Downtown

Do you know the way to Prince Street?

Eye On Real Estate: It's a pedestrian passageway under construction inside City Point (and a regular street, too)

November 26, 2014 By Lore Croghan Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Before you know it, Brooklynites will be shopping here. Eagle photo by Rob Abruzzese
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No need to peek through the construction fence at City Point.

We got an inside look at the progress of construction at the Downtown Brooklyn mega-project during a hard-hat tour with our photographer colleague Rob Abruzzese, who took terrific photos.

Additional photos are posted in a related story about leasing efforts by the co-developers of the retail portion of the complex, Acadia Realty Trust and Washington Square Partners.

The 1.8 million-square-foot development is situated on the Fulton Mall, where Albee Square Mall used to be. The boundaries of the irregularly shaped site are DeKalb Avenue, Gold Street, Willoughby Street, Flatbush Avenue Extension and Fleet Street.

During our tour of the retail floors, the high ceilings caught our eye. The ground floor is 29 feet high and the upper floors are 16 to 18 feet high.  

On the ground level, we saw an indoor roadway marked off, a pedestrian passageway slicing right through the middle of the floor. It will be made of polished concrete, said Chris Conlon, Acadia’s executive vice president and chief operating officer, not paved with asphalt like an outdoor street. It will have entrances on Gold Street and Flatbush Avenue Extension. Shops will be lined up on either side of it.

It will be called Prince Street. Think of it as in indoor extension of the street of the same name that’s just across Flatbush Avenue Extension.

On upstairs floors, there were superb views of Downtown Brooklyn skyscrapers and historic buildings. The stately dome of the former Dime Savings Bank looked close enough to touch. This city landmark, which is now a Chase branch, is next door to City Point. The former Williamsburgh Savings Bank with its famous clock tower was off on the horizon. It’s a landmark as well, of course.

In the sub-basement of City Point, we saw a bevy of massive loading docks. These are important to execs at high-volume retail giants who wrestle with the logistics of getting merchandise delivered to stores on congested city streets.

Tractor-trailers will be able to drive to the docks down a gently sloping ramp. There is room in the  sub-basement for them to turn around and drive back out, too.

“We could not have attracted Century 21 and Target without good loading docks,” Conlon said. “This is really the belly of the beast.”

By the way, Acadia and Washington Square Partners are renovating the B, Q and R subway station entrance that’s just steps away from City Point’s entrances.

WHO’S BUILDING CITY POINT’S APARTMENT TOWERS?

Above the retail construction, which is part of City Point’s Phase II, workers were busy, busy, busy constructing Phase II’s residential towers. Our hard-hat tour did not include the towers because they belong to other developers.

* Tower 1, which BFC Partners is constructing, has topped off. The 27-story building will have 250 rental apartments, half of them affordable. They should be ready for occupancy in first-quarter 2016.

* Tower 2, which the Brodsky Organization is constructing, is expected to top off at the end of the year. The 38-story building will have 450 market-rate rental apartments. They should be ready for occupancy in late 2015.

And additional residential construction is planned. A developer is in contract “with conditions” to acquire air rights for City Point’s Phase III, Conlon said. He expects this deal will be completed in early 2015. The construction of this residential building would likely start in late 2016 or early 2017.

Conlon declined to confirm a report first published by the Commercial Observer that Extell Development Co. is the firm that’s in contract.

It would be possible to build a tower that’s 70 stories tall on the Phase III site, Conlon said.

Phase I, which is already constructed, is the building at 1 Dekalb Ave. where clothing retailer Armani Exchange is located.

 


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