Fort Greene

Check out the Brooklyn Cultural District building Enrique Norten designed

Eye On Real Estate: wo Trees Management's 300 Ashland is architectural eye candy

August 2, 2017 By Lore Croghan Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Welcome to 300 Ashland Place, which was designed by high-profile architect Enrique Norten. Eagle photos by Lore Croghan

The old timers remember this was an urban-renewal site.

Boy, are those days over.

The wedge-shaped lot on Flatbush Avenue, Ashland Place and Lafayette Avenue is now graced with a gleaming mixed-use building designed by high-profile architect Enrique Norten.

It cost $170 million to develop.

The new building at 300 Ashland Place belongs to Two Trees Management. The Walentas family’s real-estate firm was selected by the city several years ago to develop the property, which was an urban-renewal site that was being used as a parking lot.

Two Trees Management’s site is across the street from both the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s iconic Peter Jay Sharp Building and the Mark Morris Dance Center.

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Readers with good memories will recall that in earlier phases of its construction, the new building was referred to as 286 Ashland Place.

Construction continues on spaces for cultural institutions and retailers at 300 Ashland, an eye-catching 35-story building with an aluminum composite facade that flashes in the sunlight.

It has 379 rental apartments, 76 of them affordable-housing units that were made available to low-income residents by a lottery and the rest market-rate units.

Tenants have been selected for the affordable units, David Lombino, Two Trees Management’s managing director of external affairs, told Eye on Real Estate.

More than 70 percent of the market-rate apartments have been rented, he said.

When we checked 300 Ashland’s website recently, available apartments included a studio with a $2,525-per-month net effective rent and a two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment with a $5,229-per-month net effective rent.  

 

The Williamsburgh Savings Bank is thisclose to the roof terrace

By the way, cultural institutions and retailers will share the building’s first nine floors. The apartments are located on the building’s top floors.

The cultural tenants include several BAM Cinema theaters, a 651 ARTS dance and performance studio, the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA) and a Brooklyn Public Library branch.

The spaces the cultural institutions occupy will belong to the city.

One retailer that’s moving to 300 Ashland is 365 by Whole Foods Market, a gourmet grocery store with a smaller product lineup than traditional-format Whole Foods Markets.

Also, it has been widely reported that Apple is opening a store at 300 Ashland.  

We’ve been watching construction progress at the property since February 2014, when workers with heavy machinery started tearing up the pavement of the parking lot that had been located there.

We reeeeally wanted to see the inside of the nearly finished building.

Two Trees Management graciously arranged a visit.

Of course, the first thing we wanted to see was the flower-filled roof terrace on 300 Ashland’s 29th floor. The sky-high urban oasis was designed by James Corner Field Operations, which was the project lead on the High Line in the Meatpacking District.

The roof terrace at 300 Ashland is thisclose to the Williamsburgh Savings Bank, the 1920s landmark topped with four clock faces. Wow.

We also got an eyeful of Downtown Brooklyn’s new towers, the Red Hook shoreline and the waters beyond it and the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.

Spacious, light-filled model apartments also had inspiring views — including a vista of the East River and Midtown Manhattan skyscrapers.  

 

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