Construction of Expanded Brooklyn Greenway Underway

East
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
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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.

MTA Gears Up to Consider Bike Lanes Across Verazzano Bridge

East
Monday, April 8, 2013
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The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. (Courtesy Harbor Ring)

The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. (Courtesy Harbor Ring)

With the launch of the Citi Bike share program around the corner, New York City’s bike advocates are focusing their efforts on the next cycling obstacle: the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. Harbor Ring, an advocacy project of the Regional Plan Association, is calling for a 50-mile cycling and pedestrian route encircling New York harbor. The group has published a new petition with over 1,000 signatures at press time pushing for the construction of a bike and pedestrian lane across the double-decked suspension bridge, which turns 50 next year.

The Brooklyn Daily reported that bike advocates are hoping Governor Cuomo will support the proposal for the new bike path, which would not only connect Brooklyn and Staten Island, but also provide a critical connection for the Harbor Ring.

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Could Chad Oppenheim’s Slab Hotel Rise Above the Williamsburg Bridge?

East
Friday, April 5, 2013
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Chad Oppenheim's design for Williamsburghotel. (Courtesy Oppenheim)

Chad Oppenheim’s design for Williamsburghotel. (Courtesy Oppenheim)

After a two-year lull since we broke the story about a potential 440-foot-tall boutique hotel adjacent the Williamsburg Bridge, it looks like developer Juan Figueroa is moving forward with his plans to build a 250-room hotel next to his under-renovation Williamsburgh Savings Bank. The Real Deal reported that the boutique hotel could check in guests as soon as 2015.

Continue reading after the jump.

Atlantic Yards To Develop Along Vanderbilt Avenue In First Phase

East
Thursday, April 4, 2013
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Clockwise from top left: An early model showing buildings along Vanderbilt Avenue designed by Frank Gehry; A massing diagram of buildings along Vanderbilt Avenue; The approved site plan indicating four buildings to be built at Vanderbilt and Dean streets. (Courtesy Forest City Ratner; Courtesy MAS/Jonathan Barkey; Courtesy Forest City Ratner)

Clockwise from top left: An early model showing buildings along Vanderbilt Avenue designed by Frank Gehry; A massing diagram of buildings along Vanderbilt Avenue; The approved site plan indicating four buildings to be built at Vanderbilt Av and Dean St. (Courtesy Forest City Ratner; Courtesy MAS/Jonathan Barkey; Courtesy Forest City Ratner)

While construction has just begun on the first residential tower at Forest City Ratner’s Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn, the developer may be plotting the next construction site. SHoP Architects designed three towers clustered around the Barclays Center arena, but the Atlantic Yards Report blog reported in late March, citing documents from Forest City, that the developer is including a parcel at the southeastern corner of the site at Vanderbilt Avenue and Dean Street in its first phase construction plans. No design exists for the four buildings planned there, but an early site model by Frank Gehry and a massing diagram from the Municipal Art Society based on the approved Gehry site plan show the buildings will not be the tallest in the project.

Critics like AYR-blogger Norman Oder are upset that development atop the railyards at the center and north of the site aren’t being prioritized and have accused Forest City of delaying real investment in the area. The southeast parcel indicated above is the largest remaining terra-firma site at Atlantic Yards and previously was to be among the last developed.

Slideshow> Squibb Pedestrian Bridge Bounces Into Brooklyn Bridge Park

East
Monday, March 25, 2013
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The Squibb Pedestrian Bridge in Brooklyn Bridge Park. (Branden Klayko / AN)

The Squibb Pedestrian Bridge in Brooklyn Bridge Park. (Branden Klayko / AN)

HNTB’s Squibb Park Pedestrian Bridge connecting the Brooklyn Heights Promenade with Brooklyn Bridge Park opened to the public last Thursday. The $4.9 million bridge was built using “trail bridge technology” with galvanized steel cables and cylindrical black locust timbers, providing an efficient and lightweight structure that, as a sign at the entrance to the bridge warns, quite literally puts a bounce in visitors’ steps. “The bridge is very light weight. You will feel yourself walking across the bridge,” HNTB’s Chief Engineer Ted Zoli said at a construction tour in December. On AN‘s visit to the bridge Friday morning, traversing the spans did in fact provide a bouncy effect.

More photos after the jump.

Before SHoP’s Domino Sugar Plan, Brooklyn To See Urban Farming and Bikes

East
Thursday, March 21, 2013
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Domino Sugar Factory Site E marked in red. (Courtesy Bing Maps)

Domino Sugar Factory Site E marked in red. (Courtesy Bing Maps)

While Two Trees still needs to make it through the ULURP process before breaking ground on its SHoP Architects-designed mixed-use development for the Domino Sugar site on the Brooklyn Waterfront, the developer has just announced plans for Site E, a vacant parcel on the corner of Kent Avenue and South 3rd. A large section of the 55,000-square-foot lot will be dedicated to a community green space run by North Brooklyn Farms that will host a range of Brooklyn-friendly activities and classes from yoga to urban farming. And on the western side, there will be a bike course, organized by New York City Mountain Bike Association, with areas for riders of all levels. This new urban farm-meets-bike recreation spot will open to the public in May and close once construction commences on the development.

