake
October 22nd, 2005, 11:52 PM
rendering seems very fat and short, as you guys pointed out, it'd probably be better if it were thinner. But hell....i like it if they build it fast. Recently it seems like most NYC projects might not be completed in my lifetime:(

NoyokA
October 23rd, 2005, 12:01 AM
I like it better than "Miss Brooklyn".

I wonder how you can say that considering we havent seen the version of this tower that will be built and Miss Brookyln has yet to be designed. It most likely is your bias talking.

BrooklynRider
October 23rd, 2005, 12:05 AM
This post preceded my post:


So, I guess we're calling it the Thor Tower now....


My response was talking about the name - not the design. Ease up on the personal criticism.

NoyokA
October 23rd, 2005, 12:11 AM
This post preceded my post:




My response was talking about the name - not the design. Ease up on the personal criticism.

Noted. To avoid confusion its best to use quotes so you know what the person is talking about in relation to what.

Alonzo-ny
November 1st, 2005, 11:14 AM
Noted. To avoid confusion its best to use quotes so you know what the person is talking about in relation to what.

Even so stern i dont like knowing someone is going to be so harsh over so little if i was to post.

NYguy
January 11th, 2006, 11:51 AM
NY OBSERVER

Office Builders Balking At Downtown Brooklyn


By Matthew Schuerman


When city planners rezoned much of downtown Brooklyn 17 months ago, it was meant to make the city’s third-largest business district even larger. Now it is looking more and more like a bedroom community.

It is not just the half-dozen condo projects sprouting up around the edge of downtown, transforming weed-strewn parking lots into glassy towers.

Even the 10-block area envisioned as the “commercial core” of the new downtown is leaning residential. The developers of the two sites furthest along in the planning process are suggesting that as few as 200,000 square feet of office space might go up where two million square feet were once envisioned, with the balance going for hotel rooms and apartments. A third property owner wants to erect a hotel right in the middle of a site where a 20-story office tower was supposed to be built. An existing office tower in that central core—7 MetroTech Center, the 1930 Verizon building—was purchased last April to be converted into condos.

In other words, Brooklyn’s booming residential market has overtaken the supply of office space—making it harder for roughly 19,000 jobs that were originally seen as the fruit of the rezoning to find their way into the new downtown.

Brooklyn’s boosters say they are not worried about the awkward start of what Mayor Bloomberg once called “a key part of our strategy to preserve and grow jobs.” After all, people used to complain that downtown Brooklyn, and especially MetroTech Center, Forest City Ratner’s 15-block office complex at the north end of the rezoned area, shut down at 5 p.m. Now it looks like downtown Brooklyn is just going to be waking up then.

Party on!

“We believe residential is still important,” said Lee Silberstein, a public-relations consultant representing the Downtown Brooklyn Council, a division of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce that conceived of the rezoning and convinced Mayor Bloomberg to adopt it as his own. “The more people living there, the more it becomes an around-the-clock community, and that will make it more attractive to businesses in the long run.”

Mr. Silberstein is also a spokesman for Thor Equities, a shopping-mall developer that controls arguably the most important site downtown, which is zoned for a 1.2 million-square-foot office building. But Mr. Silberstein said that Thor’s chairman and C.E.O., Joseph Sitt, is currently planning a tower that would include just 100,000 square feet for offices, another 100,000 square feet for retail, with the remaining million square feet split roughly between a hotel and apartments.

He would be open to changing that configuration if a major corporation were to step forward and ask for 50 floors. But that has not happened. Unlike other parcels around downtown, the site is ready to go. All Mr. Sitt needs is money.

He is, Mr. Silberstein said, looking for a development partner or an investor. Thor’s broker, William Shanahan, executive vice president and partner at CB Richard Ellis, said that Mr. Sitt would also be interested in selling the property, although Mr. Silberstein disputed that.

A Brooklyn native, Mr. Sitt recently proposed turning Coney Island into the closest thing to Las Vegas that could legally be built in New York: a billion-dollar complex with a four-star hotel, water park, shopping mall, blimp, searchlights and glitzy attractions like Cirque du Soleil and House of Blues. Fifteen years ago, he started the Ashley Stewart chain of clothing stores—it offers plus-size fashions targeted to African-American women—right on Fulton Street. Now Thor owns 12 malls around the country, and a couple of other buildings, but Mr. Silberstein said he was not aware of any properties that Thor had developed from the ground up.

Originally, according to press reports, Mr. Sitt was planning to build the downtown office tower all by himself, which would have put downtown Brooklyn’s most important parcel in the hands of a first-timer. It is not surprising that he has sought help, industry experts say.

“Only a handful of developers are capable of doing a million-plus-square-foot project in New York City,” said Glenn Markman, executive director at Cushman & Wakefield. “It is an extremely difficult thing to accomplish and you have to work your way up to it.”

Mr. Markman is representing another major property developer, Joshua Muss, president of Muss Development, a Queens-based developer who built the Brooklyn Marriott nearby and is adding another 280 rooms to the hotel now.

Mr. Muss reportedly has entered into a joint venture with the city’s Economic Development Corporation to construct an 850,000-square-foot building at Red Hook Lane and Boerum Place.

Mr. Markman would not give details of the project, as it has not been announced nor finalized. But real-estate sources said that most of that building would be devoted to apartments, with about 100,000 square feet set aside for an educational institution—presumably Brooklyn Law School, which is headquartered across the street. Only 100,000 or 150,000 square feet is now being considered for offices.

The E.D.C. would not respond to specific questions, but spokeswoman Janel Paterson said in a statement: “The Downtown Brooklyn Plan offers the best chance for expanding what is already the City’s third largest business district …. The residential market already is responding to the plan, making it a more vibrant 24/7 neighborhood. In the end, what is built and when will be determined by the market.”

Mr. Muss and Mr. Sitt are apparently entangled in the mixed messages of New York’s commercial real-estate market: While vacancies are the lowest they have been in five years, the type of large tenants that are needed to spur construction of a million-square-foot building are nowhere to be found. And if they were, they could make Larry Silverstein very happy by taking some of his space at Ground Zero off the market—for arguably the same price as in Brooklyn.

But what’s so great about Manhattan anyway?

Mr. Markman sees the downtown Brooklyn market as becoming a center for the “creative industries.”

“I’m starting to see media, publishing and entertainment companies get interested in Brooklyn,” he said. “A lot of creative people are moving to downtown Brooklyn, Brooklyn Heights …. You have people living here, eating here and playing here, and [they] are going to soon find their way to work in the borough. When you start having decision-makers living here, you are going to have a big interest in commercial development. They will move their offices here.”

The question is whether there will be any space left for offices. That sounds like an obnoxious question, given the size of downtown Brooklyn. But the new zoning allows either residential or commercial development throughout downtown Brooklyn. The new residential development—anticipated to total about 1,000 apartments—was expected to be concentrated on the edges of downtown, along Schermerhorn Street, for example, or across Flatbush Avenue. Office buildings were supposed to go in the 10-block central core. In order to promote commercial construction in a borough that many still consider to be an unacceptable business address, commercial buildings in the core could rise 20 percent higher than apartment buildings. Yet the residential market is so strong—or the commercial market so weak—that that incentive has not tempted anyone to gamble on offices.

Bruce Ratner, Forest City Ratner’s president and C.E.O., recently came to a similar conclusion. He originally proposed 2.1 million square feet of office space to be included in his Atlantic Yards complex, which lays adjacent to the boundaries of the downtown rezoning to the southeast. Then, last summer, he reduced that amount to 628,000 square feet and made up the difference with market-rate condos.

