Senior Housing in Oakland Pushes the Building Envelope

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Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects pursued both LEED and GreenPoints ratings for their Merritt Crossing senior housing complex. (Tim Griffith)

Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects pursued both LEED and GreenPoint ratings for their Merritt Crossing senior housing complex. (Tim Griffith)

Sustainability and high design meet in Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects’ affordable housing complex.

Designing a sustainable building on a budget is tricky enough. But for the Merritt Crossing senior housing complex in Oakland, California, non-profit developer Satellite Affordable Housing Associates upped the ante, asking Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects to follow not one but two green-building ratings systems. “They wanted to push the envelope of what they typically do and decided to pursue not only the LEED rating, but also the GreenPoint system,” said principal Richard Stacy. “So we actually did both, which is kind of crazy.” Wrapped in a colorful cement-composite rain screen system punctuated by high performance windows, Merritt Crossing achieved LEED for Homes Mid-Rise Pilot Program Platinum and earned 206 points on the Build-It-Green GreenPoint scale. The building was also the first Energy Star Rated multi-family residence in California, and was awarded 104 points by Bay-Friendly Landscaping. Read More

Changes Ahead for North Brooklyn: Two Massive Projects Move Forward

Architecture, Development, East
Monday, December 16, 2013


Last week was a big week for development in the already condo-saturated area of north Brooklyn. Brownstoner reported that City Council gave the massive Greenpoint Landing proposal the green light to construct 10 towers along the East River waterfront. While the project already had the approval to build as of right, the developers made a few concessions including an agreement to build a public school, offer free shuttle service to transit nodes from the complex, bump up the number of affordable housing units, and allocate money towards Newton Barge Park.

In Williamsburg, the SHoP-designed Domino Sugar Refinery proposal (pictured) received Community Board One’s approval. Two Trees also had as of right to build its string of towers, but the developer is now seeking to increase the height of the buildings and add more green space. Board members requested a few tweaks to affordable housing options and retail.

New York City Gearing Up For New Bike Lane on Pulaski Bridge.  Pulaski Bridge (Courtesy of Newyorkshitty) Now that Citi Bikes are taking over the streets of New York City, the NYC Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) is getting ready to pave the way for a new bike pathThe Daily News reported that the NYCDOT plans on creating a new dedicated bike lane on the Pulaski Bridge, the connection between Greenpoint and Long Island City, by 2014. Currently pedestrians and cyclists share a crowded path, but soon a single traffic lane will be turned into a bike path. An engineering study of the bridge will include this addition and be unveiled to the Community Boards in Queens and Brooklyn in the next few months. (Photo: Courtesy Newyorkshitty)


Brooklyn Neighborhood Slams Proposal for Massive Waterfront Development

Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Greenpoint Landing (Courtesy Handel Architects)

Greenpoint Landing (Courtesy Handel Architects)

It is going to be an uphill battle for the developers behind two massive residential projects planned for Greenpoint, Brooklyn.  DNA Info reported that Community Board 1 rejected the proposals to build over a dozen 40-story residential towers on the northern tip of the borough, but they indicated they could be persuaded to change their minds. The bargaining chip is more affordable and senior housing. The board would like the developers behind the two developments, Greenpoint Landing and 77 Commercial Street, to drastically bump up the number of affordable units in their plans, which so far include housing, retail, a public school, and esplanades along the water. This decision is just the first step in the Uniform Land Use Review Process (ULURP).

Not So Green: Greenpoint to Lose Park During Highway Construction

City Terrain, East
Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Sgt. William Dougherty Park (Courtesy of NYC Parks Department)

Sgt. William Dougherty Park (Courtesy of NYC Parks Department)

Originally named for its once thick forests and lush meadows, the former industrial neighborhood of Greenpoint, Brooklyn now has a real shortage of green space. The Brooklyn Paper reported that parkland will only grow scarcer with the pending closure of Sgt. William Dougherty Park, located on the corner of Cherry Street and Vandervoort Avenue, as soon as the state begins its four-year construction project to replace the Kosciuszko Bridge.

Greenpointers have expressed concern about the temporary loss of the park, and Assemblyman Joe Lentol has asked the lawmakers in Albany to allocate a portion of the funding reserved for the bridge construction to building a new park. One local resident has already scouted out a possible location at an empty five-acre parcel on Kingsland Avenue between Greenpoint and Norman avenues.

