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Thread: Board of Ed HQ to become condos, theater

  1. #1
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    Default Board of Ed HQ to become condos, theater

    by Wendy Blake

    The former Board of Education headquarters, in downtown Brooklyn, is being sold for more than $45 million to Two Trees Management, which will convert it into condominium apartments and a theater.

    Two Trees, led by Dumbo developer David Walentas, plans to spend $95 million on converting the 12-story, 335,000-square-foot building, at 110 Livingston St. It plans to create 245 apartments and renovate a 6,000-square-foot hall on the main floor into a theater that will be used by the Alliance of Resident Theaters in New York for a "nominal fee." The project will also include 225 underground parking spaces.

    Ten percent of the proceeds of the sale will be dedicated to affordable housing in Brooklyn and other targeted areas, says the city.

    The building was the headquarters for the Board of Education since 1939, until Mayor Bloomberg designated the former Tweed Courthouse, next to City Hall, as the department’s new base. Two hundred and fifty education employees who remain at 110 Livingston will be relocated in the next few months, the city says.
    Copyright 2003, Crain Communications, Inc

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    Default Board of Ed HQ to become condos, theater

    MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG ANNOUNCES DESIGNATION OF DEVELOPER FOR FORMER BOARD OF EDUCATION HEADQUARTERS AT 110 LIVINGSTON STREET


    Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today announced that a developer has been designated to redevelop the former headquarters of the now defunct Board of Education located at 110 Livingston Street in Downtown Brooklyn. *The twelve-story, 335,000-square-foot building will be sold for more than $45 million and converted into residential condominium units. The designee, Two Trees Management, also plans to renovate the building’s 6,000-square-foot Hall of the Board on the building’s main floor into a theater that will be used by a local arts group for a nominal fee. *Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, Economic Development Corporation President Andrew M. Alper, Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein, Housing Preservation & Development Commissioner Jerilyn Perine and President of Two Trees Management David Walentas joined the Mayor outside 110 Livingston Street for the announcement.

    “Seven months ago, when I announced that the City was putting 110 Livingston Street up for sale, I said that we wanted to send the message that the Board of Education is history,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Today, with the designation of a developer to purchase this site, we are well on our way to accomplishing that objective. *In addition, this sale presents us with an opportunity to further the redevelopment plan for Downtown Brooklyn that our Administration introduced this past April. Once converted, this project will expand the area’s residential housing stock, and with the proposed theater, bolster the area’s identity as a strong cultural district.”

    “The selection of Two Trees Management sets in motion another piece of the residential component of Downtown Brooklyn’s ongoing development,” said Borough President Markowitz. *“It follows the wave of housing development underway along the Hoyt-Schermerhorn corridor and at the former Court Atlantic Garage site. *One of the many strengths of the area is the adjoining residential neighborhood, and the potential for new residential development will bolster the marketing of office space envisioned by the Downtown Brooklyn Development Plan.”

    “We are delighted to have been selected to restore and adaptively reuse this extraordinary McKim Mead & White structure,” said Two Trees President David Walentas. “Our plan will add 245 high-quality condominium apartments, a theater for the use of a local cultural organization, and 225 underground parking spaces to the neighborhood. It will also contribute significantly to the resurgence of Downtown Brooklyn.”

    Two Trees Management was chosen for the project as a result of a Request for Proposals issued by the New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC) on behalf of the City in February 2003. *Two Trees Management’s intends to keep the building’s distinctive façade to remain intact and spend $95 million to convert the building into 245 condominium units with 225 below-grade parking spaces in the building’s basement and sub-basement. *The building, located at the corner of Livingston Street and Boerum Place, was designed by the architectural firm of McKim, Mead & White and constructed in 1925. *In good structural condition, the building has undergone several major improvements in the last two years, including roof and window replacements, elevator upgrades and restoration of the exterior facade.

    “This project represents an excellent reuse of this extraordinary building,” said EDC President Alper. “The project will not only provide Downtown Brooklyn with quality housing, it will also generate more than 500 construction and permanent jobs.”

    Ten percent of the proceeds of the sale of 110 Livingston Street will be dedicated to affordable housing in Brooklyn as well as other targeted areas of the City. This move will further the Downtown Brooklyn plan announced by the Bloomberg Administration in April 2003, and help to transform the area into an exciting 24/7 residential, office and retail community. *The plan calls for the City to increase zoning allowances, create new public parking and open space, and implement a series of infrastructure improvements to facilitate the creation of as much as 5.4 million square feet of new commercial space and about 1,000 units of new housing.

