Brooklyn Heights

Brooklyn Heights drone was taking pics for project renderings, developer says

August 21, 2015 By Lore Croghan Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The spying flying machine that buzzed over busy Montague Street on Aug. 13 was gathering images to help prepare design drawings for an apartment tower (center) planned for 189 Montague St., the project's developer says. Marvel Architects' rendering by Kilograph
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This is why that guy flew the drone down Montague Street.

The airborne camera that caused a big stink by buzzing over the busy Brooklyn Heights corridor during rush hour on Aug. 13 was gathering images to help prepare project renderings, developer Jonathan Rose told the Brooklyn Eagle.

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Here’s a first look at those renderings — for a new apartment tower to be constructed where office building 189 Montague St. and residential building 146 Pierrepont St. now stand.

Rose, who is the president of project developer Jonathan Rose Cos., suggested that the drone was not being a peeping Tom, as it seemed to shocked witnesses of the flyover.

“To the best of my knowledge, when the drone was up against the windows [of other buildings], it was to capture what people inside the buildings would see when they look at 189 Montague and what is around it,” he said.

The drone operator was a subcontractor for rendering designer Kilograph, which is a subcontractor for project designer Marvel Architects, Rose explained.  

The pictures the drone took of the block around 189 Montague and 146 Pierrepont were incorporated into the renderings, he said.

NYPD spokesperson Sgt. Brendan Ryan previously told the Eagle that the operator of the drone was “using it to take photos for his architectural work” at 189 Montague, but didn’t elaborate beyond that.

Eagle staffer Mary Frost snapped a photo of the drone operator standing on the roof of 189 Montague.

The saga of his spying flying machine, which was first reported by the Eagle, generated television coverage on NBC, ABC and Telemundo plus blog and online magazine reports.

The surprise spy cam creeped out Brooklyn Heights workers and residents because it appeared to be taking pictures of what was going on inside their windows.

After it hovered outside medical offices on the 27th floor of 16 Court St., a complaint was called in to the police. The building is on the opposite side of Montague Street from the development site.

Affordable units, no ‘poor door’

Rose dished up details about the development plan for the 189 Montague-146 Pierrepont site — and provided renderings.

The handsome, honey-hued brick building will be an “80-20 project,” he revealed, meaning 20 percent of the residences in the 19-story, 86-unit rental tower will be affordable apartments.

There will be 68 market-rate apartments,18 affordable units for low-income tenants earning 60% of area median income (AMI) and 6,000 square feet of commercial space, he said.

Its design will be family-friendly, Rose noted, with large apartments, numerous three-bedroom apartments and amenities such as a kids’ room with play equipment on a sheltered second-floor terrace that can’t be seen from Montague or Pierrepont streets.

There will be storefronts on the Montague and Pierrepont Street sides of the building.

The main residential entrance will be located on Pierrepont Street. The building will not have a separate “poor door” for residents of the affordable units.

The demolition of 146 Pierrepont started on Thursday, Aug. 20,  Rose said. Asbestos abatement at 189 Montague began earlier this month, according to a sign posted on the building.

Jonathan Rose Cos. signed a 32-year lease whose term can be extended to 40 years for 189 Montague, city Finance Department records show. The owner of the property is the Treeline Cos.

Jonathan Rose Cos. bought 146 Pierrepont for $5.75 million from an LLC whose authorized signatory is Nicholas J. Guzzone Jr., Finance Department records indicate.

The development site is situated on a snippet of Montague Street that falls outside the Brooklyn Heights Historic District and the Borough Hall Skyscraper Historic District. So the city Landmarks Preservation Commission doesn’t have any control over the project’s design. 

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