Together, the Thor and Muss sites were supposed to contribute two million square feet out of the 4.6 million square feet of commercial development anticipated in the next decade, according to project specifications. By using most of that square footage for apartments and hotel rooms instead, about 7,200 of the anticipated jobs would be lost, according to a standard formula that allocates 250 square feet for each office job.

Potentially, developers could tear down buildings almost anywhere in the commercial core—roughly the triangle bounded by Willoughby Street, Flatbush Avenue Extension and Fulton Street—and build higher, recapturing some of those jobs. But the final environmental-impact statement for the rezoning project, issued in April 2004 at the behest of the Department of City Planning and the E.D.C., was very specific about envisioning which parcels would most likely be developed.

Because of the difficulty of buying enough contiguous small lots to create a footprint big enough for a modern office building, the city imagined that just five sites in the commercial core could be turned into office towers, including the Thor and Red Hook Lane properties. These were either already owned by the government or could become so thanks to eminent domain, after which they would be leased to private developers.

One of those other sites, at Willoughby and Duffield streets, has been painstakingly assembled over the past 20 years by a large Brooklyn landowner, Al Laboz, according to real-estate deeds on file with the city. However, a hotel developer, John Lam, who recently put up the 158-room Four Points by Sheraton in Chelsea, bought two lots in the footprint last August, according to records. Crain’s New York Business reported over the summer that Mr. Lam wants to build a 300-room Sheraton or 180-room Hilton Garden. Neither Mr. Laboz nor Mr. Lam returned telephone messages.

City planners did, by the way, envision a new hotel. Needless to say, it was not supposed to be where Mr. Lam wants his, nor where Thor Tower will stand. But that, of course, is just what the planners thought.

NYguy
January 16th, 2006, 08:13 AM
NY POST

DEVELOPERS BUILDING UP HOPE FOR A BOOM YEAR IN BROOKLYN

http://www.nypost.com/photos/news01162006021.jpg

CONEY ISLAND BOARDWALK

By PATRICK GALLAHUE
January 16, 2006


It’s going to be a brave new year of development in Brooklyn, surpassing even the surge of projects in 2005, business leaders and lawmakers have pledged.

Between cruise ships and skyscrapers, basketball arenas and gourmet groceries, Brooklyn’s swiftly rising profile is set to go sky high in 2006.

Developers expect to break ground on the largest projects in the borough’s history this year, as ribbons will be cut on other monumental developments and still others will get the green light for future construction.

“It’s the supernova borough,” said Councilman David Yassky, whose Downtown-Brooklyn Heights district will host much of the development.

“You’ll see a lot of activity in Downtown Brooklyn in 2006 — much more than in 2005,” said Michael Burke, president of the Downtown Brooklyn Council, a pro-development group that spearheaded the massive rezoning that will bring skyscrapers to the business and civic district.

The state continues to make progress on the 1.3-mile Brooklyn Bridge Park on the Brooklyn Heights waterfront — the first major park in the borough since Prospect Park was built in the 1870s — and an accelerated development schedule was announced late last year.

The Red Hook waterfront will be virtually transformed this year with the completion of a massive gourmet Fairway supermarket and the start of an enormous Ikea homefurnishings store on one end and the opening of a cruise-ship port on the other.

The dock is expected to host the Queen Mary 2, the world’s largest luxury liner.

Downtown, the expansion of the popular Brooklyn Marriott hotel will be completed.

And that’s nothing compared to what’s scheduled to begin in 2006.

Shovels are expected to break ground on developer Bruce Ratner’s professional basketball arena in Prospect Heights (his New Jersey Nets are set to move there in 2008); the Thor Tower, a 60-story office, condominium and hotel tower in Downtown being built by Thor Equities; and a Whole Foods organic specialty market in Gowanus.

“Whole Foods and Fairway will increase the variety of culinary shopping experiences available to Brooklynites, and that’s always a good thing,” said Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz.

“And I can’t tell you how many residents have told me they can’t wait for Ikea to open so they can stop schlepping to New Jersey or Long Island. And I look forward to resolving community concerns and moving forward on Brooklyn’s most exciting project, the major-league sports arena and the affordable housing that Atlantic Yards will bring to Brooklyn.”

One of the major catalysts of the borough’s building boom was the 2004 approval of the Downtown Brooklyn plan, which included a series of infrastructure upgrades and land-use changes.

“All of the work we put in on Downtown in 2004 and before that will start to come to fruition this year,” Burke said.

But others are wary of so much simultaneous development, fearing the borough could “drown” in the increased traffic.

Brian Ketchum, an urban-planning consultant, said, “If all of this gets built [every week], it will generate another half-million subways trips, another 100,000 to 120,000 car trips and 100,000 bus trips — and there is absolutely nothing being done to accommodate that.”

NewYorkYankee
January 16th, 2006, 01:21 PM
Has the Thor tower's Design been released yet?

antinimby
January 16th, 2006, 03:29 PM
Has the Thor tower's Design been released yet?Yup.

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2005/10/19/business/brooklyn.184.jpg

NewYorkYankee
January 16th, 2006, 10:11 PM
Oh Lord, Im suprised I havnt seen this before! I cant believe something like this is going to go up in Brooklyn!

RandySavage
January 17th, 2006, 11:32 AM
From that rendering it doesn't look like it's 60 stories.

NYguy
January 17th, 2006, 11:37 AM
From that rendering it doesn't look like it's 60 stories.

I think that's an older rendering.

As its being planned now, its more residential than commercial, although the city would like it the other way around.

antinimby
January 17th, 2006, 01:25 PM
Oh no! And I really liked the design, too. I guess what they say is true, "nothing good ever lasts." Now we'll just get another box.

NYguy
January 17th, 2006, 09:23 PM
Oh no! And I really liked the design, too. I guess what they say is true, "nothing good ever lasts." Now we'll just get another box.

I have no idea. But I'm not even sure if this tower would be taller than Gehry's "Miss Brooklyn" tower. They both seem to be around the same height. Gehry (Ratner) also reduced the commercial aspects of his project.

BrooklynRider
January 22nd, 2006, 08:18 PM
That NY Post article had no news at all. It is a rehash of old speculation and Post reporting. None of which has materialized to date. It seems to be a P.R. plant to counter the January 11th NY Observer article that called the rezoning plan a bust in terms of bringing jobs and economic activity to the borough.

Dynamicdezzy
May 25th, 2006, 06:01 PM
Has anyone heard anything new on this?

Dynamicdezzy
July 25th, 2006, 01:27 AM
NEW YORK POST
NEW DOWNTOWN B'KLYN 'HEIGHTS'

FLATBUSH TOWERS
By PATRICK GALLAHUE

July 24, 2006 -- Just call them the "Lords of Flatbush."
Developers are lining up to build Downtown Brooklyn's storied main drag into a billion-dollar thoroughfare.

At least eight new construction projects are in the pipeline for a now-gritty three-block stretch of Flatbush Avenue between Tillary and Willoughby streets, just blocks from Bruce Ratner's $4.2 billion planned complex of residential and commercial towers around the new Nets basketball arena.

"It'll be a completely new vista of Brooklyn when you come off the [Manhattan] Bridge," said Michael Burke, of the Downtown Brooklyn Council.

Among the projects being planned is a 60-story, multimillion-dollar hotel, office and condominium tower over a city-owned parking garage at Albee Square West, to be built by Thor Equities.

Down the block, on Myrtle Avenue, a $450 million pair of buildings - comprising a million square feet of space - are planned, according to John Catsimatidis, who will develop the projects.

"It's five minutes away from Wall Street and it's one-third the price of Manhattan. Why not?" said Catsimatidis, the Gristedes supermarket magnate. Catsimatidis said his tentative plans are to build just shy of the 400-foot building-height limits, with retail on the first and second floors.

