Tuesday, June 15, 2010

It Ain't Pretty: Checking In On 360 Smith Street


Back in 2009: Big sky over Brooklyn


In early March, as seen from First Place

(photo credit: Tim)

Same View In April 2010

(photo credit: Tim)

As it looks now.
Photo taken on June 14th, 2010


Photo taken in March 2011

(Credit: Tim)

KSQ Architects' design for 360 Smith Street/ 132 Second Street

Reader Tim has been kind enough to sent me occasional photo updates of the 360 Smith Street/ 132 Second Street site as seen from First Place. The construction project has risen slowly to 70 feet and is now in the process of getting cinder-blocked, which makes it look even bulkier. The building has not only changed the skyline of Carroll Gardens, it has dwarfed neighborhood brownstones and blocked the sun of many residents along First and Second Place.

Though we are still months away from its completion, it is safe to say that the neighborhood's fears were founded when local residents objected to "Oliver House", as it was once called.

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 and recently has been 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.

God knows what the building will really look like when completed, but one thing is for sure: it ain't pretty.

What do you think, dear Reader?

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Actually it doesn't seem so bad. Looks much better than the abandoned construction site at union and court. At least the developer at 360 Smith is going to finish the project so we can getthe subway entrance and our sidewalk back.