Today In Greenpoint Real Estate Insanity: 533 Leonard Street

October 10, 2014 ·
Filed under: 11224, Abjectecture, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic, Wow, WTF 

533 leonard sidewalk

533 Leonard

BKrelicsThe sale of 533 Leonard Street, the former meeting hall for Polish Legion of American Veterans is hardly news. Nor is the fact that it will be “adapted” to residential use as opposed to simply being razed. A rather nifty site called Brooklyn Relics has a pretty nice summary of these passing events which can be read by clicking here. The author of this tome opines:

The adaptive reuse of historic buildings is often necessary for the buildings to maintain market viability. However, in the case of the PLAV building, the proposed design dominates the historic structure it traverses even though the original facade is supposed to be the intended focal point. Hopefully the finished modern portion of the structure will be muted enough that it does not compete with the original building’s architecture…

I cannot tell a lie: I was initially relieved by the news this building would be modified as opposed to merely being demolished. Then it was brought to my attention by a very nice lady named Amber that a rendering has been posted on the premises of the finished product. I did a walk-by to see it myself— after all, seeing is truly believing. All I can say is the author of Brooklyn Relics was being quite charitable in his analysis.

533 Leonard Street rendering NYS

Here’s the deal folks:

In terms of Greenpoint construction— any construction— I keep my expectations low. Really low. Methinks I need not elaborate why this is so. Let’s just say there’s ample “precedent”.

closeup

 

200 FranklinThis exceeds even my expectations— and not in a good way. So help me, but this may very well make me rethink adaptation (versus demolition) as a good— or at least “better”— policy. Aside from exploiting the benefits a modification permit versus a new building affords (modification permits are not subject to the same level of scrutiny) and exploiting every cubic centimeter of FAR, I see absolutely no rhyme or reason to this “design”.

Yes sir: 200 Franklin Street’s days as the ugliest building in Greenpoint, which is no small accomplishment, may very well be numbered.

Mazel tov!

The Word On The Street: McGuinness Boulevard

mcguinness1

Stop gentirfiying

belvedere2

BELVEDERE

It’s been a long time— perhaps too long— since I have lavished attention upon the Belvedere Empire. You know, those serial numbered, Neoclassical “by the yard” excrescences with absurdly large balconies which have been popping up in our community for years? Well recently the Mister and I were walking down McGuinness Boulevard. That is where we beheld this. We were not the only ones who took notice either.

Going to move in?

A woman exiting the Polam Supermarket asked. to wit I answered.

Oh, ABSOLUTELY.

I replied. Sarcasm noted (and appreciated) she added:

They have buildings all over the place.

I know, I know. I replied. They ugly as shit and sport those ridiculous balconies. But this one is the biggest of the lot. Hell, it is not a building. It is fucking billboard.

My new friend informed me the lettering went up last week. Clearly she is keeping on top of this matter. Excellent!

201javafrontview

I go in for a closer look.

SWO

Lo and behold, a love letter from the Department of Buildings! Naturally I had to look this up on the their online database and see what gives. Here is what I found.

 

DOBBIS210java3

 

DOBBIS210java2

DOBBIS210java1

 

Scaffolding issues, violating a Stop Work Order and storing combustible material without a permit. These sound vaguely familiar. OH WAIT this is why!

New York Shitty Photo Du Jour: Legs

Taken March 11, 2014.

Now For Rent At 14 Bayard Street: Luxury

14bayard1

I know what you’re thinking, gentle readers:

How can this possibly be considered “luxury” accommodations?

The answer is quite apparent. All one need do view the other side of this edifice.

whoops

The developer has clearly spared no expense on balconies. Granted, no one can access, much less us, this excrescence— but that is beside the point. Toss in an air mattress, cooler and perhaps a tent and some plucky entrepreneur will have an excellent means of “supplemental income”.

AirbnbSearchBayardStreet

WARNING/CAVEAT: the listings on Airbnb for Bayard Street seem to be quite a few— so price competitively!

New York Shitty Day Ender: Great Moments In North Brooklyn Abjectecture

(Or: Frank Lloyd Wrong)

Arizona needs its own architecture… Arizona’s long, low, sweeping lines, uptilting planes. Surface patterned after such abstraction in line and color as find “realism” in the patterns of the rattlesnake, the Gila monster, the chameleon, and the saguarocholla or staghorn – or is it the other way around—are inspiration enough. — Frank Lloyd Wright.