    “We are excited that a portion of the proceeds of the sale of this building will be dedicated to affordable housing in Brooklyn,” said HPD Commissioner Jerilyn Perine. “This will help advance the Mayor’s initiative to build or rehabilitate thousands of housing units over the next five years, find innovative ways to finance these projects and remove barriers to private investment. Adequate affordable housing is fundamental to the City’s long-term economic prosperity.”

    The building had been occupied by the Board of Education, now the Department of Education, since 1939. The majority of its former occupants have been relocated to the Department’s new headquarters in the former Tweed Courthouse, which is adjacent to City Hall in Lower Manhattan. The building’s 250 remaining occupants will be relocated in the next few months. *Moving the final Department of Education employees from 110 Livingston will symbolize another step forward in the Mayor’s efforts to reform public education in New York City.

    “For years, the building at 110 Livingston stood for all that was wrong with New York City’s public school system: too much waste, too much bureaucracy, and too little attention to teaching and learning,” said Schools Chancellor Klein. *“As part of the Children First reforms, we are shifting the focus away from the system’s bureaucracies and redirecting our efforts and resources to our schools, classrooms, and, most importantly, our children. *And while the headquarters for the former Board of Education finally close, the Department of Education will aggressively continue to place the interests, well-being, and future of our children first.”

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    Default Board of Ed HQ to become condos, theater

    Good. I really can't believe how much residential development is going on around there.

    From what my father tells me, the interior of 110 Livingston was as dismal and dreary as one could get. Hopefully the conversion will improve that.

  4. #4

    Default Board of Ed HQ to become condos, theater

    July 9, 2003

    City Is Selling Symbol of Its Troubled Schools

    By MICHAEL COOPER

    Like the Kremlin, to which Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg compared it yesterday, 110 Livingston Street was more than a location or a shorthand name for the institution it housed, the city's Board of Education. It symbolized a state of mind, a failed system that was at once imperious and impervious.

    Rudolph W. Giuliani famously called for it to be "blown up." A former president of the Board of Education once suggested pulling a fire alarm there and then locking out all the administrators. One schools chancellor who worked there used to call it "the puzzle palace." Another toyed with changing the address to 112 Livingston Street.

    Now the days are numbered for the few administrators who remain in the old headquarters building in Downtown Brooklyn. The city announced yesterday that it was selling the building for more than $45 million to a developer for conversion into high-end condominiums, with a theater for arts groups on its main floor.

    To dramatize a clear break with the past, Mayor Bloomberg, who won control of the city's school system last year and moved its headquarters next to City Hall, slapped a red "SOLD" sign across the building's front door yesterday.

    "This sale will redefine the address 110 Livingston, which was for too long synonymous with a dysfunctional bureaucracy that served itself instead of our children," he said. "In the future, 110 Livingston will mean quality housing in a lively community."

    All of this raises the question: Will the notoriety of 110 Livingston Street be a selling point or a sticking point?

    "I don't think anybody cares," said the developer, David C. Walentas, whose company, Two Trees Management, was instrumental in developing the Dumbo section of the Brooklyn waterfront. "People's memories are short."

    Faith Hope Consolo, the vice chairman of Garrick-Aug, a retail brokerage firm, said she thought the famous address would add "a
    very nice cachet."

    Others were not so sure. Andrew Alpern, an architectural historian, said he would not be surprised if the building's developers ended up choosing a new address for it, possibly one on Boerum Place, its cross street.

    "I would bet you two root beers they're not going to market this as 110 Livingston Street," Mr. Alpern said. "One-ten Livingston Street doesn't represent a building so much as bureaucratic dead weight. If they got a Boerum Place address, then if you said, `I've moved in to 45 Boerum Place,' people would say, `Oh, is that somewhere in Brooklyn Heights, or in Boerum Hill?' Then it could be a brownstone, it could be anything."

    Mr. Walentas said yesterday that he had no intention of changing the address, which might involve moving the main entrance off Livingston Street.

    The change may not be necessary. New Yorkers seem to thrive on unsavory associations, or forget them.

    Most chess players in Washington Square Park probably do not know or care that the area was once the site of public hangings. The killing of Paul Castellano, the Gambino family crime boss, outside Sparks Steak House has not kept carnivores from the restaurant. The Triangle Shirtwaist Company building, which caught fire 92 years ago, killing 146, is a landmark housing science laboratories for New York University.

