Downtown

Public review process moves forward for 925-foot skyscraper planned for 80 Flatbush Ave.

June 27, 2017 By Lore Croghan Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The two towers to the left of the Williamsburgh Savings Bank clocktower are part of a planned development at 80 Flatbush Ave. in Downtown Brooklyn. Renderings by Alloy Development

Proposed Downtown Brooklyn development includes two public schools and a second tower

This is a tale of two towers, plus two public schools.

One tower, designed to soar 925 feet in the air, is among the tallest skyscrapers ever planned in the borough of Brooklyn.

The New York City Educational Construction Fund and Alloy Development also want to construct a second high-rise apartment building, a public elementary school, a public high school and a cultural facility at 80 Flatbush Ave. in Downtown Brooklyn.

The site boundaries are Flatbush Avenue, Schermerhorn Street, Third Avenue and State Street.

The uniform land use review procedure (ULURP) for the proposed project will take a step forward on Wednesday.

A public meeting is scheduled that day about the potential environmental impact of 80 Flatbush, which is what the developer calls the project. The meeting is set for 5:30 p.m. in the city Department of Education’s offices at 131 Livingston St. in Downtown Brooklyn.

The public review is required because the developer is seeking zoning amendments to increase the size of the project.

The city Department of Education’s financing and development arm announced in April that it had chosen DUMBO-based Alloy as the developer.

Alloy Development ground-leases part of the site

Part of the site belongs to the Department of Education — namely 362 Schermerhorn St., where public high school Khalil Gibran International Academy is located. Part of the site is controlled by Alloy. 

According to city Finance Department records, in 2015 an LLC with Alloy Development founder and CEO Jared Della Valle as authorized signatory ground-leased properties at 80-88 Flatbush Ave. and 90-98 Flatbush Ave. for a combined $49,778,320 from Kimaqu Corporation, whose president is Robert Corwen Jr.

That year, another LLC with Jared Della Valle as authorized signatory ground-leased another property, 102-110 Flatbush Ave., for $4,036,080 from Kimaqu Corporation, Finance Department records indicate.

If the site is rezoned, 900 apartments will be built in the two towers, 200 of them affordable units.

And there will be a new 350-seat primary school, a 350-seat replacement high school for Khalil Gibran International Academy, 200,000 square feet of office space and 40,000 square foot of retail space.

The schools are expected to open by 2022.

Two historic 19th-century school buildings on the site will be adaptively reused, one as a cultural facility and the other as retail space.

Alloy Development is the lead design architect for 80 Flatbush. A different firm, the Architecture Research Office, will design the schools.

One tower will be 74 stories tall, the other 38 stories tall

On Monday night, Jennifer Maldonado, who’s the Educational Construction Fund’s executive director, and Della Valle gave a presentation about 80 Flatbush at a Community Board 2 meeting at the YWCA in Boerum Hill.

The development site is located in Brooklyn School District 15.

Maldonado said during the presentation that “District 15 has a very large seat need,” meaning classroom space for students.

About 2,000 seats are needed, she said. The Department of Education does not have money to build about 800 of those seats.

The Educational Construction Fund does school development without the use of Department of Education capital funding, Maldonado said. Instead, bonds are floated.

The first tower that would be constructed at 80 Flatbush would be 480 feet tall, Della Valle said — a 38-story building with apartments and office and retail space. The two public schools would be built in this first phase of construction.

Students would continue to attend the existing high school while the new one is being built.

Della Valle said Alloy would work with contractors to come up with noise-mitigation measures so that students are able to concentrate on their studies.

The 925-foot tower, which would be designed as a 74-story building, would also have apartments and office and retail space. It would be built in the second phase of the project. During that phase of construction, the 19th-century school buildings would be remodeled for their new uses.

Della Valle said during the presentation that 100 to 150 of the 700 market-rate apartments would be condos and the rest would be rentals. The 200 affordable units would be rentals.