Apparently north Brooklyn, despite the decided lack of rattlesnakes, gila monsters or long, low sweeping lines is also deserving of such treatment. At least this is what this sign intimates. Behold 865 Grand Street for yourselves!

Here’s a view looking eastward.

Here’s a front view.

Here’s a view looking west. On a flight of fancy I looked up this edifice on the Department of Buildings web site. I found this complaint particularly interesting.

If anyone from the Department of Buildings is reading this, I can assure you they were working today!

Or perhaps this chap was simply enjoying the view?

In any case, I found the steel girders required to hold this hunchback (Grand Street’s second such one) together rather disquieting. I know what you’re asking yourselves, gentle readers:

How can this possibly be legal?

Very simple: when the (ostensible) contextual zoning in Greenpoint was approved (in response to turds like 308 Eckford Street), certain thoroughfares— Grand Street being one of them— were, in fact, “upzoned”.

Watch this clip and learn for yourselves.

Quicklink, Part I: Gothamist Takes On The Times

The patchouli oil of Gen Y gentrification is scenting the air. A two-bedroom three-bath garden duplex on Russell Street recently sold for $772,000.

Is this because people who spent $700K on a duplex can’t afford to wash themselves with soap? You know, like people who use patchouli? And can we borrow some of it? (Not patchouli, money.)

Thank you, Christopher Robbins.

Parting shot from yours truly:

David J. Maundrell III, the president of aptsandlofts.com, the marketing agent for the 149 Huron Street Loft Condos (where perks include Brazilian teak finishes and a Zen garden), gazed approvingly at 200 Franklin Street, a two-story storefront that camouflages a set-back 12-story apartment tower jutting into the air like a solitary exclamation point. “This is what’s coming to Greenpoint,” he said. “This is the future.”

Well, the “future” not only merited its own poster (as seen above) but it won Curbed’s “Greenpoint Ugly-Off”  by a rather handsome margin.

P.S.: You can view the Times tome by clicking here. Those of you who are feeling impish might want to point out that the “new” five story building on Freeman Street (158 Freeman Street, to be precise) of which Mr./Ms. Finn writes is not exactly new…

and its ethically-challenged creator, none other than Robert Scarano himself, can no longer file plans with the Department of Buildings due to the creative license he took there. But who cares about ethics when there’s money— $3,500 a month for a one bedroom apartment— to be made! Nonetheless, it might behoove Mr./Ms. Finn to read/reference her own employer’s site.

She might learn something— I certainly did!

Great Moments in Greenpoint Real Estate: Special Enlightenment Edition

October 21, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Abjectecture, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic, WTF 

It has been a long time— perhaps too long— since I have expounded upon the real estate goings-on in Greenpoint. This is because quite frankly it has not been very interesting. There has been the odd development here and there to be certain, but the folks at Belvedere Bridge realty have yet to deliver Belvedere 30, or, XXX. I assure you, gentle readers, I have been very eager to see this happen. So it goes.

This is not to suggest, however, that they have not been busy balconizing my fair burgh: they have. I can personally attest that their latest creation is quite something. In fact, I’d go so far as to write it exceeds my wildest expectations. This is really saying something. Do read on and behold the Greenpoint glory for yourselves!

At a casual glance this block (Green Street between Manhattan Avenue and McGuinness Boulevard) appears to be like any other to be had here.

This ruptured bag of shit? While repulsive it is nothing special. In fact I call it downright pedestrian.

The dulcet hum of DOT trucks heading back to the depot under the Pulaski Bridge? Broadway has its lullaby, this is north Greenpoint’s!

No sir, if you want to see something truly amazing head to 186 Green Street. There, my fellow Garden Spotters, you will find your castle!

The Mister: OHSO?
Me: No. O-S-H-O. It says it’s a castle. If so, where the hell is Rapunzel? Or Lord and Lady Douchebag for that matter?

And what the hell is OSHO?

