Today In Greenpoint Real Estate Insanity: 533 Leonard Street

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!

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