What’s up (or headed that way) on Downtown Brooklyn’s skyline? Part One

Eye On Real Estate: A residential construction checklist

September 17, 2014 By Lore Croghan Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Residential construction is full speed ahead in Downtown Brooklyn, as this view of Flatbush Avenue Extension and the City Point development shows.
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Up, up and away.

It’s time for Eye on Real Estate’s periodic check-up on new Downtown Brooklyn apartment buildings which are rising skywards, bringing ever greater numbers of families to the area.

Rezoning done in 2004 is the gift that keeps on giving for residential developers who want to maximize profits by building B.I.G. in the neighborhood, which was heavily business-oriented until recently.

During the recession that began in 2008, there was a looong period when Downtown Brooklyn apartment construction slowed tremendously. But the bad times are in the rear-view mirror now, as development momentum picks up speed.

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There are nearly 7,800 housing units in the area’s construction pipeline, the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership said in a July report. Nearly 5,000 units have been built since the rezoning.

There is one big downside for families with school-aged kids: None of the neighborhood developers has come forth to offer a site for a new public school, despite the efforts of Downtown Brooklyn School Solutions, a group that has been pressing for one. And no, the school that has been planned for Atlantic Yards/now known as Pacific Park since the mega-development’s inception doesn’t count.

If you want to know more about Downtown Brooklyn School Solutions, see the story we wrote last year about the group.

On the positive side, a spiffy new skyscraper at 388 Bridge St. — a combination rental-apartment and condo building that’s currently Brooklyn’s tallest tower — was completed last winter.

The belle of Bridge Street is expected to be fully leased by this fall, and condo sales are moving briskly, published reports note.

* * *

BKLYN Air, 309 Gold St.

Workers are putting the finishing touches on a 432-foot tower called BKLYN Air at 309 Gold St.

For a long time, everybody called this development Oro 2, and used the address 313 Gold St.

The site was originally made up of several different lots with multiple addresses; they’ve been combined into one lot that is referred to as 309 Gold St.

That name Oro 2 came from the project’s proximity to a new residential tower called the Oro, which is right across the street, and the fact that the same developer owned both properties.

Now 309 Gold St. belongs to Lalezarian Properties,which has built a 255-unit rental-apartment building with a heated outdoor swimming pool on a rooftop deck.

The apartments went onto the rental market in August. About 50 units are currently occupied, leasing director Diana Makdulina told Eye on Real Estate.

There’s a lot of interest from potential renters: “A third of the building has already been rented,” she said. “We have been very busy with traffic and applications.”

Monthly asking rents are $2,705 for studios, $2,850 to $4,200 for 1-bedroom units, $3,925 to $6,600 for 2-bedrooms and $8,700 for 3-bedrooms.

* * *

81 Fleet Place

The brick façade has been put up on 15-story, 205-unit 81 Fleet Place, a rental-apartment building that Red Apple Real Estate is constructing. And the windows have been installed on many of the upper floors.

The base of the building, which will be devoted to retailing, is windowless.

Red Apple exec Bob Zorn told Eye on Real Estate he expects construction to be completed at 81 Fleet Place in the first quarter of next year, and the apartment-leasing process to start then. Rental rates haven’t been decided yet; it’s a little too early for that.

The developer and retail leasing agent Winick Realty Group will start making a concerted effort to find commercial tenants for the building, probably starting in October, Zorn said.

“We’ve had a couple inquires [from potential commercial tenants] and we’re sort of dancing around them,” he said.

By the way, Red Apple Real Estate is former mayoral candidate John Catsimatidis’ company.

* * *

180 Myrtle Ave.

Bulldozers are all over the place behind the construction fence at another Red Apple Real Estate rental-apartment development, 180 Myrtle Ave.

Massive chunks of concrete sit in piles; excavation has just begun.

The site is situated between 81 Fleet Place and an earlier apartment development of Red Apple’s, the Andrea at 218 Myrtle Ave.

Bob Zorn, the Red Apple executive, said 228 units are planned for a 15-story building. June 2016 is a probable completion date, and the apartment-rental process would start then.


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