The Q at Parkside

(for those for whom the Parkside Q is their hometrain)

News and Nonsense from the Brooklyn neighborhood of Lefferts and environs, or more specifically a neighborhood once known as Melrose Park. Sometimes called Lefferts Gardens. Or Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. Or PLG. Or North Flatbush. Or Caledonia (west of Ocean). Or West Pigtown. Across From Park Slope. Under Crown Heights. Near Drummer's Grove. The Side of the Park With the McDonalds. Jackie Robinson Town. Home of Lefferts Manor. West Wingate. Near Kings County Hospital. Or if you're coming from the airport in taxi, maybe just Flatbush is best.

Friday, June 12, 2015

They're Gaining On Ya Empire

From, what else, The Real Deal, comes info on a building planned for 109 Montgomery, just north of MTOPP world headquarters. 12 stories. Does that count, in the vernacular, as a "Sky-Riser?" And what's up with this Karl Fischer guy? Every third new building in Brooklyn is designed by him. Talk about one guy remaking the look of an entire borough. Remember, if these things are built even remotely durably, they will be with us for decades. This is, again in the vernacular, positively NUTS.

Handsome kid, that Asher (l.) Moonlights in a Boy Band Called 'N Mink
Asher Abehsera and Aaron Lemma’s PWR realty firm has closed on the purchase of a Crown Heights development site near Prospect Park, The Real Deal has learned. The Brooklyn-based developer and partner Cornell Realty bought the site at 109-111 Montgomery Street from the nearby Brooklyn Botanic Garden, which owned the vacant lot since 1989. Building applications filed in March indicate plans for a 12-story residential building to be designed by architect Karl Fischer. PWR plans to move forward with the plans, which presently call for 172 residential units across 168,000 buildable square feet and 76 parking spaces. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Cornell acquired a nearby development site last year, at 902 Franklin Avenue, that later also saw plans filed for 168,000 buildable square feet of residential space. 

The developer bought that site for $14.5 million, or $86 per buildable square foot. - See more at:


diak said...

re architect Karl Fischer: admittedly this link is to an opinion piece and from the NY Post and a few years old but it points out why KF seems to be the go-to architect despite the fact that no one has a good word to say about his designs:

He's fast, cheap, and keeps everything acceptably bland. Nothing risky or original in his work. And—surprise—he's tight with the Hasidic real estate honchos.
And while it isn't in the Post piece, I'd be willing to bet he has two other qualities that make his practice so successful:
1. He's likely a no-ego client pleaser. Will built to suit whatever the developer likes.
2. He knows how to spend the budget where it will show. Fischer's reputation is that his buildings are all glossy surfaces covering up mediocre-or-worse workmanship and mechanicals.

I wouldn't be surprised if 10 or 15 years from now, people trying to sell their apartments in Fischer-designed buildings are faced with a kind of "Fischer penalty"—lower prices based on the perceived lack of quality and style. Similar to what happened with all those white-brick boxes that were all the rage in mid-century Manhattan then were soon hopelessly out of style...

Anonymous said...

YIMBY and others covered this story back in March:

Brooklyn Botanic Garden is reportedly the former owner of the site but there are no new records of a transfer of ownership.

This area was already contextually rezoned to R8A, which allows for 120' buildings.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

Yep. And I posted on it too. But then it was a plan, now it's closed.

Btw, that is NOT what we would expect in a rezoning. It's too tall with no affordable. It is not "contextually rezoned" by today's standard - it's from many years ago. I would argue for a deeper restriction, which I'm told is eminently doable, particularly right next to the Garden, whose political clout could be brought to bear.

MikeF said...

Wrap your head around the Big 16.

None of it will be rezoned.

Anonymous said...

Maybe we can allow the Crazy one disrupt the re-zoning process so we have more of these new buildings built around Empire. it is so horrible over there it would be amazing for it to become developed instead of a gross supermarket that smells like rotten fish and dilapidated buildings. Empire needs help from Flatbush to Nostrand and not in the form of storage facilities.....

lets not keep Empire Shitty!

Anonymous said...

Speaking of white brick buildings, their decay is why new buildings are being made of metal and glass:

Brick and stone are more expensive to build and more expensive to maintain.

MikeF said...

It is a safe conclusion that the present mix of businesses on any commercial strip pretty closely reflects the most profitable, legally permitted, use.

The politicians and powers-that-be seem to agree that it is time to change what is legally permitted.

babs said...

The "Fischer penalty" already does exist on the resale of many of his designs - they sell for less per square foot than many other new construction buildings (see The Lofts on Dekalb, circa 2006 - 4A sold for $426K then and $405K in 2013). Another of his egregious practices (before the City banned him from self-certifying his own work) is FAR violation. A project of his in south Park Slope (like on 16th St) a few years ago had unfinished "attic" space attached to the top floor apartments in order not to include that square footage in the spaces and so keep the building within the FAR (on paper anyway).

Alex said...

In the very near future, Empire will not need to be rezoned in order to be redeveloped. With the surrounding construction will come interest in complementary businesses, such as hotels and restaurants, some of which will require major construction and others that will not. Once that happens, it will make no sense for Standards and Appeals to deny a variance (community input not required) allowing residential. So, whatever MTOPP thinks they're accomplishing, they're completely wrong.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 10:45 pm - Aside from the former Toomey's Diner at the corner of Empire and Rogers, what other spaces are you suggested be developed on Empire from Rogers to Nostrand?

The solution to that "gross supermarket" would be to bring in a better supermarket, no? How about new management and a renovation? (By the way, the trash smells more like rotting meat than rotting fish.)

I'm disappointed that nothing's happening with the former laundromat site at the corner or McKeever and Empire.

Anonymous said...

Empire will not need to be rezoned in order to be redeveloped. With the surrounding construction will come interest in complementary businesses...some of which will require major construction... Once that happens, it will make no sense for Standards and Appeals to deny a variance allowing residential. So, whatever MTOPP thinks they're accomplishing, they're completely wrong.

Alex is right

Anonymous said...

I've gotta say, this proposed location seems like a great place for a big building. It's right next to Medgar Evers College and a bunch of other apartment buildings that are already pretty big. And you can't really say it's a very charming block as is. So, while it sounds like Karl Fischer's design (and the quality of the work) will be disappointing, isn't this exactly the type of place we should be building more housing? If not here, what ARE the right locations for getting more units into this city?