New York City to install 90 curbside bioswales to help clean Brooklyn’s Gowanus Canal

Bioswale. (Courtesy NYC DEP)

Bioswale. (Courtesy NYC DEP)

As new apartment buildings continue to rise in Gowanus, Brooklyn, New York City’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has announced plans to install 90 bioswales nearby in hopes of cleaning the neighborhood’s eponymous—and oh-so-polluted—canal.

More after the jump.

Thomas Balsley’s geometric pedestrian plaza reclaims roadway for neighbors in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn

The new Putnam Triangle Plaza. (Courtesy Thomas Balsley Associates via Fulton Area Businesses)

The new Putnam Triangle Plaza. (Courtesy Thomas Balsley Associates via Fulton Area Businesses)

After years of planning and workshops, Brooklyn‘s Community Board 2 recently approved a redesign of Putnam Triangle Plaza in Clinton Hill. The $3.75 million project, led by Thomas Balsley Associates, will significantly upgrade and expand the existing plaza that opened in 2011.

Continue reading after the jump.

Gensler and HWKN team up to bring a ziggurat-shaped office building to Williamsburg, Brooklyn

The Williamsburg Generator by Gensler and HWKN. (Courtesy lifang)

The Williamsburg Generator by Gensler and HWKN. (Courtesy lifang)

If approved, this terraced building will rise in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, bringing the neighborhood new office space for tech and creative companies—and momentarily interrupting its unceasing march of bland and boxy new apartments. The “Williamsburg Generator,” as it has been dubbed, would be the neighborhood’s first ground-up speculative office building in four decades—but it is not a done deal just yet because the Gensler and HWKN–designed building sits within an area zoned for manufacturing.

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Gowanus developers shoot down ziggurat-themed proposal from ODA

ODA's proposal is a castle in the sky, according to the site's developers. (ODA)

ODA’s proposal is a castle in the sky, according to the site’s developers. (ODA)

Last week, ODA: Architecture unveiled a dramatic rendering of a megaproject for Gowanus, Brooklyn, featuring a cluster of semi-transparent stepped pyramids. But almost as soon as the design was released, the site’s owners stepped in as buzzkills, disavowing any connection with the ODA proposal.

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Above Average pokes fun at kale-fueled gentrification with “Settlers of Brooklyn”

Development, East, Urbanism
Tuesday, March 31, 2015
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    In "Settlers of Brooklyn," players compete to "colonize" the outer boroughs. (Above Average)

In “Settlers of Brooklyn,” players compete to “colonize” the outer boroughs. (Above Average)

The comedy geniuses at digital network Above Average have released a glorious sendup of gentrification in New York City’s outer boroughs. “Settlers of Brooklyn” (pronounced Brook-LAWN) promises hours of good old-fashioned board-game fun for the next generation of power brokers: millennials.

Continue reading after the jump.

ODA’s jewel-like facade in DUMBO clears Landmarks hurdle on second try

10 Jay round one

The original design. (Courtesy ODA)

 

The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission has given its blessing to ODA‘s jewel-like faceted facade for a factory-to-condo conversion on the Dumbo waterfront. The firm first presented its plans for 10 Jay Street last month, and while it was well received, commissioners didn’t think the dramatic, glassy design was a perfect fit for the historic neighborhood.

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ODA unveils amenity-packed zigzagging rental building in Bushwick

(Courtesy ODA)

(Courtesy ODA)

ODA has unveiled renderings for a massive new residential complex in Bushwick, Brooklyn—and it certainly reminds us of Bjarke Ingels’ 8 House in Copenhagen with its doughnut-like shape and landscaped roof that dips toward the street. At nearly 400,000 square feet, ODA’s 10 Montieth Street will become a major piece in the redevelopment of the Rheingold Brewery site.

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Brooklyn Building Defects: Building boom leads to building problems

Architecture, Development, East
Friday, March 20, 2015
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500 4th Avenue in Brooklyn. (Courtesy Google)

500 4th Avenue in Brooklyn. (Courtesy Google)

Many of the new condominiums erected in Brooklyn during the last building boom are not aging well. The New York Times reported that “[w]hen the housing market collapsed in 2007 and coffers ran dry, many developers were left scrambling to complete projects. Some cut corners or abandoned developments, leaving others to finish the work.” This led to poorly constructed buildings and angry residents who are stuck dealing with mold, cracking balconies, and flooding. One such building even saw part of its facade fall off. Now many of the developers behind the shoddy buildings are breaking ground on new projects, hopefully with more attention to quality.

Eavesdrop> Ferry Fiasco: Ice shuts down ferry service on New York City’s East River

A ferry struggles with ice on the East River. (Several seconds / Flickr)

A ferry struggles with ice on the East River. (Several seconds / Flickr)

 

As AN reported, it will be quite difficult for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to pull off his plan to launch a five-borough ferry system. There are, of course, the obvious issues surrounding subsidies, ridership, operators, and dock placement that could all cause major headaches down the road. While the mayor starts charting his path through these details, another potential problem came to the fore: winter weather.

Continue reading after the jump.

Brooklyn protestors use “light graffiti” to urge Bill de Blasio to fund long-promised park

(Courtesy Gothamist)

(Courtesy Gothamist)

As AN recently reported, a fire that destroyed a warehouse in Williamsburg, Brooklyn has rekindled questions about a long-promised waterfront park. Back in 2005, Michael Bloomberg rezoned much of Williamsburg and Greenpoint leading to a surge in glassy towers. With those towers was supposed to come Bushwick Inlet Park, a 28-acre green space along the East River. But in the decade since, only parts of the park have been completed.

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MTA Off Track: Record ridership just one of the problems facing New York City transit

City Terrain, East, Transportation
Thursday, March 5, 2015
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A crowded subway platform in New York City. (Ianqui Doodle / Flickr)

A crowded subway platform in New York City. (Ianqui Doodle / Flickr)

Overcrowding on New York City subway trains is becoming a major problem for commuters. According to new data from the MTA, there were 14,843 weekday delays caused by overcrowding in December alone. The New York Post found that the number is up 113 percent from the same period a year ago. Fixing the overcrowding will not be easy for the MTA as it is trying to accommodate record ridership and still dealing with damage from Superstorm Sandy.

SHoP Architects’ first tower at Brooklyn’s Domino Sugar site breaks ground with a refined design

"Site E." (Courtesy SHoP via Two Trees)

“Site E.” (Courtesy SHoP)

As AN has been reporting for a while now, it’s all systems go for the long-stalled Domino Sugar Factory redevelopment on the Brooklyn waterfront. Crews have been demolishing old structures on the site for months, and today we got word that the developer, Two Trees, is breaking ground on the massive project’s first residential building: a 16-story, 500-unit rental building designed by SHoP, which is designing the entire project.

Continue reading after the jump.

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