A curved brick factory turned yeshiva is expanding at the corner of Flushing and Franklin Avenues, in the borderlands between Williamsburg and Bed-Stuy, and YIMBY has a rendering of what the school will look like once renovations finish.
The 1920s, Art Deco-style structure has unique rounded corners, much like the former Harte & Company Factory in Greenpoint. The somewhat modern addition will add three stories and expand the building horizontally towards Flushing Avenue and Kent Avenues. The roof line will also rise 36 feet, topping out at seven stories and 86 feet tall.
Much of the new wing will be made of brick, and it will replicate the building’s banded windows and subtle cornice. But an extension at the street looks like it will be crafted out of white facade panels and partially glassed-in, to accommodate new retail space.
By the time construction wraps, Yeshiva Ahavas Israel will gain 36,360 square feet, including 1,800 square feet of ground floor retail. The reconfigured building will host bike storage and a kitchen in the cellar, a lunchroom, commercial space and offices on the first floor. A mix of classrooms, office space, and meeting space will occupy the upper floors.
Karl Fischer is responsible for the design, and prolific Hasidic developer Simon Dushinsky, of the Rabksy Group, is helping fund the project. Rabsky acquired the huge industrial property next door back in 2012 and wasted no time trying to get the property rezoned for mixed-use residential development. The City Council agreed to the rezoning in September of that year. In exchange, Dushinsky promised to build affordable housing, sell part of the property to the yeshiva for a dollar, and build a five-story extension for the school.
Construction on the Rabksy Group’s project is now well underway at 755 Kent Avenue, also known as 377 Flushing Avenue. The seven-story building will have 99 condos and span 159,000 square feet. There doesn’t appear to be any affordable housing, but the developer isn’t relying on any affordable subsidies or tax credits.