    And the Dakota apartment house, on Central Park West, is still one of the city's most elegant addresses, even after it was featured in the horror film "Rosemary's Baby" and after one of its most famous residents, John Lennon, was shot to death outside.

    Rob Polner, a co-author of "New York Notorious: A Borough-by-Borough Tour of the City's Most Infamous Crime Scenes" (Crown, 1992), said that in his experience even the city's most notorious addresses got new leases on life.

    "Almost all of the places we looked at had new lives, whether they were the scene of a mob hit or a political scandal," Mr. Polner said. "They became Chinese restaurants or luxury apartment buildings. New York continually reinvents itself."

    In a sense, the conversion of 110 Livingston Street to high-end housing is more a restoration than a rebirth.

    The building was not always known for overflowing "in" and "out" trays. Designed by the firm of McKim, Mead & White, it opened in 1926 as a luxurious headquarters for the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. It had 200 dormitory rooms, a ballroom, bowling alleys, Turkish baths and a swimming pool. The Board of Education did not take over until 1939.

    Mr. Walentas, the developer, said he planned to build 245 condominiums in the building, which has 12 stories, not counting a small garret. On the main floor, the old Hall of the Board of Education will become a theater for local arts groups. And the building will get an underground garage with 225 parking spaces.

    Mr. Walentas said apartments would sell for around $500,000. The facade, which is not listed as a landmark but is imposing in design and pedigree, will be preserved.

    Officials said the city would use 10 percent of its price, or $4.5 million, to build moderately priced housing elsewhere in Brooklyn. The rest will go into the city's general fund.

    The deal is not complete. Andrew M. Alper, the president of the city's Economic Development Corporation, said that he expected to sign a contract in October and to close the sale in January, and that construction was expected to begin soon afterward. But Mr. Alper, Mayor Bloomberg and Mr. Walentas all expressed confidence that the sale would be completed.

    Condominiums in 110 Livingston Street would help bridge Brooklyn's thriving residential areas on the periphery of its downtown, from Brooklyn Heights, on the opposite side of Court Street, to Boerum Hill and Cobble Hill, across Atlantic Avenue.

    Although the city is selling 110 Livingston Street and has moved about 600 education officials to the Department of Education's headquarters in the Tweed Courthouse, behind City Hall, several hundred education administrators will continue to work in Downtown Brooklyn in two other city buildings. But officials of the Bloomberg administration clearly relished the symbolism of the sale.

    Few tears were shed yesterday for the end of an era.

    "This will be the least-missed building in the history of New York City government," said John Beckman, a former schools spokesman who worked there. "If there is an opposite of nostalgia, you'd have to apply it to 110 Livingston Street."


    Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

  5. #5

    Default Board of Ed HQ to become condos, theater

    That's a lot of money to spend to be across from the Brooklyn House of Detention

    And then there is the proposed Brooklyn Law School dorms...

    http://www.acmedigital.com/bklaw1.html

    a photo-montage rendering of the dorms. *The color is supposed to be more yellow, but I liked this version better.

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    Default Board of Ed HQ to become condos, theater

    I think that lot has plans to be developed or is in the process of doing so.

    The area is booming and with enough pressure, both communal and fiscal, that jail will be sold and hopefully razed for more apartments. *Nice.

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    Default Board of Ed HQ to become condos, theater

    Anyone know what this is?

    <URL>http://www.acmedigital.com/bcext.html</URL>

  8. #8

    Default Board of Ed HQ to become condos, theater

    Anyone know what this is?
    <URL>http://www.acmedigital.com/bcext.html</URL>
    I do.

    Is it a dead proposal? *It seemed to be moving along when I did those renderings four or five years ago. *The idea is/was a retail/theater complex (hey, there's a novel idea) at the end of the Gowanus next to the Fourth Ave. F/G station.

    <URL>/http://www.garyhandel.com/</URL>

    the site uses frames, so no direct URL...just navigate to projects>ongoing>Brooklyn Commons

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    Default Board of Ed HQ to become condos, theater

    Ernest, the Law School Dormitory is under construction already. As of last month foundations looked complete and basement work was starting.

  10. #10
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    Default Board of Ed HQ to become condos, theater

    By the canal? *So is this really happening? *Looky at the Bond St. hotel and the High Line - nice.

  11. #11

    Default Board of Ed HQ to become condos, theater



    http://www.gehany.com/project/brooklyn.htm

    Aside from the extensive parking space it does look urban.

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