I could not stop asking myself this question. So this morning, gentle readers, I dipped into the fount of all knowledge: Wikipedia. Follows is what I found:

And follows are my favorite passages from the above tome:

In 1981, Osho relocated to the United States and his followers established an international community, later known as Rajneeshpuram, in the state of Oregon. Within a year, the leadership of the commune became embroiled in a conflict with local residents, primarily over land use, which was marked by hostility on both sides. The large collection of Rolls-Royce automobiles purchased for his use by his followers also attracted notoriety. The Oregon commune collapsed in 1985 when Osho revealed that the commune leadership had committed a number of serious crimes, including a bioterror attack (food contamination) on the citizens of The Dalles.[4] He was arrested shortly afterwards and charged with immigration violations. Osho was deported from the United States in accordance with a plea bargain.[5][6][7] Twenty-one countries denied him entry, causing Osho to travel the world before returning to Poona, where he died in 1990. His ashram is today known as the Osho International Meditation Resort…

The salmonella attack was noted as the first confirmed instance of chemical or biological terrorism to have occurred in the United States.[118] Osho stated that because he was in silence and isolation, meeting only with Sheela, he was unaware of the crimes committed by the Rajneeshpuram leadership until Sheela and her “gang” left and sannyasins came forward to inform him.[119] A number of commentators have stated that in their view Sheela was being used as a convenient scapegoat.[119][120][121] Others have pointed to the fact that although Sheela had bugged Osho’s living quarters and made her tapes available to the U.S. authorities as part of her own plea bargain, no evidence has ever come to light that Osho had any part in her crimes.[122][123][124] Nevertheless Gordon (1987) reports that Charles Turner, David Frohnmayer and other law enforcement officials, who had surveyed affidavits never released publicly and who listened to hundreds of hours of tape recordings, insinuated to him that Osho was guilty of more crimes than those for which he was eventually prosecuted.[125] Frohnmayer asserted that Osho’s philosophy was not “disapproving of poisoning” and that he felt he and Sheela had been “genuinely evil”.[125]

According to court testimony by Ma Ava (Ava Avalos), a prominent disciple, Sheela played associates a tape recording of a meeting she had had with Osho about the “need to kill people” in order to strengthen wavering sannyasins resolve in participating in her murderous plots: “She came back to the meeting and [...] began to play the tape. It was a little hard to hear what he was saying. [...] And the gist of Bhagwan’s response, yes, it was going to be necessary to kill people to stay in Oregon. And that actually killing people wasn’t such a bad thing. And actually Hitler was a great man, although he could not say that publicly because nobody would understand that. Hitler had great vision.”[96] Sheela initiated attempts to murder Osho’s caretaker and girlfriend, Ma Yoga Vivek, and his personal physician, Swami Devaraj (Dr. George Meredith), because she felt they were a threat to Osho; she had secretly recorded a conversation between Devaraj and Osho “in which the doctor agreed to obtain drugs the guru wanted to ensure a peaceful death if he decided to take his own life.”[96]

During his residence in Rajneeshpuram, Osho dictated three books under the influence of nitrous oxide (Emphasis mine — Ed. Note) administered to him by his private dentist: Glimpses of a Golden Childhood, Notes of a Madman and Books I Have Loved.[126] Sheela later stated that Osho took sixty milligrams of Valium each day and was addicted to nitrous oxide.[127][128][129] Osho denied these charges when questioned about them by journalists.[127][130]

Wow. Just wow. I wonder if Osho is a Widespread Panic fan? It just goes to show that all roads— at least those located in north Brooklyn— lead to laughing gas. Where do I park my Rolls?

 

Williamsburg Photo du Jour: Progress

May 1, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11211, Abjectecture, Williamsburg, Williamsburg Brooklyn 

From North 9 Street.

Miss Heather

Great Moments In Abjectecture: 333 Leonard Street

333 Leonard Street 2

Since the real estate market more or less tanked in north Brooklyn yours truly figured she would not be seeing anything new in the way of aesthetically bankrupt construction any time soon. Needless to say when I saw the above specimen (333 Leonard Street) today I figured it wasn’t anything special. Just another piece of Bloomblight. It was when I looked around the corner I discovered the error of my ways: this edifice is truly something to behold. Without further ado here are some highlights. Enjoy!

DOB Permit

I’ll be perfectly frank: I was absolutely dumbstruck that this was a gut renovation so upon arriving back home I did a little poking around the Department of Building’s web site.

Sure enough, it is. The wonders never cease!

Miss Heather

 

 

 

Williamsburg Photo du Jour: Unicycle

April 3, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11211, Abjectecture, Williamsburg, Williamsburg Brooklyn 

From Kent Avenue

Miss Heather