Tuesday, March 09, 2010

360 Smith Street Starting To Block The Sky And View In Carroll Gardens




A view from First Place
(photo credit: Tim)

KSQ Architects' design for 360 Smith Street
K.S.Q.Architects' rendering of new subway plaza

Reader Tim posted the two photos above of Bill Stein's 360 Smith Street development on Pardon Me For Asking's Facebook page.
He writes:

"Just thought someone might like to see how our view has changed in three and a half months!"

I feel his pain. Steadily, the steel has been going up, blocking the sky and sunlight at the corner of Smith Street and Second Place.

Eventually, the building will top off at 7 stories, so Tim's view will be even more obscured.

The "Oliver House", as it was once called, has been in the works for quite some time now. When Developer Bill Stein first presented his plans to the community, he was met with opposition. Many in Carroll Gardens felt that his building was too high and looked too modern for this brownstone neighborhood and no one seemed to like his architect, Robert Scarano, who has quite an unsavory reputation.
(Just last week, Scarano was barred from filing any more permits with the NYC Department of Buildings.)

Stein eventually switched architects and had the plans (slightly) changed.

Construction at the 360 Smith Street/ 131 2nd Place started, but came to an abrupt halt in July 2008, when developer Bill Stein's "Oliver House" was slapped with a Stop Work Order immediately after the City Council passed the Carroll Gardens Wide Street Zoning Text Amendment, which limits permitted building density in Carroll Gardens.
Developer Stein promptly took his case in front of the Board of Standards and Appeals, that oh-so-contentious board that grants developers exemptions in cases such as this.

In order to be able to continue, Mr. Stein had to prove that a significant portion of the project's foundation had been completed before the Stop Work Order went into effect. Though inspectors from the NYC Department of Buildings determined that only 20% of the foundation had been completed, the BSA gave Stein what he wanted at a hearing in November 2008. The Stop Work Order was lifted. He was now free to proceed. By September 2009, construction resumed.

The eventual inhabitants of 360 Smith Street will forever have 360 views, but all other residents of Carroll Gardens will have to live with a monolithic building and a darkened sky over that corner of the neighborhood.

Related reading:

Construction Incident At 360 Smith Street Yesterday

Did You See This Happen? Man Injured By Falling Construction Fence At 360 Smith Street

2nd Place Subway Station Now History

Last Glance At Old Carroll Gardens Subway Plaza on Second Place

Boom, Boom...Construction Resumes At 360 Smith Street

For Home Page, click Pardon Me For Asking


Anonymous said...

I feel Tim's pain too. Living next to a large construction project is supposed to be one of those "most stressful" things in life. It is hard to believe that until it happens literally in front of your face.

Maybe when 360 starts marketing the units Tim and his neighbor can aim some telescopes at the windows.

Raised in Carroll Gardens said...

I noticed the same thing this past Sunday.

I was standing in front of Vinatge Cellars waiting for my wife and our Sunday bottle of red, when I sadly saw the "progress" of the construction.

Ironically, that site is one of the highest in what we call Carroll Gardens. As you come towards it from Atlantic Avenue you're walking 'up hill' - and this hill crests at P.S. 58 and stays level until just past that train station.

I'm all for growth, but why isn't there any "Happy Medium" any more? Why can't builders and thier clients learn to compromise?

Anonymous said...

This building is the wall of shame

Dolores M. said...

It's sad to see this happen in CG but I wouldn't say it's the 'most stessful' thing in life. To aim telescopes at windows? What's wrong with people? I hope they're not serious.

Agnes said...

I think stressful is not an inappropriate word to use when you see your neighborhood being marred by such an out of scale assertion into your skyscape. Why do you think people leave Manhattan for Brooklyn? Manhattan density is stressful -even if just subliminally, you feel it. When I get out of the subway, back to Brooklyn, and see the skies again, I breathe a sigh of relief. That's a visceral feeling - my brain doesn't control it, I'm not making it up. Yes, Scarano was barred just last week from filing any more plans because of his shady practices. But he has left his mark with 333 Carroll Street (that shoud come down!) and that ugly Sartori on Bond Street.

Anonymous said...

One of the things you can't help to feel after spending a day in Manhattan and returning to Carroll Gardens on the F train, is that strong sense of breath and the sky above your head. You can feel the difference day or night--especially on full moon nights. It's a strong sense of relief, of being home here in Brooklyn. It is truly a loss to all of us that the sky over this subway stop has been taken away form all of us, forever.

This building makes it more critical that the corner garden lots, like that on Smith and 1st street, are not built upon. The density ration along Smith Street needs to be kept in line with the nature of this community. After all it is this essence of Carroll Gardens that these developers are trying to sell off to the new buyers of these condo units. Even the developers have an interest in not destroying what brings value to their Carroll Garden's development projects.