A high-end complex with condos and rentals and a private courtyard will replace a three-acre parking lot owned by the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Rendering of Front & York, a complex built on the site of a former parking lot in Dumbo that was owned by the Jehovah’s Witnesses.Credit…Williams New York
For years a full-block parking lot that occupied a staggering three acres in Dumbo sat undisturbed, while the waterfront warehouse district around it became a white-hot neighborhood. Bounded by Front, York, Bridge and Jay Streets, the lot was owned by the Jehovah’s Witnesses, which once had extensive real estate holdings in Brooklyn.
Now it’s the site of the neighborhood’s latest amenity-packed large-scale luxury development. Front & York, at 85 Jay Street.
When the religious group was selling off its properties and moving its headquarters upstate a few years ago, a development team including CIM Group, LIVWRK Holdings and Kushner Companies bought the lot with plans for a mixed-use project that “would complement the industrial character of Dumbo,” said Jason Schreiber, a principal at CIM. (Kushner last year sold its minority stake and bowed out of the partnership.)
Morris Adjmi Architects, which is known for its sympathetic repurposing of old factories, has designed the building and its interiors.
With the site supplying ample space to work with, 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.
Low-rise portions of the complex will be eight stories — the height, more or less, of the neighborhood’s historic buildings; they will contain 320 rental apartments (available when the project is completed in 2021), a massive state-of-the-art health club run by Life Time and ground-level retail space.
Rising from opposite corners of the complex will be two 21-story towers housing 408 condos, which will go on sale later this month.
Brown-gray brick will clad the complex, which will also have large windows with divided lights. The Manhattan Bridge, which looms over the neighborhood, inspired blue-grey metal arches that will embellish the retail spaces.
The condo interiors will feature Venetian plaster and terrazzo for the building lobbies and oak and marble for the kitchens and baths in the apartments.
Most units will have one bedroom (starting at $945,000 for 631 square feet) or two (from $1.795 million for 1,126 square feet). There are 80 units with three bedrooms (from $2.475 million), and a handful with four bedrooms (from $5.95 million).
The amenities that the condo towers will share tick all the usual luxury development boxes, from underground parking to an outdoor pool on the roof of a low-rise section that connects the condo towers. A rendering of the latter shows cabanas draped with gauzy fabric that look like they belong on a Caribbean island, not in Brooklyn, steps from the F train, but they reflect the development team’s concept of the project as “an urban resort.”
More in tune with the local zeitgeist, perhaps, is a 1,700-square-foot co-working area and adjoining coffee bar. “Co-working spaces are more used than regular lounges,” said Mr. Adjmi, speaking about luxury residences generally.
One amenity you won’t find everywhere else: a lush half-acre park at the center of the complex, providing a grove of magnolias, scattered slabs of stone that will serve as benches — and green views from interior windows.
This 25,000-square-foot oasis, open to renters and condo owners, has been designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, the landscape architecture firm responsible for Brooklyn Bridge Park, a couple blocks away. But Scott Streeb, an associate principal at the firm, said he and his colleagues made an effort not to create a mini version of the 85-acre public space, but rather “a private garden with its own unique character.”
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