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A blog from CityRealty (Links below will take you to the 6sqft site)


The revived NYC Ferry system has been open for nearly three years, yet is still treated like an exciting novelty. However, it dates back to 1642, when the first ferry service was launched between Manhattan and Brooklyn. Steamboat inventor Robert Fulton established it again in 1814, turning it into the center of a new industrial community. More than 200 years later, the Fulton Ferry Landing is once again the heart of its community, albeit one with a decidedly different makeup.
The Michelin-starred River Cafe serves as a “special occasion restaurant” and the site of countless proposals, and other local favorites include 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge (home of The Osprey and Harriet’s Rooftop & Lounge), the original Grimaldi’s Pizza, Jacques Torres’ first chocolate factory, and the Ample Hills Creamery outpost in the Fulton Ferry Landing’s converted fire boat house (original home of the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory, which found a new home in Greenpoint). Brooklyn Bridge Park is home to Jane’s Carousel, acres of green space and gardens, beachfront areas, several sports fields, and delicious dining options. All are enhanced by spectacular skyline views that residential developers, too, sought to cash in on.

"A hundred years hence, or ever so many hundred years hence, others will see them,
Will enjoy the sunset, the pouring-in of the flood-tide, the falling-back to the sea of the ebb-tide." - Walt Whitman, "Crossing Brooklyn Ferry"

Preservationists would be happy to see this area frozen in time; indeed, the 1977 designation of the Fulton Ferry Historic District means any new developments or designed must first be approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission ("Landmarks"). However, this stretch of Brooklyn has always adapted to its times and will continue to do so. We take a look at the newest projects set to keep this part of Brooklyn flourishing into the 21st century.
Brooklyn-Bridge-Park-01 Brooklyn Bridge Park (CityRealty)
Brooklyn-waterfront-01 The historic Fulton ferry landing has never stopped evolving. (Photo from the NYC Ferry via CityRealty)

20 Old Fulton Street

20-Old-Fulton-Street-1 Brooklyn apartments Rendering via NV Design/Architecture for Landmarks Preservation Commission
On Tuesday, February 11, Landmarks will hear a proposal for a new commercial building at 20 Old Fulton Street. If this address sounds familiar, it’s because a black building with a glass front designed by Snohetta was approved in 2014. Plans called for a new cafe near Elizabeth Place and two additional spaces that could be used as retail or restaurants. However, the project, dubbed Ferry Market, never moved forward.
A new presentation by NV Design/Architecture, which is known for its work in historic districts, shows quite a different prospect: The proposed building’s brick facade fits in well with its neighbors, and large arched windows pay tribute to local architecture. In the meantime, the concrete wall on the site has been demolished and foundation work on a new building has begun.
20-Old-Fulton-Street-2 Previous rendering via Snohetta

1 Water Street

1-Water-Street-1 Approved design via Starling Architecture for Landmarks Preservation Commission
The Landmarks hearing for 20 Old Fulton Street comes hot on the heels of another decision pertaining to the Fulton Landing waterfront. Earlier this week, Landmarks unanimously approved a design for a waterfront pavilion to be built next to the Marine Fire Boat Station at 1 Water Street. Its minimalist design by Starling Architecture was conceived so as not to disrupt the iconic Brooklyn Bridge views.
The pavilion is part of a new cafe and bar run by Miles and Alexander Pincus. The brothers are known for turning historic ships into floating restaurants and bars; and indeed, a restored FDNY fire boat, the Governor Alfred E. Smith, will be docked on the north side of Fulton Ferry Landing Pier to provide extra cafe and bar seating. The main restaurant take place in a hose shed dating back to 1929. The pavilion will replace Buzz Bar, a seasonal spot that operated out of a tent.

New York Clearing

New-York-Clearing-01 Closeup of New York Clearing via Antony Gormley
Between churning out hit singles, selling out arenas, and appearing on major television shows, K-pop band BTS somehow found time to establish Connect BTS, an initiative that uses art as a means to transcend the boundaries of language, redefine the relationship between artists and their audiences, and to create a collective experience. Five cities throughout the world are taking part, and New York’s is set at Pier 3 in Brooklyn Bridge Park.
Acclaimed British artist Antony Gormley’s sculpture “New York Clearing” has been compared to a big barbed-wire fence, but its looping line was designed in contrast to the gridded patterns of the New York skyline. The result makes for some interesting, intersected views across the East River as a result. It will be on display through March 27.

The Brooklyn Strand

Brooklyn-Strand-2 WXY
Book-lovers will be disappointed to hear that this is not a new outpost of the famous bookstore, but something even better is in store - a plan to connect the Brooklyn Bridge to Downtown Brooklyn. The route is currently a series of disjointed parks, plazas, and greenways that makes for a confusing, uneven trip between two of Brooklyn’s most popular areas. The Brooklyn Strand seeks to change that by transforming the parks and plazas into one mighty green gateway.
WXY is at the helm of the project, and the urban design studio worked closely with local stakeholders to offer suggestions for a more seamless and attractive connection. Preparations for the Brooklyn Strand have been in the works for nearly six years; in that time, New York has taken steps to being a more pedestrian-friendly city and taking steps away from car culture. The Brooklyn Strand is right in line with those efforts and an increasingly attractive prospect.
Brooklyn-Strand-01 Renderings of The Brooklyn Strand via WXY

50 Old Fulton Street

50 Old Fulton Street Credit: GreenbergTraurig via Brooklyn Eagle
A rezoning application for 50 Old Fulton Street is currently under public review. If approved, this will allow a five-story commercial building to rise on the site, which is currently home to Sam's Auto Body Shop. The cellar through second floors will be dedicated to retail, and offices will be on the top three floors. Renderings of the proposed replacement show glass-enclosed ground floors and a brick facade above to put it closer in line with its historic surroundings.
However, it remains to be seen how its construction will take place amidst repairs to the Brooklyn Queens Expressway, which is currently dealing with three times the vehicles it was meant to handle and will be rendered unfit for traffic if nothing is done soon. Many plans have been floated, and the most recent comes from a panel appointed by Mayor de Blasio. It raised eyebrows for its recommendation to shrink it from six lanes to four, but New York City comptroller Scott M. Stringer observes, “When you get rid of highways, people find other ways to get around.”

Local Listings

8-Old-Fulton-Street-1 Image via Compass
28-Old-Fulton-Street-1 Image via The Corcoran Group
4-Water-Street-1 Image via Compass
90-Furman-Street-1 Image via The Corcoran Group

Additional Info About the Building