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Around Brooklyn: Matt Damon moves into Heights penthouse

July 15, 2020 Editorial Staff
The Brooklyn Public Library’s Bushwick Branch opened in 1908. Photo: Lore Croghan/Brooklyn Eagle

Matt Damon moves into Heights penthouse

Oscar-winning actor Matt Damon is moving into his $16.5 million penthouse at the Standish in Brooklyn Heights, a former luxury hotel. One resident said that he saw a large team of contractors who were delivering shrubs, deckings and large crates to Damon’s triplex apartment with a crane, shutting off the street. Damon reportedly also has an apartment in the East Village. The Standish, built in the first decade of the 20th century, was later purchased and used by the Jehovah’s Witnesses before being converted to condos in 2016, according to the New York Post.

Part of wall collapses in Greenwood Heights

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A section of a wall collapsed at home on 17th Street in Greenwood Heights around 10 a.m. on Tuesday, prompting the Buildings Department to evacuate the home and two adjacent buildings. The inspectors also said there was more cracking at the roof level. They issued a violation to the building owner for failure to properly maintain the building. A full vacate order was also issued, according to ABC7.

Public advocate wants police-community partnership

Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, an outspoken advocate for police reform and a former Brooklyn councilmember, recently made the following statement after last weekend’s spike in gun violence: “To the people who say law enforcement is the only solution – you are wrong. To the people who say law enforcement has no role – you are wrong. We need to come together with increased commitment to the community-driven strategies we know can work and are essential to ending this senseless violence and heartbreaking loss.”

Governors Island ferry switches to Red Hook

Governors Island reopened to the public yesterday, but the weekend ferry service from Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park has been moved to Red Hook this season. The Red Hook ferry service, from the Atlantic Basin, will begin on Saturday, July 18, and will be free for residents of NYCHA’s Red Hook Houses. “This year, Governors Island will be an affordable, local getaway for New Yorkers who need it most,” Clare Newman, president of the Trust for Governors Island, said, according to Brownstoner.


Dancers outside jail linked to sex criminal

A group that’s been holding dances every night outside the Metropolitan Detention Center in Sunset Park may be linked to Keith Raniere, the convicted leader of the upstate sex cult Nxivm. Former members of the cult said some of the dance’s organizers are disciples of Raniere, who is being held at the jail and is awaiting sentencing on charges of racketeering, sex trafficking and forced labor conspiracy. A group of dancers gyrated in front of the jail to recorded music on Tuesday but refused to say whether they were there to support Raniere, according to the New York Post.

Clarendon Road construction to begin

Construction is slated to begin soon on a seven-story apartment building at 2809 Clarendon Road in Flatbush. Plans call for the building to contain 16 apartments, ranging from one- to three-bedroom units, as well as parking for 11 vehicles. The building is being developed by Naresh Mahangu of New York Building Associates and will probably be designed by Mahangu’s design team, according to New York YIMBY. The apartments will come with floor-to-ceiling windows as well as balconies on the third floor and above.

Brooklyn couple publicizes opera

For the past few months, Clinton Hill couple Paul Grosvenor and Imani Mchunu Grosvenor have hosted one-hour celebrations on their stoop, with music, drumming and more. Usually, they have blasted house music and R&B, but on June 26, they suddenly started singing opera. Many in the audience pulled out their mobile phones and applauded as Imani delivered a rendition of “Summertime” and her husband sang “The Toreador Song” from Carmen. The couple, who attended the High School of Music and Art and the University of Michigan, want to publicize opera at block parties and other informal venues, according to BK Reader.

Orthodox Jewish man beaten by three men

An Orthodox Jewish man in Brooklyn said he was beaten by three young men who had yelled anti-Semitic slurs at him on Saturday afternoon. The man, 51, was walking home when the attackers, ages 18-20, shouted the insults from their car. After the victim responded, the men got out of the car, pushed the victim to the ground and punched him repeatedly. The man’s finger was broken and he needed stitches to his face, according to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

Gounardes sponsors nursing home legislation

State Sen. Andrew Gounardes (D-Bay Ridge-Dyker Heights-Bensonhurst-Gravesend-Gerritsen Beach) is one of two sponsors of a bill that would mandate a significantly more active role in nursing home oversight from the state. The bill would require that facilities keep personal protective equipment on hand, contact residents and their families about any suspected or confirmed infections, inform residents of alternative care options such as home care, ensure that residents can communicate with loved ones at least three times daily, and transfer any patients that are found to have COVID-19.

Navy Yard starts ‘Made at the Yard’ campaign

The Brooklyn Navy Yard and its vendors are partnering to sell yard-made personal protective equipment such as face masks and hand sanitizer. Tenants can market or sell the equipment at the Navy Yard’s new website. In partnership with the Navy Yard, design company West Elm has also launched a page selling Yard-made face masks. Gina Riley, owner of Rebel Designs Accessories, said, “The Made at the Yard campaign is providing many businesses with a needed lifeline as we figure out new ways to get back to work,” according to the Brooklyn Paper.

Neighbors gather to remember 1-year-old boy

More than 100 neighborhood residents gathered on Tuesday evening to remember Davell Gardner, the 1-year-old boy who was fatally shot during a family barbecue in Bedford-Stuyvesant on Sunday. The vigil was held around 5 p.m. on the corner of Madison Street and Marcus Garvey Boulevard, near the scene of the shooting. On Monday, Borough President Eric Adams joined the anti-violence group My Brother’s Keeper to offer a cash reward for any information on the shooting. Local activist Tony Herbert said, “These guns need to be off the street,” according to amNewYork.

More virus cases in affluent areas

Coronavirus cases are showing up in more affluent Brooklyn and Manhattan neighborhoods that weren’t hard-hit during the height of the pandemic, officials said. The geography of the virus has changed, and more young adults are now contracting the disease. “We’re seeing cases in parts of Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn among that age group, that doesn’t exactly overlay with our poverty and racial disparities that we’ve seen in the past,” said Dr. Jay Varma, a senior adviser for public health in the Mayor’s Office, according to Politico.

Apt. building planned for Brighton Beach

Permits have been filed for a five-story apartment building at 231 Brighton Second Lane in Brighton Beach. The site, now occupied by a one-story house, is near the Brighton Beach subway station served by the B and Q trains. The building is slated to have four units, most likely rentals, and two enclosed parking spaces. Eka Kobinshvili is listed as the owner, and Alix Michel of Citiscape Consulting is listed as the architect of record, according to New York YIMBY.

Luxurious DUMBO project tops out

Construction has topped out at Front and York, a 1.1-million-square-foot residential project at 85 Jay St. in DUMBO that was designed by Morris Adjmi Architects and developed by CIM Group and LIVWRK. The 21-story structure spans a full block and will yield 728 apartments. Sales for the apartments, which range from one to four bedrooms, were launched last September. Amenities include a roof deck with a swimming pool, a full-size basketball court, fitness studios, a salon, a private chef’s kitchen, a café and coffee lounge, a library, children’s and teenagers’ lounges and more, according to New York YIMBY.

Compiled by Raanan Geberer.


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