Construction has been stalled at Greenpoint’s 55 Eckford Street for several years, but it appears that work on the site is now resuming, signaling that completion is on the horizon. Madison Realty Capital is listed on permits as the new developer, and acquired the site in November as part of a larger package; Aufgang is the architect, and the firm’s website has additional information.
DOB filings reveal a total scope of 24,224 square feet, split between 27 units. The 10-story building will stand 112 feet tall, making it relatively prominent from surrounding low-rise blocks.
Completing a project that’s been abandoned for so long will benefit the neighborhood, though the design leaves much to be desired. The building’s circumstances were clearly difficult but the massing is set back from the street, and most of the windows facing Eckford look more like glorified notches.
That being said, the elimination of blight will be a net positive, and something unattractive is still better than a hulking, unfinished skeleton.
The G train, which serves Greenpoint, is far below capacity, running only once every eight minutes during rush hour. And unlike many of the closer-in Brooklyn neighborhoods, its vinyl-covered buildings are unremarkable, and could be redeveloped at no aesthetic loss. 55 Eckford Street is between McCarren and McGolrick Parks, but further east, land contaminated in an enormous oil spill should eventually be remediated.
As other development ensconces the confluence of Newtown Creek and the East River, similar changes will likely engulf the rest of the waterway; a concerted push could transform the toxic estuary into something that’s actually an asset. Maintaining light or heavy industrial facilities next to such in-demand residential neighborhoods is illogical in the 21st century, long after the creek was a useful waterway, especially now that other transportation infrastructure permits polluting factories to relocate away from population centers.
Regardless of Greenpoint’s industrial past and its continued evolution, Madison Realty Capital notes that the structure was already 95 percent complete upon acquisition, and with permits cleared, completion would appear imminent.
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