Brooklyn Boro

Luxury apartment building comes to Brooklyn Skyscraper District

It rose on site of earlier, low-rise bank building

August 26, 2022 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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A long-awaited luxury residential rental and retail building at 200 Montague St. in Brooklyn Heights is now beginning leasing, according to co-developers Aurora Capital Associates and Midtown Equities.

The building is designed by international architecture firm Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners, and its design “pays homage to the area’s historic architecture with its verticality, rhythmic dark facade, including a polished black granite base, profiled piers, bronze-tone metal detailing, and charcoal-grey colored window frames,” according to a statement from the firm.

Richard Metsky, partner at Beyer Blinder Belle, said, “200 Montague’s striking vertical silhouette is a contemporary interpretation of Brooklyn’s Historic Skyscraper District’s early 20th century architecture and contributes to the urban fabric of the surrounding neighborhood.” 

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Related Article: Landmarked Brooklyn Heights bank slated for demolition

The Skyscraper District, centered around Court Street between Livingston and Montague streets, includes 21 historic structures, most of them office buildings. Among the best known are 26, 32 and 44 Court St., and the tallest of them is slightly higher than 30 stories. 

Leasing for the new 20-story building, which contains 121 apartments, is being handled by MNS, a Williamsburg-based firm.

The building replaced a landmarked, modernist low-rise building whose façade was renovated several times during its history. The building was somewhat plain-looking, but it had its fans.

The earlier 200 Montague St., according to an article published in the Eagle in 2019, was built in 1959-60 to house the former Lafayette National Bank of Brooklyn. It was originally two stories high, and had a driveway on one side of the building so customers could do drive-in banking.

Later, two more stories were added. In 2006, then-owner HSBC Bank constructed a new curtain wall around the exterior.

At hearings in 2019, some local residents and preservationists objected to the demolition of the building. 

Christabel Gough of the Society for the Architecture of the City said it “brought a historically significant dose of Modernism to a neighborhood full of old-fashioned office towers.” And Jesse Denno of the Historic Districts Council said, “This building speaks to the district’s commercial development in the post-war urban renewal years.”

However, this was clearly the minority view. First Community Board 2’s Land Use Committee, and then the board’s Executive Committee expressed unanimous support for Midtown Equities’ plan to replace the older building. After revisions in Midtown Equities’ original design, the Landmarks Preservation Commission approved the plan as well.

The earlier, low-rise building at 200 Montague St., as seen in 2019. Eagle file photo by Lore Croghan

Amenities being offered in the new building include a landscaped outdoor rooftop terrace, private rear-yard terraces, a fitness center with yoga rooms, a residential lounge space, a children’s playroom, private and bicycle storage, a communal laundry room and more.

In addition to 200 Montague’s amenities, residents will have easy access to the 7,000 square feet of the building’s retail offering.

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