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Front & York, 85 Jay Street: Review and Ratings

at York Street corner of Front Street View Full Building Profile

Carter Horsley
Review of 85 Jay Street by Carter Horsley

This large, mid-rise development at 85 Jay Street near the Manhattan Bridge in the Dumbo section of Brooklyn is known as Front & York.  It is due for completion in 2021. 

It will have 728 apartments of which 408 apartments will be condos and the rest rentals.  

The developers are the CIM Group, LIVWRK Holdings and the Kushner Companies although the latter sold its interest in 2018 to the CIM Group.  

It was designed by Morris Adjmi Architects.  Michael Van Valkenburg Associates, which was responsible for the Brooklyn Bridge Park, is the landscape architect. 

Rising from opposite corners of the complex will be two 21-story towers connected by an 8-story podium around a large courtyard with marble benches. 

The development, whose site is bounded by Front, York, Bridge and Jay Streets, will have 150,000 square feet of amenities for all the residents. 

The site is part of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's brownfield remediation program.  It is replacing a parking lot formerly owned by the Jehovah's Witnesses and a September 15, 2019 article in The New York Times by Jane Margolies had the euphoric headline that "They Took a Parking Lot and Put Up a Paradise." 

"With the site supplying ample space to work with," the article maintained, "the architects opted to set the complex back from its surrounding streets, allowing for wide sidewalks with allées of trees all around, and gave it a squared-donut footprint, with open space at the center." 

The development is across the street from a F train subway station and is close to A and C trains at High Street and 2 and 3 trains at Clark Street.  It is also a short walk to the East River Ferry.

Bottom Line

A full-block, mid-rise development in Dumbo with two 21-story towers with a traditional grid of industrial-style, multi-paned windows over a two-story retail base of large arches modeled after spans of the nearby Manhattan Bridge.


The architect's website provides the following commentary: 

"The Manhattan Bridge is the spine of the Dumbo Historic District, its monumental stone anchor as essential to local character as brick buildings and Belgian-block streets. In recent years, the nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century factories and warehouses 'down under the Manhattan Bridge overpass'” have been reborn as residential lofts and commercial spaces. Front & York is a new residential development inspired by the evolution of this postindustrial setting; like the bridge’s stone anchor, it is a bold contribution to the urban fabric that is emblematic of the neighborhood. 

"Front & York occupies a full block; its total area exceeds one million square feet, but thoughtful massing reduces the perceived size. All four façades are pulled back 18 feet from the property line to create a generous new pedestrian zone lined with street-level retail spaces framed with metal arches recalling those on the rear façade of the Scholastic Building. Modeled after old reinforced-concrete warehouses, the design draws clear parallels to Dumbo’s historic architecture. The mixed-use base, which wraps around a multitiered, park-like courtyard, complements the scale of adjacent warehouse buildings, while the towers rising from the northwestern and southeastern corners align with recent developments nearby—and with the towers of the Manhattan Bridge. Front & York is clad in brick with a rigorous grid of operable factory-style windows framed by a continuous concrete superstructure. Inside, both the rental apartments and condominium units incorporate high ceilings, refined finishes, monumental marble slabs, and custom fixtures. 

"The former factories of Dumbo were built first from slow-burning timber and brick, then reinforced concrete, and eventually steel, reflecting industrial architecture in the United States. Continuing this architectural trajectory, Front & York is an exemplar of contemporary industrial-style architecture." 


The project has a health club run by Life Time and ground-level retail space, an outdoor movie screen sheltered by a trellis  with heat lanterns and a fireplace. a coffee lounge with a fireplace, a music room, a game room, a media lounge, a playroom, a full, indoor basketball court, a Kids' Academy, a 1,700-square-foot co-working area with a coffee far, and a garage. Rising from opposite corners of the complex will be two 21-story towers and an outdoor pool on the roof of a low-rise section that connects the condo towers



Kitchens have Gaggenau appliance packages, Caldia marble countertops and backsplashes and filtered water. 

The master bath has Bianco Bellow marble stone walls, tub surrounds and radiant heated Grey River stone floors with curved vanities that "echo the arches of the Manhattan Bridge and a cast iron tub with Waterworks fittings.


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Key Details
between Madison Avenue & Park Avenue South
Murray Hill
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