Construction of Expanded Brooklyn Greenway Underway

Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Rendering of the greenway through Brooklyn. (Courtesy NYCDOT)

Rendering of the greenway through Brooklyn. (Courtesy NYCDOT)

With the arrival of the Citi Bike share program just around the corner, and the Regional Planning Association’s Harbor Ring proposal gaining momentum, New York’s cycling community can now set its sights on the Brooklyn Greenway. The proposed 14 miles of bike lanes running from Bay Ridge to Greenpoint aim to provide a safe route for cyclists and pedestrians wishing to cross the borough. As Gothamist reported, the New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) is preparing to begin construction on three more sections of the path, in Red Hook, Greenpoint, and the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

Continue reading after the jump.

Kickstarting Greenpoint: Crowd-Funding Site Begins Office Renovation in Brooklyn

Monday, January 14, 2013
A rendering of Kickstarter's new Brooklyn Headquarters (Courtesy of Ole Sondresen Architect)

A rendering of Kickstarter’s new Brooklyn headquarters (Courtesy of Ole Sondresen Architect)

Brooklyn has increasingly become home to a number of internet start-ups, and now the crowd-funding site, Kickstarter, is the most recent one to put  roots down in the borough. Greenpointers reported today that Kickstarter has already started construction on its new 29,000-sq-ft headquarters at the former Eberhard Faber Pencil Co. Factory in Greenpoint.

Read More

Massive New Development on the Brooklyn Waterfront Sparks Last Ditch Protest Effort

East, Newsletter
Monday, November 12, 2012
Handel Architects' Design for Greenpoint Landing.

Handel Architects’ Design for Greenpoint Landing.

When it comes to waterfront development in New York City, there’s always a battle to be waged, and this time, it is over 22 acres near Newtown Creek in north Greenpoint, Brooklyn where developers, Park Tower Group, plan to break ground in the summer of 2013 to build Greenpoint Landing. Curbed reported on Election Day last week that someone circulated a flyer protesting the development’s ten 30-to-40-story luxury residential towers to be designed by Handel Architects. This protester’s main gripe is the scale and density of the project, which the flyers state is much larger than “most of the buildings average 5 stories” and doesn’t allow for much “green space.” But the plans for Greenpoint Landing are well on its way, and could include a pedestrian bridge by Santiago Calatrava.

More images after the jump.

City Set to Sell Air Rights to Build Greepoint Park.  Bushwick Inlet Pier In yet another example of public private park partnerships, New York City has put out an RFP for a developer to buy air rights for land near Newtown Creek in Brooklyn, reports. The deal would allow the city to finance a promised park on the Greenpoint waterfront and to move MTA tram tracks that currently sit on the site.


Bring to Light Fest Shines on Brooklyn

Friday, October 1, 2010

Bring to Light: Nuit Blanche New York

If New York is the city that never sleeps, how come it took us so long to get around to hosting our own Nuit Blanche (French for “Sleepless Night”)? The global all-night festival of arts began in Paris, Berlin, and St. Petersburg way back in 1997, and has spread around the world in the years since.

This Saturday, October 2, starting at 7:00 p.m., Brooklyn will host our city’s first Nuit Blanche, rechristened “Bring to Light” by local organizers DoTank:Brooklyn and producers Furnace Media. Over 50 artists and performers will converge on Greenpoint’s Oak St. between Franklin St. and the East River, taking over street corners, galleries, vacant lots, and rooftops to showcase their work. Read More

Rezoning Day

East, East Coast
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Yorkville, one of the high density areas of Manhattan that will be elligible for more affordble housing under a change to city zoning approved Wednesday. (Wikimedia Commons)

Yorkville, one of the high density areas of Manhattan that will be elligible for more affordble housing under a change to city zoning approved Wednesday. (Wikimedia Commons)

The rezoning of Coney Island may have takn up all the oxygen at the City Council Wednesday, but it was far from the only rezoning to pass, and far from the only important one. The council also approved a major downzoning of Williamsburg and Greenpoint, which, at 175 blocks, is not only huge, but important, as it was meant to protect the area from out-of-scale overdevelopment. It may be a little too late for that, but better late than never, we guess. Or maybe never again is more like it. The Flatbush neighborhood on the south side of Prospect Park got a similar treatment, receiving a massive 180 block downzoning again to protect against uncharacteristic development. Dumbo was rezoned, though in a particularly contextual manner, given its unique historic character, as were four contiguous neighborhoods in Queens. But perhaps most important was a citywide change to the inclusionary housing bonus. Read More

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