Just across the street, BFC Development is hoping to break ground later this year on a roughly $200 million, 40-story residential and retail tower, by the architectural firm Skidmore Owings and Merrill, which designed the Freedom Tower.

"It's going to be in the area of a billion dollars between all [these] projects," said Ron Hershco, who broke ground on his own luxury 35- and 40-story buildings on Gold Street.

ablarc
July 25th, 2006, 01:34 AM
I'm unsympathetic to 100% of Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn's arguments, but many of them apply equally to these projects (60 stories, anyone?), so where are the shouting mobs? Why no apoplexy here?

Secretly I think it's because these buildings will turn out to be polite, boring and familiar, whereas Gehry is proposing art. Philistines hate art.

alibrot
July 25th, 2006, 02:27 AM
i think its a mix of 3 things.

1. it was a shock that got a knee jerk reaction. the new projects are small in comparison, not absolute terms. before ratner, there was very little on any massive scale.

2. the basketball arena made it seem all too commericial and impersonal. liberal nimbys hate other people making lots of money, especially the sports franchaises. not sure if they wanted to move the US open courts to brooklyn it would cause such a fuss...see item 3

3. this project is half affordable housing. makes great news for politicians, but people are worried about losing the "identity" of the neighborhood. this is partially the reality of affordable housing, and partially subtle racism. i think there is too high a % of affordable housing, but ratner had to bow to the politicians. its not all low income though - there is a lot of middle income affordable too, and hopefully it will be spread out enough that the neighborhood will be classy too.

but if it were all market rate luxury, the nimbys would be worried about being priced out of the neighborhood.

affordable housing does tend to bring in a higher ratio of families with kids than market rate (fewer single ppl, bf/gf, roommate situations, etc), so schools would be an issue. even at market rate, more schools would be needed. but this wouldnt be a reason not to build.

its a total shame ratners project is being gutted and delayed by these self important people. they need a new hobby.

i was happy to see the new projects moving along. Maybe this will be the tipping point, when the tidal wave finally crashes on "develop dont destroy"

ablarc
July 25th, 2006, 08:10 AM
^ Thoughtful post; I agree that too high a ratio of affordable housing is potentially damaging to the whole; it's a little like the projects chopped up into smaller chunks and more evenly distributed.

lofter1
July 25th, 2006, 10:09 AM
The inclusion of "affordable housing" seems to be an even enough trade-off when developers are granted humongous tax breaks / incentives.

There continues to be a huge housing 'crisis' in NYC.


In New York, the supply of apartments considered affordable to households with incomes like those earned by starting firefighters or police officers plunged by a whopping 205,000 in just three years, between 2002 and 2005.

... New York University researchers reported last month that the number of apartments affordable to households making 80 percent of the median household income in New York City dropped by a fifth between 2002 and 2005.


Read more HERE (http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/showpost.php?p=111067&postcount=110)

elfgam
July 25th, 2006, 10:58 AM
Either way the reality is that with all these projects moving forward together the overall character of the neighborhood, while changing and growing, won't be radically altered. Party of what NIMBY's and many others don't want to realize is that high prices, lack of affordable house and bad schools, etc. are all the products of a LACK of development, not TO MUCH development. These new buildings will increase the supply of available units in the area and bring in tax revenue and bring in the kinds of people who make politicians (for better or worse) pay attention to Brooklyn. This will inevitably lead to better schools, more police stations, more subway station renovations. It will also lead to an even larger uptick in development around the area that will keep going even if the market cools (because by then, Brooklyn will already be too established to turn back). These new units, new renovations, new schools will make more and more neighborhoods available for more affordable housing for everyone.

BrooklynRider
July 27th, 2006, 05:26 PM
Develop Don't Destroy and other groups are not in an "uproar" over Downtown Development because the rezoning and redevelopment of Downtown Brooklyn is roundly supported. The only contest to the rezoning was an attempt to get an alleged Underground Railroad site designated an historic landmark and the upzoning of the eastern side of Flatbush to allow for TALLER buildings in a trade off that protects the traditional heights of the low-rise historic district on autting sites. Brooklynites are pretty supportive of the upsizing of the downtown area, creating jobs, housing, new skyscapers (yes - tall buildings), commercial buildings as well as parks and revised traffic patterns. The Downtown rezoning pushes the business district upzoning east, away from Brooklyn heights - satisfying that affluent crowd (who are pretty much focused on the Brooklyn Bridge Park fiasco). Nearly all of the Flatbush Avenue parcels have been purchased and development is on the way - with great anicipation.

I really get a sense that those who are wondering why Develop Don't Destroy and other community grous and associations are not revolting is because you have little or no understanding of the Borough or the politics involved in this project up until now. It has been a political project that has treated people fairly and that has evolved. Consideration was given and arguments were heard. In the end this plan is a great plan negotiated with skill and supported because everyone - including the city and developers - compromised. Everyone came away from the final meeting saying "this is good, if not 'great!'"

The Downtown Plan was unveiled with great fanfare and got all the "oooohs" ans "aaahs" a great project should. It was a plan that was hammered out with great community input and that input included a desire to see major commercial development in downtown, higher density (hi-rise) residential development and the expansion of the BAM cultural center. It decreed a perimieter zone along Atlantic Avenue that would minimize heights to 12 stories in order to create a transition to the historic Brownstone neighborhoods. The boundaries of the plan were Court Street, Atlantic Avenue, Flatbush Avenue and Tillary Street with some odd blocks thrown in.

People got enraged with Atlantic Yards, because, only a week or so after this Downtown plan came out, Ratner foisted a major upsizing on the Borough with his skyscrapers falling clearly outside of the "Downtown Plan" perimieters. It was a real affront to the community and community groups trhat had just worked so closely with the city to develop a comprehensive Downtown Plan. Ratner's Plan had ZERO input from the community at the time it was introduced and still has minimal input. I still think Ratner would have been able to sell his Flatbush/Atlantic corner development with arena, Miss Brooklyn and two other commercial towers. That corner is an eyesore by anyone's standards. But, he got greedy and his was an "all or nothing" plan with deals struck behind closed doors. In short, he shut out the community. If built as currently designed, Atlantic Yards would represent the most densely populated area in the United States. Anyone read that fact? Anyone read Ratner's assertion that adding 15,000 over Atlantic Terminal would have "no impact" on public transit? Anyone hear Charles Gargano's assertion that the subways passing through Flatbush Terminal are not anywhere near capacity? Apparently you didn't or you did and have no knowledge that lets you know it is pure b.s.

THAT! is why the Downtown Plan is not meeting great protests or derision. It is exactly what Brooklynites called for and helped shape. It was created with care, consideration, respect and a greater vision for Brooklyn than the narrow-minded get-rich scheme of Bruce Ratner that is jamming through HIS plan - not one endorsed by the community. We have a right to have input and are exercising it. Ratner is getting sh*t because he treated residents like sh*t and with condescension.

Maybe some of the critics of Brooklynites here might want to go back and read some of these threads that covered these issues when the Downtown Plan was passed instead of making snide ignorant comments. You'll see there was excitement all around for this and still is.

MrSpice
July 27th, 2006, 05:32 PM
The inclusion of "affordable housing" seems to be an even enough trade-off when developers are granted humongous tax breaks / incentives.

There continues to be a huge housing 'crisis' in NYC.



Read more HERE (http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/showpost.php?p=111067&postcount=110)

I think that the only reason this concept of "affordable housing" exists is because that's how polititians get elected. The reality of it is, the developers should not get any tax breaks, and should build whatever they desire and not provide 20-25% of the apartments as "affordable" because it increases the cost of construction and other New Yorkers that already pay the hgihest taxes in the U.S. have to subsidize those "affordable" apartments so that those who make less, yet want to live in nice and centrally located areas, could do so. The whole system goes bezerk becase the developers demand tax breaks which makes the pricing of those apartments and profit margins less transparent.

