Downtown Brooklyn (in real estate-ese, ‘DoBro’) has seen a major resurgence in development since the recession, when plans for most projects were put on hold. Besides the litany of towers about to rise, the Barclay’s Center is also nearing completion. The new arena should be yet another catalyst for redevelopment, as the previously blighted Atlantic Yards area will be completely revamped with new towers.
Already under construction is 29 Flatbush Avenue, which will eventually rise 44 stories and 458 feet per DOB filings. Work continues on the building’s podium. Construction had previously been slow-going, but has sped up in recent weeks.
Foundation work is also underway at 388 Bridge Street, one of the largest new towers being built in DoBro. The project will be one of the borough’s tallest buildings, rising 52 stories and containing 350 new residential units. The design is nothing exciting, but the density is a welcome benefit to a neighborhood that’s still up-and-coming.
The building’s height of 528 feet (per the DOB) will make it one of Brooklyn’s tallest upon completion, but not for long.
Right next door to 388 Bridge Street is the Avalon Willoughby Square. The architect for both projects is SLCE, and Willoughby Square will rise 57 stories. As the two projects will literally be adjacent to one another, the skyline impact is sure to be impressive.
The only neighborhoods with multiple existing 50-story buildings abutting each other are in Manhattan, so the projects in the Willoughby/Bridge Street corridor are a definite game changer for DoBro. As 388 Bridge Street gets underway, it seems likely that the Avalon Willoughby will also follow suit.
Although work has not yet begun on the project, building permits were recently filed for The Hub, which will be a 53-story building rising 563 feet. Yet another 50 story + tower, the project is closer to the Barclay’s Center than the others discussed. The Steiner family is developing the property, and construction is expected to begin in early 2013.
Also on the not-so-distant horizon are 313 Gold Street, 461 Dean Street, and the Citypoint development. Concrete pouring has not been approved yet at 313 Gold, but the tower will rise to 35 floors. 461 Dean will be the first of the Atlantic Yards redevelopment towers to be built, adjacent to the new Barclay’s Center. The tower will rise to 33 floors and contain 368 residential units.
Of all the developments in Downtown Brooklyn, Citypoint is definitely the most ambitious. The first phase, which comprises retail space, has already been completed. The second and third phases are much more ambitious, with submitted plans calling for three new towers. The three towers will be 19, 30, and 60+ floors, with the tallest tower reaching 680 feet. That would be almost 100 feet taller than the Willoughby Tower, which will be the tallest in Brooklyn when completed at just under 600 feet.
The slew of new developments show great promise for Downtown Brooklyn, as the area has some of the best transit connections of any neighborhood in New York. Many subway lines criss-cross the neighborhood making it extremely convenient for commuting into Manhattan, one of the reasons for the residential boom.
Revitalizing Atlantic Yards is a secondary factor, as the blocks occupied by the Barclays Center & its future companions (residential towers, including 461 Dean Street) represent a complete transformation of a formerly derelict area. The Barclay’s Center will host one of New York’s basketball teams, and will also come with a revamped subway station for the Atlantic Yards stop.
There is no single catalyst for the development and the neighborhood still isn’t quite like Manhattan, explaining why Downtown Brooklyn’s development was stalled for so long following the recession. Still, things are looking up.
No other neighborhood in New York City can claim so many residential towers rising to such heights. Although it would be nice to see more developments incorporate office components, the boom in apartments and condominiums is the best thing that could happen to this once-neglected corner of New York City.
In sum, at least nine residential towers are slated to rise within the next few years in Downtown Brooklyn. Whether all the plans come to fruition remains to be seen, but the ambition is certainly there–and that’s something every neighborhood in New York could use.