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Rendering of 9 Chapel Street via Tankhouse ( Rendering of 9 Chapel Street via Tankhouse (
Over a half-century later, swaths of Downtown Brooklyn are starting to recover from misguided urban renewal schemes that divided once-intact neighborhoods with highway interchanges, poorly programmed open spaces, and fenced-off superblocks. In May 2016, New York-based architecture and urban design firm WXY Studio worked with local community organizations to create a master plan to guide the slow and expensive process of mending back the area's urban fabric. Named Brooklyn Strand, its goals include connecting Downtown Brooklyn to the waterfront through a series of parks and plazas, making circulation more pedestrian-oriented, and adding infill development and uses that bring an added vibrancy that befits one of the main gateways to the borough.
A 2004 rezoning to promote commercial and residential development included most of the Robert Moses-ravaged area and has yielded a handful of mid-rise rental buildings that include 250 Gold Street, The Amberly, and the nearly-finished 22 Chapel Street. Next up to bat is 9 Chapel Street (aka 219 Jay Street) an in-progress 13-story condominium that will benefit from a geographically stellar location close to Manhattan and an easy walk to Brooklyn Heights, DUMBO, and the commercial core of Downtown Brooklyn.

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9 Chapel Street
9 Chapel Street Downtown Brooklyn
This section of Downtown Brooklyn was much more cohesive prior to automobile-oriented planning schemes (via NYPL: Atlas of the Borough of Brooklyn, v. 1 (1916))
Urban renewal in progress in Downtown Brooklyn
Downtown-Brooklyn-003 The site of 9 Chapel and the hole between Downtown Brooklyn and DUMBO left by urban renewal. (Google Earth)
Brooklyn-Strand-03 Aerial rendering of WXY Studio's Brooklyn Strand plan to mend the neighborhoods together
As we reported last fall, DUMBO-based designer and developer Tankhouse snagged the corner site for $12.5 million with the intent of constructing a 55,000 square-foot multi-family project. The pair of pre-existing 19th-century rowhomes were worn but charming -- cloaked in ivy and representing a surviving vestige of the tight-knit community that existed before the wrecking ball walked in. A civilized city would advocate for the preservation of the buildings and incentivize for the unused development rights to be transferred to the parking lot next door, but this is New York after all.
The two walk-ups being torn down (likely already gone) for 9 Chapel Street
9 chapel street The site at the dawn of the area's urban renewal era in 1931 (NYPL Digital Collections)
Jay Street historic Downtown Brookyln Jay Street with 9 Chapel's site towards the center right in July 5, 1930. (NYPL Digital Collections.)
219-Chapel-Street-02 Looking north up Jay Street with the site just past St. James Cathedral Basilica
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The current site of The Amberly directly to the north. You can understand why planners would deem the area suitable for urban renewal. It's only unfortunate that Le Corbusier was the trending visionary at the time instead of Stanford White.
The block today with the recently-finished rental The Amberly
This is the site of The Amberly, directly north of 9 Chapel Street
The lumber building and a tenement building still survive on the block.
The building is being designed by the innovative Brooklyn-based firm of SO–IL, which partnered with Tankhouse on another condo development at 450 Warren Street. Building permits approved this past January call for a crescendoing 130-foot-tall structure comprised of 27 apartments, peppered with inset balconies and terraces.

New exterior renderings show the building will don a striated facade and a wedding-cake massing will echo classical/Art Deco structures of yesteryear. The tower will rise directly across from the grounds of St. James Cathedral Basilica, the cathedral church of the Diocese of Brooklyn. The landmarked church and adjacent McLaughlin Park will allow residents of south-facing units to enjoy unobstructed views of the growing but still somewhat hideous Downtown Brooklyn skyline.
Tankhouse (via Tankhouse)
Peeks of the residences have yet to surface, but the units will be condominiums, which will surely mean higher-end finishes, more graciously-scaled spaces, and higher ceilings. There will be no more than three apartments per floor and the top two floors will be full-floor units.
Tankhouse's other ongoing Brooklyn projects include the nearly sold out 450 Warren Street in Boerum Hill. Similarities to 9 Chapel include a plethora of private and communal outdoor spaces, expansive picture windows, and a textured facade. According to the architects, 9 Chapel is anticipated for completion sometime in 2023. Sales, to be handled by Corcoran, are likely to launch within a year.
9 Chapel Street Downtown Brooklyn average condo prices have been on a tear in recent years (CityRealty)
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