If the city wants to build affordable housing, it can do so and it does that already.

Dynamicdezzy
July 27th, 2006, 06:38 PM
Develop Don't Destroy and other groups are not in an "uproar" over Downtown Development because the rezoning and redevelopment of Downtown Brooklyn is roundly supported. The only contest to the rezoning was an attempt to get an alleged Underground Railroad site designated an historic landmark and the upzoning of the eastern side of Flatbush to allow for TALLER buildings in a trade off that protects the traditional heights of the low-rise historic district on autting sites. Brooklynites are pretty supportive of the upsizing of the downtown area, creating jobs, housing, new skyscapers (yes - tall buildings), commercial buildings as well as parks and revised traffic patterns. The Downtown rezoning pushes the business district upzoning east, away from Brooklyn heights - satisfying that affluent crowd (who are pretty much focused on the Brooklyn Bridge Park fiasco). Nearly all of the Flatbush Avenue parcels have been purchased and development is on the way - with great anicipation.

I really get a sense that those who are wondering why Develop Don't Destroy and other community grous and associations are not revolting is because you have little or no understanding of the Borough or the politics involved in this project up until now. It has been a political project that has treated people fairly and that has evolved. Consideration was given and arguments were heard. In the end this plan is a great plan negotiated with skill and supported because everyone - including the city and developers - compromised. Everyone came away from the final meeting saying "this is good, if not 'great!'"

The Downtown Plan was unveiled with great fanfare and got all the "oooohs" ans "aaahs" a great project should. It was a plan that was hammered out with great community input and that input included a desire to see major commercial development in downtown, higher density (hi-rise) residential development and the expansion of the BAM cultural center. It decreed a perimieter zone along Atlantic Avenue that would minimize heights to 12 stories in order to create a transition to the historic Brownstone neighborhoods. The boundaries of the plan were Court Street, Atlantic Avenue, Flatbush Avenue and Tillary Street with some odd blocks thrown in.

People got enraged with Atlantic Yards, because, only a week or so after this Downtown plan came out, Ratner foisted a major upsizing on the Borough with his skyscrapers falling clearly outside of the "Downtown Plan" perimieters. It was a real affront to the community and community groups trhat had just worked so closely with the city to develop a comprehensive Downtown Plan. Ratner's Plan had ZERO input from the community at the time it was introduced and still has minimal input. I still think Ratner would have been able to sell his Flatbush/Atlantic corner development with arena, Miss Brooklyn and two other commercial towers. That corner is an eyesore by anyone's standards. But, he got greedy and his was an "all or nothing" plan with deals struck behind closed doors. In short, he shut out the community. If built as currently designed, Atlantic Yards would represent the most densely populated area in the United States. Anyone read that fact? Anyone read Ratner's assertion that adding 15,000 over Atlantic Terminal would have "no impact" on public transit? Anyone hear Charles Gargano's assertion that the subways passing through Flatbush Terminal are not anywhere near capacity? Apparently you didn't or you did and have no knowledge that lets you know it is pure b.s.

THAT! is why the Downtown Plan is not meeting great protests or derision. It is exactly what Brooklynites called for and helped shape. It was created with care, consideration, respect and a greater vision for Brooklyn than the narrow-minded get-rich scheme of Bruce Ratner that is jamming through HIS plan - not one endorsed by the community. We have a right to have input and are exercising it. Ratner is getting sh*t because he treated residents like sh*t and with condescension.

Maybe some of the critics of Brooklynites here might want to go back and read some of these threads that covered these issues when the Downtown Plan was passed instead of making snide ignorant comments. You'll see there was excitement all around for this and still is.


Very much true! Although I do think that if Ratner would've had community input, most of the project might not be worth doing...or at least not to a developer like Ratner.

investordude
July 27th, 2006, 08:02 PM
All of our affordable housing is still more expensive than any city in the US. Chicago, which has less of this nonsense, is an order of magnitude less expensive, even in very high density affluent neighborhoods like Lincoln Park and Streeterville. The focus should be supply side, where deregulation (aside from things like maintaining street wall) spurs demand and the problem is solved.

I think the subsidies primarily account for things like the fact that the developer is building a few roads for the city. The truth is, the less "affordable" housing, the more tax revenue and in the case of MTA land, lower ridership fees. Lower taxes and cheap transit help the city, especially working middle class, more than affordable housing.

finnman69
July 28th, 2006, 11:27 AM
Could be much taller than Gehry World.


Piano is designing for Ratner and New York City College of Technology over by Metrotech a huge mixed use building. Think college building and condo towers.

Air rights deal = tower

http://www.construction.com/NewsCenter/Headlines/RP/20060512ny.asp

For instance, Macari is finalizing an agreement to sell the air rights over a building at City College of Technology in downtown Brooklyn. The existing structure onsite would be demolished, and Renzo Piano of Italy has been hired as the architect for a new mixed-use facility that would replace it.

New academic complex, New York City College of Technology, Brooklyn
Cost: $186 million
Size: 262,000 sq. ft.
Current Phase/Expected Completion:
Design/December 2009
Architect: Renzo Piano Building Workshop, Italy; Perkins Eastman, New York
PM: DASNY

pianoman11686
July 28th, 2006, 11:57 AM
How tall could it possibly be if it's only 262,000 square feet?

Teno
July 28th, 2006, 01:49 PM
as a real affront to the community and community groups that had just worked so closely with the city to develop a comprehensive Downtown Plan. Ratner's Plan had ZERO input from the community at the time it was introduced and still has minimal input.

These people don't represent the attitude of the totality of everyone in Brooklyn. I live in Brooklyn and most everyone I know either doesn't really care or is excited about the idea of the stadium. And neither of these attitudes inspire people to go out and rally, only anger seems to do that.

I can understand this from the perspective of these groups, in the sense that they want input into the process. Ratner did run around the bureaucracy of the community groups because he knew they would not let him build the way he wanted. In one perspective this could be called sneaky and unfair from another perspective it could be considered smart.

If the ability to make decisions for what Ratner is building is the issue these groups should stay with that issue. To come up with other nonsense arguments such as Miss Brooklyn will cast shadows over school kids or block views of the Williamsburg Savings Bank and the four different times on the four sides of its clock. This sounds silly and weakens their argument.


If built as currently designed, Atlantic Yards would represent the most densely populated area in the United States. Anyone read that fact? Anyone read Ratner's assertion that adding 15,000 over Atlantic Terminal would have "no impact" on public transit? Anyone hear Charles Gargano's assertion that the subways passing through Flatbush Terminal are not anywhere near capacity?

I don't take any of the above statements as fact they are all biased towards the goals of the people stating them.

Styvesant Town and neighboring Peter Cooper Village combined have 110 buildings 11,250 apartments and 25,000 residents. Atlantic Yards won't be that large.

lofter1
July 28th, 2006, 02:38 PM
These people don't represent the attitude of the totality of everyone in Brooklyn. I live in Brooklyn and most everyone I know either doesn't really care or is excited about the idea of the stadium.

Does a "totality" exist?

You mention two groups there and then there are those who oppose it, for whatever reasons.

Just pointing out that there are interests all around on this one.

I agree with your point that certain arguments don't help the case against this plan (much as similar seemingly mis-guided arguments don't help the opposition's case against the Trump / Hudson Square Condo-tel plan).

I think in both cases what might scuttle the schemes are legal points -- which are [somewhat] clear. If the developers can clear those hurdles then the plans will go forward.

BrooklynRider
July 28th, 2006, 04:44 PM
These people don't represent the attitude of the totality of everyone in Brooklyn. I live in Brooklyn and most everyone I know either doesn't really care or is excited about the idea of the stadium.

