Fort Greene

A tale of two towers: 333 Schermerhorn St. will be Brooklyn’s tallest building

Eye On Real Estate

December 9, 2015 By Lore Croghan Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Today we're telling tales of two Downtown Brooklyn towers, 333 Schermerhorn St. (left) and 286 Ashland Place, shown here with the Williamsburgh Saving Bank behind the trees at far right. Eagle photo by Lore Croghan

Eyes to the skies, Brooklynites.

Soon Douglas C. Steiner’s under-construction tower at 333 Schermerhorn St. will become the borough’s tallest.

We just checked in with Steiner, whose soaring Downtown Brooklyn rental-apartment development is starting to shape up nicely, we’ve noticed.

He said his 56-story project, which is called the Hub, will be 610 feet tall.

That’s taller than his original plan for 333 Schermerhorn St., announced in early 2012 — and it will put the Hub head and shoulders above two apartment towers a few blocks away that are now the borough’s tallest buildings, 388 Bridge St. and AVA DoBro at 100 Willoughby St.

Other developers have project designs on the drawing board for even loftier Brooklyn towers. We’ll worry about them when they actually get built.

Construction at the Hub site is progressing rapidly. Before you know it, the structure will top out.

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It’s impossible to know precisely when that will happen: “That’s up to the weather gods,” Steiner said. “We only have five more floors to go, so it should be this month.”

Steiner said he expects to start moving people into the apartments in fall 2016. There will be 750 units, 150 of them affordable for people earning 60 percent of area median income.

There will be 32,000 square feet of retail space.

 

‘Homage to the Williamsburgh Savings Bank Building’

Steiner — who is best known as the owner of the Brooklyn Navy Yard’s film and TV production mecca, Steiner Studios — expects the Hub will have a positive impact on its neighborhood.

“We love Schermerhorn Street because it’s sunny, quiet and wide, plus we face a park and a beautiful landmarked church. We love the tree-lined brownstone Boerum Hill and Fort Greene neighborhoods and the 13 subway lines within two blocks,” he said.

“Our tower takes up less than a third of our site, so we kept a lot of sky and light. We designed the building to be contextually correct — it pays homage to the Williamsburgh Savings Bank building [which is close by] — and our box truss crown echoes the aesthetic of our nearby Steiner Studios.

“Hopefully it’s one of the nicest buildings of its kind, and a timeless, iconic addition to the Brooklyn skyline.”

The other day, when we stopped by, uninvited, to photograph the Hub from outside its construction fence, we saw that a façade of brick and glass has been placed on a goodly portion of its framework. On one part of the façade on the Schermerhorn Street side of the building, the brick is red; on another, it’s a lighter color. A small section of the tower that faces Flatbush Avenue is all glass.

The development also has frontage on Livingston Street.

The Hub is right across Flatbush Avenue from Two Trees Management’s 286 Ashland Place. Both developments are looking good at this point in their construction trajectory.

Unlike 286 Ashland Place, the Hub is located outside the Brooklyn Cultural District.

We’ve been checking up on the Hub site since summer 2013, when an office building there, whose address was 350 Livingston St., was being demolished.  

“We’re very excited about how it’s turning out,” William Stein, a principal at the building’s designer, Dattner Architects, told us recently. “It’s a great project.”

 

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