Fort Greene

Construction update: The Caesura in the Brooklyn Cultural District

Eye on Real Estate

September 28, 2016 By Lore Croghan Brooklyn Daily Eagle
This rendering depicts the Caesura, a Brooklyn Cultural District development. Rendering by Dattner Architects and Bernheimer Architecture

Everything’s coming up roses — or rather, Rose’s — at this Brooklyn Cultural District development site.

(Yes, that’s a reference to the song from the musical “Gypsy.”)

We’re talking about Jonathan Rose’s mixed-use, mixed-income development at 280 Ashland Place in Fort Greene, which is called the Caesura.

Jonathan Rose Companies is constructing a 12-story rental-apartment building with space for cultural facilities on the corner of Ashland Place and Lafayette Avenue. The site is next door to Mark Morris Dance Center, which is worth mentioning because the dance facility will have two studios in the Caesura. More about that in a minute.

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When we stopped by the other day to see how construction is progressing at the Caesura, the frame of the building was rising three stories tall. It might be taller by the time this story is posted.

The target date for the completion of construction is fall 2017, a spokesperson for Jonathan Rose Companies told the Brooklyn Eagle.

We’ve been keeping an eye on the site since it was a parking lot used by the Brooklyn Academy of Music, which is on another corner of Ashland Place and Lafayette Avenue.


Readers with long memories will recall that the Caesura previously was named Brooklyn Cultural District: Apartments (BCD: A)  and before that, EyeBAM.

Jonathan Rose Companies purchased the site from the city for $1 in exchange for making 40 percent of the new building’s apartments affordable units without city subsidies, the Eagle previously reported.

A new headquarters for the Center for Fiction

The Caesura’s 122 residences will be a mix of micro units — meaning studios of less than 400 square feet in size — as well as regular studios and one- and two-bedroom apartments.   

As the Eagle previously reported, 20 percent of the apartments will be affordable for low-income households earning 80 percent of Area Median Income (AMI). And 20 percent of the units will be affordable for middle-income households earning 130 percent of AMI.

The other 60 percent of the apartments will be market-rate.

The application process for the Caesura’s affordable housing lottery is expected to begin in summer 2017, the spokesperson said.

Two different arts organizations will set up shop in the Caesura. Jonathan Rose Companies will do core-and-shell construction for them at cost, then sell the spaces as commercial condominiums to the organizations, as the Eagle previously reported.

The Center for Fiction is relocating its headquarters from Manhattan, where it has been located since its founding as the Mercantile Library in 1820.

Its new home will be in a 17,696-square-foot space at the Caesura. Noreen Tomassi, the Center for Fiction’s executive director, told the Eagle in an interview last year that the organization will purchase the space for $5.5 million.   

Mark Morris Dance Center will buy a 3,757-square-foot space at the Caesura for $1.3 million, a spokesman for the dance organization told the Eagle last year.

The space will be divided into two studios for use by the School at the Mark Morris Dance Center and for community outreach activities.


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