Yes many of us, me included, were excited about the idea of a stadium. We didn't know that the stadium project would have as a prerequisite the rights to develop 22 acres of property. You are speaking about one piece of the project. As I said, had Ratner proposed his arena, Miss Brooklyn and the towers that comprised his "urban stadium," he would probably have more support. He didn't. The argument that people you know "doesn't really care or is excited about the idea of the stadium" is irrelevant, because it is not a monolithic facility project. Yes, the idea of a stadium is appealing. The execution of that idea was presented in about as offensive a manner as one might come up with.


I can understand this from the perspective of these groups, in the sense that they want input into the process. Ratner did run around the bureaucracy of the community groups because he knew they would not let him build the way he wanted. In one perspective this could be called sneaky and unfair from another perspective it could be considered smart.

There is only ONE perspective and that is the perspective of legality. There are land use review and community input processes that he tried to circumvent. Those are required, so, in effect, he tried to circumvent the law. You seem to be condoning a developer side-stepping laws and obligations just to get something built. You obviously support it in this instance because you like this project, know little about it, and will be unaffected by any impact it might have on the neighborhoods around it. Would you support a developer going around the process in a similar fashion if he wanted to build a sanitation department depot on the street where you live? I imagine you would argue that that is somehow "different."


I don't take any of the above statements as fact they are all biased towards the goals of the people stating them. Styvesant Town and neighboring Peter Cooper Village combined have 110 buildings 11,250 apartments and 25,000 residents. Atlantic Yards won't be that large.

Peter Cooper Village may have the buildings, apartments and residents that you state. It is also NOT equal to the density as in "residents per square mile" as this project will be when built as proposed. You can dismiss the facts, but even Ratner did not dispute them. The numbers used to arrive at the calculation - which he does not dispute - came from his own report. So, do you not believe what he reported as the likely number of buildings, apartments and residents or do you not believe that when calculated by professionals who are experts in this area that this would represent the highest density area in the United States?

NYguy
July 28th, 2006, 05:18 PM
By the way, now that "Miss Brooklyn" is set at 620 ft, its not clear if this tower (for whom this thread is titled) would be Brooklyn's tallest.

NY Post

NEW DOWNTOWN B'KLYN 'HEIGHTS'
FLATBUSH TOWERS

http://www.nypost.com/photos/news07242006023.jpg

Developer: Thor Equities
Location: Albee Square West
Use: Tentavtive plans for hotel, offices and condos
Cost: Unknown
Height: 60 stories


By PATRICK GALLAHUE

July 24, 2006 -- Just call them the "Lords of Flatbush."
Developers are lining up to build Downtown Brooklyn's storied main drag into a billion-dollar thoroughfare.

At least eight new construction projects are in the pipeline for a now-gritty three-block stretch of Flatbush Avenue between Tillary and Willoughby streets, just blocks from Bruce Ratner's $4.2 billion planned complex of residential and commercial towers around the new Nets basketball arena.

"It'll be a completely new vista of Brooklyn when you come off the [Manhattan] Bridge," said Michael Burke, of the Downtown Brooklyn Council.

Among the projects being planned is a 60-story, multimillion-dollar hotel, office and condominium tower over a city-owned parking garage at Albee Square West, to be built by Thor Equities.

Down the block, on Myrtle Avenue, a $450 million pair of buildings - comprising a million square feet of space - are planned, according to John Catsimatidis, who will develop the projects.

"It's five minutes away from Wall Street and it's one-third the price of Manhattan. Why not?" said Catsimatidis, the Gristedes supermarket magnate. Catsimatidis said his tentative plans are to build just shy of the 400-foot building-height limits, with retail on the first and second floors.

Just across the street, BFC Development is hoping to break ground later this year on a roughly $200 million, 40-story residential and retail tower, by the architectural firm Skidmore Owings and Merrill, which designed the Freedom Tower.

"It's going to be in the area of a billion dollars between all [these] projects," said Ron Hershco, who broke ground on his own luxury 35- and 40-story buildings on Gold Street.

Teno
July 28th, 2006, 05:53 PM
Does a "totality" exist?

No it doesn't, that is my point.

Anecdotally most of the complaints I've heard from neighbors about the project is of eminent domain. Most people are against the idea of people being forced from their homes. When its brought up in the conversations that 90% of the land has been bought fair and square that pretty much ends most objection towards it.


The argument that people you know "doesn't really care or is excited about the idea of the stadium" is irrelevant, because it is not a monolithic facility project.

You are attaching too much to the word stadium. Since everyone knows the housing comes with the stadium, most people I know don't really care or are excited about the Atlantic Yards project in general.


There are land use review and community input processes that he tried to circumvent.

The project is going through the necessary legal bureaucratic hoops. I haven't seen sign where he attempted to side step them. The only part he side stepped is going right to the community with the project and asking for their blessing.


You obviously support it in this instance because you like this project, know little about it, and will be unaffected by any impact it might have on the neighborhoods around it.

I live in Fort Greene

I did not give complete support to what Ratner is doing, I just don't completely support the people objecting to it.

I think Ratner is understating the impact the development will have. It will increase car traffic, subway ridership, school population. With proper planning these things can be dealt with.

I think the opposition is overstating the impact of the development. Brooklyn Heights, Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Fort Greene and so on will continue to be Brooklyn Brownstone neighborhoods. This development would do nothing to change that.

I don't have my heart set in either camp. If this project is built, great. If this project is not built, oh well. From talking to people around the neighborhood that's the way many people seem to feel about it.


Peter Cooper Village may have the buildings, apartments and residents that you state. It is also NOT equal to the density as in "residents per square mile" as this project will be when built as proposed.

I have not seen that as fact in official documentation. I've only seen it here and in newspaper editorials.

EDIT: OK lets say this is true, what difference does it make to spread the same number of people over a larger square mileage?

BrooklynRider
July 28th, 2006, 07:21 PM
I live in Fort Greene

My apologies for the presumption. My mouth runneth over.


EDIT: OK lets say this is true, what difference does it make to spread the same number of people over a larger square mileage?

What's the difference between a million people living on 10 square miles and a million people living on 1 square mile. Higher density puts more burden on the infrastructure, demands that services such a schools, fire and emergency response, electrical service etc are all sufficient to meet the needs. Ratner's own assessment as well as Gargno's statements clearly stated "no impact on sunways and mass transit." It just is not true. The project does not meet the city standard for park space per capita. It does not address sewage, drainage, traffic - all the things that will be impacted. In Manhattan things have developed more organically. Here we are going from nothing to "super city" quickly. There is not a gradual upgrade to meet the infrastructure needs and that is a real concern for residents (putting aside the height issues that are clearly bothersome to many). It's like trying to pour a bathtub full of water through a garden hose wide drain. On the far west side, they talk about building the 7 extension and a grand promenade to accommodate development. Here they are offering no substantive expansion of services or infrastructure. Firehouses? Schools? Police? All of that will be needed and that is city expense. Start subtracting those items from the $35M Ratner claims the city will earn annually and it seems less and less of a boon for the city.

Teno
July 28th, 2006, 09:20 PM
What's the difference between a million people living on 10 square miles and a million people living on 1 square mile.

That's pretty extreme. This is over 15,000 people living in an area about a mile and a half around.


Ratner's own assessment as well as Gargno's statements clearly stated "no impact on sunways and mass transit." It just is not true.

I agree with this but here is Ratner's official statement on traffic.

FCRC is looking at a number of programs and strategies to increase the usage of mass transportation. While recognizing the potential for traffic congestion at various intersections during certain peak hours of the day, FCRC is committed to working with city and state agencies and traffic experts, such as “Gridlock” Sam Schwartz to implement any mitigation measures that may be necessary.