Landmarks Greenlights Proposal for DUMBO’s First Townhouses.  Rendering of townhouses (Courtesy of Alloy Development) After implementing a few small changes to the original design, Alloy Development has won the approval of the Landmarks Preservation Commission to build the first set of townhouses in DUMBO. The developer modified the height of the five-story residential complex by eliminating a screen on the roof level that was designed to keep out noise and maintain a certain acoustic level in the penthouse units. Now the 3,000-square-foot project needs the approval of Department of Buildings, but AJ Pires of Alloy anticipates that they will be able to break ground by this summer. (Rendering: Courtesy Alloy Development)

 

City Planning Approves Lightstone Group’s Pared Down Gowanus Development

East
Monday, March 18, 2013
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Lightstone Group's mixed-use development along the Gowanus Canal (Courtesy of Lightstone Group)

Lightstone Group’s mixed-use development along the Gowanus Canal. (Courtesy of Lightstone Group)

After much backlash from New York City Councilmember Brad Lander and several community members in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the Lightstone Group has decided to abandon its proposed “minor modification” in favor of keeping the as-of-right design for its Gowanus Canal-side development that is in compliance with the rezoning passed in 2009.

Today the New York City Department of City Planning gave Lightstone the greenlight to move ahead with its 700-unit residential development on the Gowanus. The “Minor Modification” would have used a waiver to extend the depth in the rear yard. And while the design initially won the community board’s support, the damage and flooding from Hurricane Sandy in the area generated concern and protest among some residents.

Continue reading after the jump.

Cash-Strapped Brooklyn Public Library to Sell Two Branches to Private Developers

East
Monday, March 18, 2013
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Pacific Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library. (Utopian Branch Library / Flickr)

Pacific Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library. (Utopian Branch Library / Flickr)

Right as the New York City Housing Authority goes public with its controversial plan to allow developers to build high rises in the middle of public housing developments, the Brooklyn Public Library is taking a similar approach with the hope of mitigating its ongoing financial struggles. The New York Times reports that the library plans on selling off the land beneath two of its branches—The Brooklyn Heights Library at Cadman Plaza and the Pacific Library on Fourth Avenue—to developers who will then tear down the buildings and carve out space for them on the ground floor of their new residential towers.

Continue reading after the jump.

A Room with a View: A Boutique Hotel to Rise Along the Gowanus

East
Monday, March 18, 2013
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Gowanus Inn & Yard, rendering and site. (Courtesy Matt Abramcyk via Capital NY / Courtesy Bing Maps)

Gowanus Inn & Yard, rendering and site. (Courtesy Matt Abramcyk via Capital NY / Courtesy Bing Maps)

The contaminated waters of the Gowanus Canal—nor the threat of flooding from future storms like Hurricane Sandy—are deterring developers from building right up on the canal’s edge. In fact, a new swanky boutique hotel is about to wash up on the shores of the Gowanus Canal. This comes at a time when several new hotels are in the works for Brooklyn over the next few years, including the Rockwell Place Hotel in the Brooklyn Downtown Cultural District and Selldorf Architect’s revival of the Bossert Hotel in Brooklyn Heights.

Continue reading after the jump.

Brooklyn Navy Yards’ Concrete Monolith To See Major Renovation

East
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
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Building 77 at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. (emma.maria / Flickr)

Building 77 at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. (emma.maria / Flickr)

The Brooklyn Navy Yard has emerged as one of those rare, post-industrial-era success stories. The former shipyard, which closed in 1966, is now home to a mix of industries such as construction, cleantech, metal fabrication, film production, design, contracting, and even urban agriculture. The Wall Street Journal reported that the non-profit Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corp. will soon announce an $80 million renovation of Building 77, a monolithic concrete former ammunition depot and the largest structure on the 300-acre park.

Continue reading after the jump.

A Treehouse Grows in Brooklyn: Architect Salvages Sandy-Damaged Oaks for Installation

East
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
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Roderick Wolgamott-Romero. (Bobby Fisher)

Roderick Wolgamott-Romero. (Bobby Fisher)

Last fall Hurricane Sandy swept through New York with a vengeance, knocking down more than 8,000 trees city-wide, and over 300 in Brooklyn’s Olmsted-designed Prospect Park alone. But now, Brooklyn Botanic Garden has teamed up with tree house architect Roderick Wolgamott-Romero to give a hand full of these damaged trees a second chance at life.

Continue reading after the jump.

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