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9 DeKalb Avenue

Between Fleet Street & Flatbush Avenue Extension

Carter Horsley
Reviewed by Carter Horsley
Carter Horsley Carter B. Horsley, a former journalist for The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune and The New York Post. Mr. Horsley is also the editorial director of CityRealty.com.
 

The JDS Development Group, which is headed by Michael Stern, and The Chetrit Group, which is headed by Joseph Chetrit, are planning to erect a 1,066-foot-high rental apartment building with 417 units at 340 Flatbush Avenue Extension in Downtown Brooklyn.

The “SuperTall” tower, which would also be known as 9 DeKalb Avenue, would be the highest in Brooklyn.

SHoP Architects is designing the 73-story tower and also designed a 1,428-foot-tower at 111 East 57th Street for JDS that is now in construction.  Its other projects include the redevelopment of the riverfront Domino Sugar plant and the recently completed Barclays Center, both in Brooklyn.

The tower is adjacent to the very handsome, neo-Classical, 1908 Dime Savings Bank building, designed by Mowbray & Uffinger and landmarked in 1994, on the same block, which is triangular and also contains Junior’s, a store famous for its cheese cake.

The proposed tower will cantilever over part of the existing bank building if such a plan is approved by the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission.  The land-use community Brooklyn Community Planning Board 2 voted in February, 2016, to approve the cantilever plan that will also use about 300,000 square feet of air rights transferred from the bank building.

A February 17, 2016 article in The New York Times by Matt A. V. Chaban quoted Mr. Stern as declaring “we’re really excited to give Brooklyn a building that isn’t bashful, that isn’t shy,” adding that “we want this project to encapsulate everything that is great about Brooklyn’s past and everything that is great about Brooklyn’s future.”

Bottom Line

A very slim, hexagonal rental apartment tower with a few discrete, small setbacks that will soar vertiginously over the landmark Dime Savings Bank Building on a small triangular block in downtown Brooklyn where it will become that borough’s tallest building by several hundred feet.

Description

Renderings of the proposed tower indicate that it will have great elan and visually soar into Brooklyn’s heavens, its top fashioned with short grappling rods to capture the ghosts of the Brooklyn Dodgers.

This very impressive monolith will be a metal-and-glass tower whose thin piers recall Art Deco aesthetics, a streamlined rocket that will have views of Lower Manhattan, Jersey City, the harbor and the great lower East River bridges and it may be more dramatic and awesome than those along Billionaires’ Row near Central Park in Manhattan.

Unlike ShoP’s asymmetric tower for JDS at 111 West 57th Street, this almost free-standing tower has a much purer aesthetic as it rises above its less than striking low-rise base that is out of context and good taste.

According to an article by Lore Croghan in the February 25, 2016 edition of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Gregg Pasquarelli of SHoP told the land-use committee that two annexes of the Dime Savings Bank “must be demolished, one of the five stories tall,, another a single story in height,” adding that the plan also “calls for the removal of tellers’ counters from the banking hall.”

The plan calls for the project to have 463,470 square feet of residential space and 92,694 square feet of retail space, according to the article.

“The proposed tower’s construction materials are inspired by the landmarked bank building, but with a slightly different palette: white marble, crystal gray vision glass, bronzed metal and blackened stainless steel.  The tower’s glass façade will be overlaid with ‘tubes’ of stone and metal, Pasqarelli said, that are visual references to the columns on the bank,” the article continued.

Apartments

About 20 percent of the building’s units will be “affordable.”

History

The developers purchased the low-rise building at 340 Flatbush Avenue Extension in 2014 for $46 million and in December 2015 paid $90 million for the very elegant and very handsome bank building that it plans to convert to retail uses.

A January 12, 2016 article at newyorkyimby.com by Rebecca Baird-Remba noted that “the first round of plans – filed back in the summer of 2014 – called for a 775-foot-tall development,” but added that the number of apartments in the new plan has dropped from 495 to 417.”

Pauldoncnyc, a commenter at newyorkyimby.com on an article about the project said that it reminds him “of the building in The Towering Inferno, which I liked,” adding “(Not the inferno part).”

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