It is very likely a transportation plan is being worked on that has not yet been released. The area is served by 13 trains.


Higher density puts more burden on the infrastructure, demands that services such a schools, fire and emergency response, electrical service etc are all sufficient to meet the needs. It does not address sewage, drainage, traffic - all the things that will be impacted.

I agree that all of these issued need to be addressed and answered. All of these issues can be answered with proper foresight and planning.

The positive of high density is it can be more efficient at provide energy, water, and sewage to apartment buildings as all of the residents share the service. It can take more energy to provide these services to individual homes.


Here we are going from nothing to "super city" quickly.

The first phase won't be complete until 2009, the rest of the development would be phased in over the next 10 years.


The project does not meet the city standard for park space per capita.

One of the largest city parks in the country is just blocks away.


Firehouses? Schools? Police? All of that will be needed and that is city expense.

As Brooklyn's population increases the demand will be greater on these services irrespective of Atlantic Yards. Arguments like this ultimately say Brooklyn cannot handle more people.

NYguy
July 29th, 2006, 09:00 AM
Brooklyn Papers

Things looking up in Brooklyn, if you’re a skyscraper

http://brooklynpapers.com/html/issues/columns/brooklynangle/_vol29/29_29skyscraperpark1.jpg_http://brooklynpapers.com/html/issues/columns/brooklynangle/_vol29/29_29skyscraperpark2.jpg


“We are a city of skyscrapers. We are a city of towers.” That’s what Empire State Development Corporation Chairman Charles Gargano said last week, casting Brooklyn as the new Manhattan — a vision for the borough that many longtime residents and the newer Manhattan exiles simply do not share.

Gargano was talking specifically about Bruce Ratner’s proposed Atlantic Yards mega-developement — which would not be finished until 2016 at the earliest — but his dream of a skyscraper-filled Brooklyn is becoming a reality even before Ratner puts a spade in the ground.

The Downtown Brooklyn Plan — an upzoning and condemnation law passed two years ago — is finally bearing young with at least eight buildings on the drawing board for just a short stretch of Flatbush Avenue Extension from the Manhattan Bridge to Willoughby Street.

Here are some details:

• In April, developers Ron Hershco and Dean Palin broke ground at 303 Gold St. for a residential and retail tower — the first building within the Downtown plan.

This fall, construction will begin on the 40-story building’s 35-story twin at 313 Gold St. (both are pictured near right).

Taken together, the buildings represent a $400-million investment that will add 517 luxury condos to attract more Gaphattanites to Brooklyn.

• Thor Equities — the company that gave us plans for a Coney Island Xanadu — is in the preliminary phases of a 60-story tower called Albee Square West, which would rise near the Fulton Mall just west of Flatbush Avenue Extension (far right, top).

A spokesman for the developer said only that the building would contain 1.4 million square feet of offices, residential units and retail.

• Back on the east side of Flatbush, on Myrtle Avenue, Gristedes supermarket king John Catsimatidis is getting ready to break ground on his 400-foot tower, a building that would look quite at home on the new Upper West Side — which used to feel a lot like low-rise Brooklyn until developers went crazy (far right, bottom).

Catsimatidis told The Brooklyn Papers that his building will be “combination residential, including some low-income units and dorm space for Long Island University, plus essential services.”

“I’ve been a New Yorker all my life,” he said. “I want to make sure we have locksmiths and hardware stores and supermarkets and a place like Woolworth’s. Where have they all gone?”

He called his million-square-foot building a “perfect place for the middle-class — just five minutes from Manhattan.”

• Across the street, a company called BFC Development says it will build a 40-story, $200-million residential tower designed by the famous architectural firm, Skidmore Owings and Merrill.

The company did not return calls from The Brooklyn Papers.

• And just this week, a rendering of a new high-rise (inset) popped into our in baskets: Muss Development’s 32-story “One Brooklyn Plaza” tower at the intersection of Boerum Place, Fulton Street and Livingston Street (so long, Red Hook Lane, we hardly knew ye).

The building would be entirely filled with offices — no residential — with retail on the ground floor.

Taken together, the corridor from the Manhattan Bridge to Fulton Street is really going to make people look up.

“When we leave Brooklyn, we say, ‘Oy vey,’” Borough President Markowitz said at the 303 Gold St. groundbreaking. “But now, when we enter Brooklyn from the Manhattan Bridge, we will say ‘Oh wow!’”

If you like skyscrapers, that is.

bkmonkey
July 29th, 2006, 11:36 PM
My apologies for the presumption. My mouth runneth over.



What's the difference between a million people living on 10 square miles and a million people living on 1 square mile. Higher density puts more burden on the infrastructure, demands that services such a schools, fire and emergency response, electrical service etc are all sufficient to meet the needs. Ratner's own assessment as well as Gargno's statements clearly stated "no impact on sunways and mass transit." It just is not true. The project does not meet the city standard for park space per capita. It does not address sewage, drainage, traffic - all the things that will be impacted. In Manhattan things have developed more organically. Here we are going from nothing to "super city" quickly. There is not a gradual upgrade to meet the infrastructure needs and that is a real concern for residents (putting aside the height issues that are clearly bothersome to many). It's like trying to pour a bathtub full of water through a garden hose wide drain. On the far west side, they talk about building the 7 extension and a grand promenade to accommodate development. Here they are offering no substantive expansion of services or infrastructure. Firehouses? Schools? Police? All of that will be needed and that is city expense. Start subtracting those items from the $35M Ratner claims the city will earn annually and it seems less and less of a boon for the city.

Yes but lets not forget.. the entire plan will be finished in 2016 at the earliest.. so it in itself is a gradual project with phases. This city has some time to build new schools and new infastructure

bkmonkey
July 29th, 2006, 11:39 PM
My apologies for the presumption. My mouth runneth over.



What's the difference between a million people living on 10 square miles and a million people living on 1 square mile. Higher density puts more burden on the infrastructure, demands that services such a schools, fire and emergency response, electrical service etc are all sufficient to meet the needs. Ratner's own assessment as well as Gargno's statements clearly stated "no impact on sunways and mass transit." It just is not true. The project does not meet the city standard for park space per capita. It does not address sewage, drainage, traffic - all the things that will be impacted. In Manhattan things have developed more organically. Here we are going from nothing to "super city" quickly. There is not a gradual upgrade to meet the infrastructure needs and that is a real concern for residents (putting aside the height issues that are clearly bothersome to many). It's like trying to pour a bathtub full of water through a garden hose wide drain. On the far west side, they talk about building the 7 extension and a grand promenade to accommodate development. Here they are offering no substantive expansion of services or infrastructure. Firehouses? Schools? Police? All of that will be needed and that is city expense. Start subtracting those items from the $35M Ratner claims the city will earn annually and it seems less and less of a boon for the city.

Oh and ha.. your forgetting about all the wealth that will be poured into the area that is not related to the project. This project will be a major catylist for the new downtown brooklyn... The city knows that ratners money will be nothing compared with all the revenue they will get from a revitalized Downtown Brooklyn and Times Plaza area. The money they will spend on infastructure will be miniscule compared to revenue produced from the area

investordude
July 30th, 2006, 04:01 AM
I took a look at the area. It's not a perfect square - more of an elongated rectangle. So, yes, the density on the land is high if you consider only the acres covered by the buildings, but I think its misleading if the space is laid our in a more 1 dimensional fashion and the surrounding blocks are less dense.

My suspicion is the biggest traffic impact would be from the stadium. I think New York is too obsessed with stadiums recently - housing, retail, and office space is going to be more profitable in a place with so many subway and rail connections - I'd rather see the stadium replaced by office space myself.

