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Thread: Fort Greene Development

  1. #61
    Build the Tower Verre antinimby's Avatar
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    Sep 2004
    in Limbo


    Cool. I like.

  2. #62


    Quote Originally Posted by Kris
    And while some may complain that the 28-story, 288-foot building going up at the corner of Fulton Street and Ashland Place has its faults, the bottom line is activists and elected officials can huff and puff, but no one can blow it down.
    DOB permits put it at 360 feet and 108 units.

  3. #63
    Forum Veteran MidtownGuy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    East Midtown


    Wow, I lived at 201 for a while, and this will really change that corner (for the better).

    triangular shape... interesting

    "two rows of trees and public space complete with amenities such as benches.
    Canopies will jut out from over the retail space, he said.
    The project will not have any on-site parking."

    "limestone-looking concrete bands" ... hmmm...that could be cheeezey.

  4. #64
    Banned Member
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    Dec 2002
    Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY


    Looks like a tall Morton Square. Brooklyn is growing up.

  5. #65
    Banned Member
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    Dec 2002
    Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY


    BAM Goes the Neighborhood
    While Atlantic Yards grabs the headlines, an art attack quietly transforms downtown Brooklyn

    by Adrienne Day
    August 1st, 2006 2:24 PM

    Laurie Cumbo first stumbled into the BAM battle at a public meeting in October 2002, held to address the Brooklyn Academy of Music's plans for a new "mixed-use cultural district" in Fort Greene, on the edge of Downtown Brooklyn. Cumbo had heard that BAM's Local Development Corporation planned to lure various arts organizations into their proposed district with offers of subsidies. She was interested in what this venerable performing-arts institution might offer her fledgling museum, the Museum of Contemporary Diasporan Arts (MOCADA).

    The cultural district was originally envisioned as an area larger than Manhattan's Lincoln Center that would cut a 10-by-three-block zigzag through Downtown Brooklyn and the heart of Fort Greene. BAM and the BAM LDC are formally separate entities, but the LDC is chaired by Harvey Lichtenstein, who was BAM's executive director for 32 years before founding the LDC in 1998. In 2001, he secured a $50 million matching grant from ex-mayor Giuliani. But initial meetings between Lichtenstein and Bloomberg's deputy mayor, Dan Doctoroff, were held behind closed doors. According to community activist Patti Hagan, "[Residents] thought that the BAM LDC was just one of these government entities that was remaking Fort Greene without any input from the people who live there— basically white people coming in and saying to a black community, 'We know what's best for you.' "

    Compared to Ratner's controversial Atlantic Yards project, the BAM LDC plan seems like small potatoes. BAM has already made four relatively recent additions—the Mark Morris Dance Center, the Harvey Lichtenstein Theater, BAM Rose Cinemas, and BAMcafé—without triggering too much consternation. But some residents fear that yet more BAM might be the cultural analogue to Ratner's stadium plan, the equivalent of clear-cutting an old-growth forest and planting monocultured rows in its place.

    Over the next decade, on four sites covering about 10 city blocks, the BAM LDC wants to build several large developments that will, if realized, drastically alter the landscape of Fort Greene and abutting parts of Downtown Brooklyn. Ground has already been broken for the Theater for a New Audience, designed by architects Frank Gehry and Hugh Hardy, on the so-called South Site. A new visual and performing-arts library is in the preliminary stages next door, complete with a Lincoln Center–style fountain. The North Site promises a mix of cultural outlets, public space and retail amenities, and 350 units of mixed-income housing. The East Site is obliquely described in LDC promotional literature as "being developed to house a cultural base of up to 60,000 square feet, as well as up to 150 units of housing." On a fourth plot, the West Site, the BAM LDC is negotiating over the property with existing owners and entertaining the option of more housing.

    Sharon Zukin, professor of sociology at Brooklyn College, says in her 1995 book The Cultures of Cities that "cultural institutions have a long history of raising property values . . . and high art has become more like for-profit culture industries in many ways." Although MOCADA is just one small part of a much larger strategy to develop Downtown Brooklyn, it signals a change in the perception of cultural institutions as engines of economic development. Most developers now recognize that concert halls, not just stadiums, bring in the money.

    After decades of benign neglect, Downtown Brooklyn has suddenly become the focus of commercial and residential developments. The fact that these mega-projects—Ratner's downtown commercial-platz Metrotech, Atlantic Yards, the LDC plan, and the recently unveiled plans for a 60-story hotel/condo tower on Flatbush—didn't evolve autonomously over many years underscores a relatively new symbiotic relationship between the for- and non-profit sectors.

    Fresh from NYU's master's program in visual-arts administration, Laurie Cumbo had dedicated her museum to contemporary artworks by people of African descent. In December 1999, MOCADA opened its doors in Bedford-Stuyvesant. 300 people showed up for the inaugural event, a big success for a little museum. After a grant from New York City's department of cultural affairs, Cumbo struggled to raise more money. "The city gives exorbitant amounts of money to institutions like the Met," she says. "Very little is left for smaller ones." BAM provided not only financial support, but advice on how to construct MOCADA's new headquarters.

