Construction Update: Pierhouse at Brooklyn Bridge Park

Pierhouse at Brooklyn Bridge ParkPierhouse at Brooklyn Bridge Park, photo by Tectonic

The revitalization of the Brooklyn waterfront has made major progress in recent years, and strides have been made towards the realization of both the Domino redevelopment and Greenpoint Landing. But south of the Brooklyn Bridge, new construction is relatively constrained by adjacent neighborhoods like Brooklyn Heights and Cobble Hill, where wealthy activists are often motivated enough to (at least attempt) derailing development through lawsuits.

Despite the fact that Pierhouse replaces an unsightly and hulking warehouse, the project has had to contend with significant neighborhood opposition, on the grounds that the new building would block views of the Brooklyn Bridge from its eponymous park’s promenade. The entirety of the site is comprised of a relatively low-rise residential portion with 108 condominium units, and a taller 200-room hotel component, which is the current object of derision.

Pierhouse at Brooklyn Bridge Park

Pierhouse at Brooklyn Bridge Park, rendering by Marvel Architects

As reported by Brownstoner, preservationists are outraged at a 30-foot tall mechanical and rooftop bar attached to the hotel portion of Pierhouse, at 60 Furman Street. As the photos at the link make obvious, even the old warehouse that Pierhouse is replacing impacted views of the Brooklyn Bridge, and the rise of Toll Brothers’ project makes no additional visual impact.

Indeed, while not a point of contention, Pierhouse is actually shorter than the Watchtower complex directly the street. Context is important to development, but so is taking advantage of available infrastructure, and the 2, 3, A, C, and F trains are all just a short walk from Toll Brothers’ project.

Much debate has been had over rapidly rising outer-borough prices, and the situation at Pierhouse perfectly illustrates the disconnect between what’s demanded and what developers can build — which is not much, and often requires jumping through significant and cost-prohibitive hoops that all but rule out the construction of market rate residential that is not priced astronomically.

Pierhouse at Brooklyn Bridge Park

Pierhouse at Brooklyn Bridge Park, photo by Tectonic

Regardless of the NIMBY politics that are largely to blame for New York’s affordability crisis, Pierhouse itself will be quite attractive, employing a design by Marvel Architects. The scheme utilizes the site’s waterfront location, integrating green roofs with a stone and metal facade for an end-product that should be very attractive — and visually, it will also offer a connection to the greenery that dominates Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Prices have already set Brooklyn records, and per the Wall Street Journal, a four-bedroom has already gone into contract for $11.18 million, which is the most expensive condominium sale in the borough’s history. Completion is expected next year.

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