Overall I think its beneficial though.

NYguy
July 30th, 2006, 12:53 PM
My suspicion is the biggest traffic impact would be from the stadium. I think New York is too obsessed with stadiums recently - housing, retail, and office space is going to be more profitable in a place with so many subway and rail connections - I'd rather see the stadium replaced by office space myself.

Not practical, as we've seen that even in the Downtown Brooklyn plan, towers that were previously commercial are going residential. The Atlantic Yards development already has enough residential units. The new arena is practically above some of the best public transportation anywhere. Anyone foolish enough to drive there deserves to be stuck in traffic somewhere.

lofter1
July 30th, 2006, 01:43 PM
The new arena is practically above some of the best public transportation anywhere. Anyone foolish enough to drive there deserves to be stuck in traffic somewhere.

And how drunk can you get at the game if you have to drive home?

BrooklynRider
July 30th, 2006, 11:21 PM
Well, with all my criticism, I am pleased to see the stadium coming, although I think Coney Island was the more obvious choice. I also would have prefered more commercial development in those initial towers surrounding the stadium. Residential and retail still will see a surge in transit riders heading toward Manhattan and not balance it out with reverse commuters going toward the new development. Poor planning and no vision or confidence in the what they are calling "the revitalization and renewal of Brooklyn's Business district." They call it one thing ("Business District") and build another ("Residential District". The double speak is rather annoying. And, to be perfectly clear, I am referring specifically to the arena site with the three towers built into the design (or is it four now? - it keeps changing).

NYguy
September 5th, 2006, 08:51 PM
Brooklyn Papers

Things looking up in Brooklyn, if you’re a skyscraper

• Thor Equities — the company that gave us plans for a Coney Island Xanadu — is in the preliminary phases of a 60-story tower called Albee Square West, which would rise near the Fulton Mall just west of Flatbush Avenue Extension (far right, top).

I guess that headline should be changed to include, "(as long as you're not taller than the Williamsburgh)".

NYguy
February 6th, 2007, 08:20 PM
Crain's

Albee Square Mall headed for demolition

By: Erik Engquist
Published: February 6, 2007

The Gallery at Fulton Street, usually called the Albee Square Mall, has been sold for approximately $125 million and appears headed for the wrecking ball.

Sources say Thor Equities reached an agreement yesterday to sell its lease, which has 70 years remaining, to Acadia Realty Trust and its development partner P/A Associates, headed by Paul Travis and Aaron Malinsky. They are likely to tear down the downtown Brooklyn mall to take advantage of a 2004 rezoning to build a much larger mixed-use project.

The land underneath the mall is owned by the city, which will get a cut of the sale price.

Whatever is built to replace the mall will have to be approved by the Bloomberg administration even if the project complies with the existing zoning.

Thor purchased the low-scale retail complex and an adjacent three-level parking garage for a reported $25 million in 2001, made some renovations and gave it a more elegant name. But when offers for the property last year surged past $100 million, it became clear that its future would involve more than a face-lift.

The new zoning allows for 1.4 million square feet of construction, including residential units and office space towering over ground-level commercial establishments. A hotel has also been contemplated.

The principal of Thor Equities, Brooklyn resident Joe Sitt, at one time envisioned building a 60-story edifice at the Flatbush Avenue end of the property, but lately has been focusing on a grandiose plan to build a ritzy amusement park and apartments in Coney Island, near his home.

The Gallery at Fulton Street, as well as other stores along the Fulton Street, do a brisk business but mainly for low-end merchandise.

NYguy
February 13th, 2007, 08:37 AM
NY Times

Deal Would Triple the Size of the Albee Square Mall in Brooklyn and Add a High-Rise

By ANDY NEWMAN
February 13, 2007

The Downtown Brooklyn shopping plaza formerly known as the Albee Square Mall will soon undergo yet another incarnation: It will be razed, rebuilt at triple the size and topped with a high-rise with offices and a thousand apartments, its prospective new owners said yesterday.

The mall is being sold to a partnership of developers for about $125 million, two people with knowledge of the negotiations said. Today, the city’s Industrial Development Agency is expected to approve $3.2 million in tax breaks related to the sale for the new owners, a coalition including a nationally prominent firm, MacFarlane Partners of San Francisco.

The partnership, Albee Development L.L.C., has drawn up a letter of agreement with the current owner, Thor Equities, said Roxanne Donovan, the new team’s spokeswoman. Thor Equities, which bought the mall for $25 million in 2001, would not comment yesterday.

Albee Development’s plans, Ms. Donovan said, call for nearly half a million square feet of retail space, up from 150,000; about 125,000 square feet of Class A office space; and 1,000 rental apartments, 20 percent of which would be for tenants of moderate income.

The size of the project was made possible by the rezoning of much of Downtown Brooklyn in 2004, along with a seemingly endless economic boom.

The current mall, the Gallery at Fulton Street, is three stories high. There is no specific height planned for the tower, but the city’s deputy mayor for economic development, Daniel L. Doctoroff, said that the project would be “one of the tallest buildings in Downtown Brooklyn.”

The project, to be known as the Center at Albee Square, would have to go through several layers of government approval, but the new zoning allows more than 1 million square feet of development on the site. The pending sale was reported in Crain’s New York Business last week. The city owns the land under the mall, and Mr. Doctoroff said a tentative deal calls for the new owners to pay $28 million in rent over the next four years.

When the Albee Square Mall opened in 1980 at a pivotal spot on the Fulton Street pedestrian plaza, where much of black Brooklyn and Queens shops, it became a fashion destination for the young.

In a 1988 paean to the place called “Albee Square Mall,” the comic rapper Biz Markie described a typical jaunt:

I step in the place and shop around for a while

Buy some jewelry for Treny and Ali, and after that I’ll

Go take a stroll inside of Gibb’s Pups

Then buy some fresh silks, Bally’s too.

But the mall was also beset with problems, including rent strikes by store owners and endless complaints about security and maintenance. In 1990, Forest City Ratner bought the mall, rechristened it the Gallery at MetroTech, promised to bring it upscale, then seemed to lose interest.

In 2001, Joseph L. Sitt of Thor Equities bought the mall, named it the Gallery at Fulton Street and promised to remake it in the image of a palatial Italian villa with granite floors, national retailers like the Gap and tuxedoed greeters.

He got as far as spiffing up the first floor and putting a new awning on the outside. The basement level is a mostly vacant bunker. In place of a greeter in a tuxedo stands a man wearing a sandwich sign over his parka, advertising a sale at a leather coat store inside.

However humble, the mall is home to dozens of merchants, some of whom were upset over the new plans.

Eric Waltower, owner of Cunora Accessories, said he was selling jewelry from a cart on a nearby sidewalk two years ago when he was tempted inside. He sunk $30,000 into the space, which is now filled with necklaces, handbags and shiny belts.

“If they’d told me at the first meeting that they were looking to get rid of the place,” he said, “I’d have stayed out on Bridge Street.”

One of his customers, Janae Woodbury, 14, of Bushwick, said she would be sad to see the mall torn down. She brightened when she learned that a bigger mall was planned.

“That would be better,” she said. “They need more stores.”

NYguy
February 17th, 2007, 09:47 AM
Maybe the site could get a new tallest for Brooklyn afterall...
http://www.newyorkbusiness.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070214/FREE/70214006/1058/breaking


Ms. Burden said she would consider proposals for new skyscrapers that top the 512-foot Williamsburgh Savings Bank, the borough's tallest building.

Late last year, downtown Brooklyn developer Forest City Ratner Cos. bowed to community objections and agreed to shrink the tallest tower in its $4 billion arena/office tower plan -- nicknamed Miss Brooklyn -- so that it would not top the bank building. Designed by project architect Frank Gehry, Miss Brooklyn would have risen to 620 feet.