    Late in June 2004, the LDC announced its renovation of an abandoned medical testing facility at 80 Hanson Place, a few blocks southeast of the main BAM building, to provide office space for arts nonprofits. The LDC dubbed the building "80 Arts" and offered a reduced rent of $16 to $18 a square foot, several dollars less than comparable office space in the area, according to several current 80 Arts tenants. Cumbo applied and was offered 1,800 square feet of ground level space.

    MOCADA officially reopened its doors in Fort Greene on May 18, 2006. Its mission: to raise the visibility of black artists for the express purpose of engaging, educating, and empowering the community. But herein lies a subtle irony. Faced with an uncertain future, MOCADA had to move from Bed-Stuy to Fort Greene—a wealthier, whiter neighborhood—in order to survive. Symbolically, MOCADA abandoned its constituents and merged with the titanic forces of urban development and with BAM, the apex of the well-to-do avant-garde. In Cumbo's attempt to reach a larger audience, she is inadvertently contributing to the transformation of the neighborhood, which in turn is forcing out poorer, mostly black residents.

    Depending on who you ask, the BAM LDC's district means very different things. For Cumbo, it's a way to provide exposure to artists of African descent. For Borough President Marty Markowitz, an ardent supporter of the plan, it's a chance to make Brooklyn a respected cultural capital. For Bruce Ratner, who leases part of the East Site and sits on BAM's board of directors, it could help rehabilitate his image as a power-hungry landgrabber. For the LDC, it's an opportunity to raise the prestige of the BAM brand as a hip alternative to Lincoln Center and to promote its image as an institution with real ties to the community.

    Not everyone buys into the LDC's vision. Some see it as legacy building for Lichtenstein. Others gripe about stiff ticket prices and programming that caters to an elite Manhattan crowd. "It's like a private club, BAM," says the administrator of a local arts group for young people who wishes to remain anonymous. "There would be no need for [nonprofits like ours] if BAM had taken note that there were children in Fort Greene. These are children that have no clue what goes on in those buildings over there."

    Reverend Clinton Miller, president of the opposition group Concerned Citizens Committee (or CCC) says, "We don't want to see pure top-down development, as with the Yards. . . . Regarding the cultural district, we want a triangular relationship between community, government, and developers."

    Jeanne Lutfy, president of the BAM LDC, defends the plan, saying, "We're facilitating new growth and development in the underutilized parcels of land; it's about the arts, about longevity and stability, so that they can focus on what they do and do it well." Her explanation evokes a message used by Robert Moses to seize property via eminent domain to develop for the "greater good"—or, at least, the greater good of people with cars and money. "Who doesn't want parks?" he asked. Half a century later, the question could be, "Who doesn't want culture?"

    Of course, there's a crucial difference between power brokers like Moses and Ratner, and the BAM LDC: The latter is not grabbing land by eminent domain but building largely on parking lots. Instead of clearing a poor residential neighborhood in the name of urban renewal—a method infamously used by Moses to establish Lincoln Center in Manhattan's then seedy Upper West Side—the BAM plan promises many good things to Fort Greene's residents. "We didn't want to close any streets, make any zoning changes, or change the fabric of the existing community," says Lutfy. She describes new art spaces, as well as affordable housing for artists and locals; gussied-up public space for art, performance, markets, and events; and lots of jobs.

    80 Arts, a red-brick eight-story structure, bursts out of the asphalt like a fist through a pane of glass. Despite neoclassical flourishes, the structure radiates a slightly misplaced modernity, even in this rapidly gentrifying neighborhood. Located on the corner of Hanson Place and South Portland Street, and housing a variety of arts nonprofits, it is the crown jewel of the BAM LDC's plan. "This was an idea that Harvey had while he was slaving away at BAM, putting it on the map," says LDC president Lutfy. "Wouldn't it be nice if there could be this wonderful context around the building?"

    Lutfy describes the proposed cultural district as a vibrant, "24-7" environment anchored by world-class monuments to the arts. Judging by an early computer-generated mock-up, the Gehry/Hardy-designed Theater for a New Audience building resembles a square shot glass tipped over on its side. Offset by the regal Williamsburgh Savings Bank, the tallest building in Brooklyn—soon to be transformed into luxury condominiums—and the beaux arts BAM building, TFANA resembles something discrete and alien, a launchpad for a lunar colony, perhaps.

    Mindy Fullilove, a Columbia University professor who has studied the long-term consequences of urban renewal for African Americans, compares the process to fixing an old suit. Several generations ago, she says, "If you burned a hole in your suit, you'd bring it to the tailor for invisible reweaving, and then your suit was perfect again. People that care about the neighborhood are doing invisible reweaving, not gouging it." BAM's buildings are pretty dramatically out of scale with the existing neighborhood. And residents like Reverend Miller are disappointed that promises of affordable housing are fading into the future.