BrooklynRider
February 17th, 2007, 11:14 PM
The reality is that if the paper's would refrain from bringing the height to the attention of residents, few would complain.

Derek2k3
February 23rd, 2007, 10:49 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong but a 1.6 msf. building will be the largest building outside of Manhattan in the region. Goldman Sachs is 1.5 msf.


NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 23, 2007--

Team of Acadia Realty Trust, MacFarlane Partners, P/A Associates and Paul Travis Signs Agreement to Acquire The Gallery at Fulton Street

http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=61503&p=irol-newsArticle&t=Regular&id=966577

Acadia Realty Trust (NYSE: AKR - "Acadia"), a real estate investment trust ("REIT") today announced that it has, through its Fund II New York Urban-Infill Redevelopment initiative with P/A Associates ("Acadia P/A") and Paul Travis of Washington Square Partners (collectively, "Acadia P/A-Travis"), entered into an agreement for the purchase of the leasehold interest in The Gallery at Fulton Street and adjacent parking garage in Downtown Brooklyn for $120 million. The fee position in the property is owned by the City of New York and the agreement includes an option to purchase this fee position at a later date. Acadia P/A-Travis is partnering with MacFarlane Partners ("MacFarlane"), the leading national minority-owned real estate management firm and is currently in discussion with AvalonBay Communities, Inc. ("AvalonBay"), one of the largest owners and developers of apartment communities in the country.

Plans for the property include the demolition of the existing improvements and the development of a 1.6 million square foot mixed-use complex to be called "The Center at Albee Square." The proposed development calls for the construction of a combination of retail, office and residential components, all of which are currently allowed as of right. The new building will be environmentally friendly and qualify for a LEED Silver designation. The residential portion will include both moderate income and market rate rentals under the City's "80/20 Program". The transaction is subject to approval by the Mayor of the City of New York.

Acadia P/A-Travis, a majority partner, together with MacFarlane, will develop and operate the retail component, which is anticipated to total 475,000 square feet of prime retail space. Acadia P/A-Travis will also participate in the development of the office component with MacFarlane, which is expected to include approximately 125,000 square feet of Class A office space. MacFarlane and its potential partner, AvalonBay, plan to develop and operate approximately 1,000 residential units with underground parking. Acadia P/A-Travis does not plan on participating in the development of, or having an ownership in, the residential component of the project.

Kenneth F. Bernstein, Acadia's President and Chief Executive Officer, stated, "Acadia-P/A is excited to be teaming up with Victor MacFarlane and his talented team as well as, potentially, AvalonBay, a leader in residential development - both of which are recognized for their contributions to the urban landscape. We have all worked for months to arrive at a project which is both economically and environmentally sustainable. The Center at Albee Square will give a tremendous boost to Downtown Brooklyn by creating jobs, homes and an exciting shopping environment with both local and national tenants. We appreciate the support we have received from the City of New York, the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership and the Brooklyn Borough President, Marty Markowitz, for the project."

Paul Slayton, Principal of P/A Associates said, "We are committed to making significant, positive contributions to Downtown Brooklyn, which is already one of the largest and most active shopping and office centers in the City. We will work with the Downtown Brooklyn Advisory and Oversight Committee to ensure the participation of women- and minority-owned businesses in the construction of The Center at Albee Square, a project that will employ 2,800 construction workers and eventually create 1,600 permanent jobs."

"The Center at Albee Square will play an important role in the ongoing renaissance of Downtown Brooklyn," said Victor B. MacFarlane, founder and managing principal of MacFarlane Partners. "Adding residential units and office space to a proven retail location will help revitalize what is fast becoming a popular area for people to live, work and play."

MacFarlane Partners is the leading minority-owned real estate investment management firm in the United States, with $11.7 billion in assets under management. Founded by Victor B. MacFarlane in 1987, the firm invests in real estate development and redevelopment projects in urban and high-density suburban areas on behalf of pension fund clients.

P/A Associates is a real estate company involved principally in the development of commercial and industrial properties in metropolitan New York and New Jersey. Under the direction of founders Paul Slayton and Aaron Malinsky, P/A Associates has successfully developed a number of urban projects including River Plaza in The Bronx.

Paul Travis is a partner in Washington Square Partners and Kingsbridge Development Partners, a real estate development firm that, together with P/A Associates, developed River Plaza, the first major private development in the Bronx in 20 years. In addition to the Albee Square Project, Paul Travis is a partner in the 2 JFK Corporate Square Project in Downtown Jamaica, Queens.

Acadia Realty Trust, headquartered in White Plains, NY, is a fully integrated, self-managed and self-administered equity REIT focused primarily on the ownership, acquisition, redevelopment and management of retail properties, including neighborhood/community shopping centers and mixed-use properties with retail components.

CONTACT:
Acadia Realty Trust
Investor Relations:
Jon Grisham, VP, 914-288-8142

SOURCE:
Acadia Realty Trust

BrooklynRider
February 23rd, 2007, 11:01 PM
Wasn't McFarlane a partner at 440 West 42nd? The Related project that never got off the ground?

I do hope this has better luck.

AvalonBay as the residential development partner doesn't bode well for anything very innovative.

NYguy
March 2nd, 2007, 09:44 AM
Quote from an article in the NY Sun
http://www.nysun.com/article/49594

Downtown Brooklyn Is Booming

By MICHAEL STOLER
March 1, 2007

Everyone loves Brooklyn, and that's especially true of its president, Marty Markowitz, the borough's biggest promoter, salesman, and cheerleader. "My agenda as borough president is to focus on one thing: making Brooklyn a better place to live now, and for future generations," he said. "Remember, if it's good for Brooklyn residents and businesses, it's good for New York City."

Downtown Brooklyn is at the forefront of the dramatic changes that have been taking place across the borough's landscape. More than 5,000 condominium units, 2,000 hotel rooms, and hundreds of thousand of square feet of retail and office space are in the development pipeline. They will transform the look and feel of the neighborhood.

Big development deals are a significant part of the action. Last Thursday, a joint venture of Acadia Realty Trust, P/A Associates, AvalonBay Communities, and MacFarlane Partners agreed to purchase the lease on the Gallery at Fulton Street, its attached parking lot, and the former Albee Square Mall from Thor Equities for about $125 million. The land under the mall and the parking lot are owned by New York City.

The new owners plan to demolish the facility and construct a 1.6 million-square-foot mixed-use complex called the Center at Albee Square which will have retail, office, and residential rental units. Arcadia and P/A Associates will develop 475,000 square feet of retail space that may include a major discount department store. AvalonBay Communities and MacFarlane Partners will build 1,000 rental apartments, 20% of them for tenants of moderate incomes. The two joint ventures would build and construct a total of more than 125,000 square feet of office space. The new owners will also receive about $1.8 million in city tax subsidies through sales tax exemptions and a mortgage tax waiver.

BrooklynRider
March 5th, 2007, 04:04 PM
All this talk about a "booming" downtown Brooklyn has me stumped. The only thing being built is residential towers on the east side of Flatbush. None of this makes a dent in the commercial zone and none of it lives up to the "booming" description. More speculation. More hype. Three years ago downtown Brooklyn was described as a "booming" downtown zone ready to compete with Midtown & Lower Manhattan. Must be that same "booming" going on...

Teno
March 5th, 2007, 09:35 PM
All this talk about a "booming" downtown Brooklyn has me stumped. The only thing being built is residential towers on the east side of Flatbush.

Residential is the booming they are talking about.


None of this makes a dent in the commercial zone and none of it lives up to the "booming" description.

Business doesn't seem interested in Brooklyn. The city has tried to attract them but they aren't interested. What else are they supposed to do?