    But without the LDC, could institutions like MOCADA make it in an arts-funding-starved world? Across the street from 80 Arts is Brooklyn councilmember Letitia James's office, ground zero in the battle over Brooklyn. "I totally support MOCADA," she says. "It's the only one of its kind. And the African American community doesn't have enough organizations that reflect the rich history of this country." James credits her office with putting pressure on the LDC to diversify 80 Arts to include more African American– and women-run nonprofits. "Now [the building] reflects the diversity of Downtown Brooklyn." Of the larger BAM plan she says, "It could be beautiful, but you seriously have to ask yourself why."

    Reverend Miller says that "MOCADA is a fair representation of our community." But having work that depicts the African diaspora is of limited value, he points out. "The diaspora won't be able to live there."

  6. #66


    Quote Originally Posted by antinimby
    Cool. I like.
    From the looks of it, it'll look almost exactly like:

    I lived right near this building and pictures don't really do it justice, this Brooklyn Building should be a very fine addition to the cityscape.

  7. #67


    Missed the bus so took some pics of my fave neighborhood, Fort Greene.

    This is actually Clinton Hill from Pratt's architecture building.

    Taken back in December. Ft. Greene is home to both Brooklyn's tallest building and tallest residential tower.

    Downtown Brooklyn's nearly graceless skyline.

    Walking down Fulton. Interesting since streets intersect it at various angles.

    The avenue starts to get more seedy as it apporaches Downtown.

    St. Felix Street.
    Last edited by Derek2k3; February 9th, 2007 at 12:31 AM.

  8. #68
    Banned Member
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    Dec 2002
    Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY



    There's an alternative career for you in photography. I always enjoy your shots. Always a different angle.


  9. #69


    Looking down St. Felix Street towards the hospital. What I love most about this nabe is its diversity. Ft. Greene is like a tiny city in itself. With skyscrapers, brownstones, cultural instituions, universities, hospitals, 2 malls, a transit hub, a great park, projects, and a soon to come basketball arena.

    That new addition on St. Felix Street I posted about earlier. Looks kind of goofy.

    Why are liquor store signs always so large in Brooklyn?

    This lot is the North site. Three 20-35 story buildings are planned here designed by WORKac. Another parking lot across the street is BAM's east site. It's owned by Ratner and a 160,000 square-foot building with subsidized residential units and cultural components are planned.

    This is Bam's West Site. Last I read, 350 units of mixed-income housing are planned. From a model I saw seems like it will be taller than Forte...about 40 stories.

    This picture is from today. It's one story taller here than some of the pictures.

    Curtain wall looks good for a Brooklyn project.
    Last edited by Derek2k3; February 9th, 2007 at 05:33 PM.

  10. #70


    Nice pics. Any concrete plans for the parking lots near the Forte?

  11. #71


    great pictures derek. that first shot of the backyards off lafayette is almost exactly what i see when i look out of my bedroom window. i love this neighborhood.

  12. #72


    The silver building is suppose to be where 80 DeKalb will rise. (400 foot Ratner tower by Kondylis.) 80 Dekalb is nearly a full block building so maybe just that white corner building will be developed(?)

    I like this building, it just needs some love. I bet it will come down soon though.

    Ft. Greene dissolves into the mess of Dtwn. Bk.

    Last edited by Derek2k3; February 9th, 2007 at 05:14 PM.

  13. #73
    Forum Veteran krulltime's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Manhattan - UWS


    Great photos Derek2k3! Fort Green is a very interesting neighborhood in Brooklyn. I am still in surprice that the Forte tower is actually getting built. Good sign of more new things to come. I just can't believe that the new BAM stuff hasn't happened already. Who knows how long that will take.

  14. #74


    Thank you guys for the compliments.

    Quote Originally Posted by sfenn1117 View Post
    Nice pics. Any concrete plans for the parking lots near the Forte?
    Yup, I added some text to some those images. Construction should've started already but delayed for some reason. Also these building could've been taller but councilwoman Leticia James fought for a 400' height limit on new towers east of Flatbush. In fact she really wanted a 25 story cap.
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    Last edited by Derek2k3; February 9th, 2007 at 05:31 PM.

  15. #75


    Once the library, Gehry building, the buildings on the parking lots, and of course Atlantic Yards are built, that area is going to be great. The Forte is turning out nicely.

    That 400 foot height limit is a big shame. Flatbush Ave is just going to be a wall of 400 foot towers with little variation. It's still great to see so many towers rise in such a small area....but it's a shame we can't build an icon for the borough, a landmark to be seen coming off the bridges.

    Do you know anything about the SOM tower on Flatbush Ave?

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