Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Two ads for 550 Vanderbilt in the New York Times Magazine: "a contextual extension of the surrounding neighborhood" (!)

Not one but two pages in this past Sunday's New York Times Magazine were devoted, at least in part, to the 550 Vanderbilt condo tower at the southeast end of Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park. Both show that deceptive rendering that s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-s the three story brick building at left and tilts the substantial 202-foot tower into the distance, diminishing its bulk.

The two ads, actually, contradict each other a bit. Note the full-page ad below, on p. 31:
550 Vanderbilt, designed by the celebrated architect COOKFOX, brings 278 exceptional residents to the heart of Pacific Park, Brooklyn's newest neighborhood.
One, Two, and Three Bedroom Condominium Residents from $830,000
Um, it's not a neighborhood. Note that one-bedroom units are said to start at $830,000. According to the building's page on StreetEasy, one past listing for a one-bedroom was $800,000, but the current least expensive one-bedroom is $815,000.


According to StreetEasy, of 278 units, there are 80 active sales, of which 62 are in contract, and 19 past sales. That means 81 units are off the table, with only 18 currently available, and 179 yet to be made available.

No sale prices have been announced, but, at least according to figures based on the marketed prices, the in-contract sales average $1,353 per square foot, while the previous sale averaged $1,535 per square foot. (When I wrote about the issue in June, the eight announced sales averaged $1,436/sf.)
Among new developments

Near the back of the magazine, a good part of a ten-page advertising insert, "Fall Preview: New Developments," is devoted to 550 Vanderbilt, which, unlike some of the other projects listed, does not have an ad within the section. (Its ad is the standalone above, in front of the magazine.)

The same rendering is reproduced, and the copy states (with emphases added):
550 Vanderbilt is the first of four condominium buildings that will be built at Pacific Park Brooklyn, a collection of 14 residential buildings connected to eight acres of open green space designed by the acclaimed landscape architecture firm Thomas Balsley Associates. At the northwest corner of Vanderbilt Avenue and Dean Street in Prospect Heights, 550 Vanderbilt is being designed by COOKFOX Architects to create a contextual extension of the surrounding neighborhood, matching the 60-foot street wall of Dean Street and gradually setting back, giving residents expansive light and extensive views through the oversized windows. The site is served by 11 subway lines and the Long island Rail Road, all within walking distance, and offers easy access to the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges and major airports.
Views to the new eight-acre park adjoining 550 Vanderbilt are possible from the lobby, shared rooftop terrace and elevator vestibules as well as from the residences, many of which include private terraces. There are more than 10,000 square feet of amenities beyond the landscape roof terrace, including a residents' lounge with fireplace, library, children's playroom, guest chefs' kitchen for entertaining and private events, and a fitness center. There is also a live-in resident manager and 24/7 doorman and concierge service, and residents will have access to bicycle storage, private storage units and underground parking.
Residents will feel like the building is an extension of the park," said Jodi Ann Staase, managing director of new developments for Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group. "With 278 residences, it is a large building with a huge amenity and service package that Brooklyn hasn't seen before. With studios to four bedrooms, we expect to attract a diverse mix of young professionals, growing families and empty nesters looking for maintenance-free living. We have something for everyone in this building. 
550 Vanderbilt is currently under construction with first occupancy scheduled for the end of next year. Studios start in the low $600,000 range, with one-bedroom units starting at $890,000. Two bedrooms start at $1.7 million, with three bedrooms starting at $1.9 million. For more information, visit 550vanderbilt.com or call 718-679-9000. 
Looking more closely

550 Vanderbilt is bottom right in the map
Well, just in the course of the magazine, they've raised the price of the studios.

In the second ad, they identify the location as Prospect Heights, while in the first they're still claiming to be part of "Brooklyn's newest neighborhood."

The open space will not be a park, and the eight acres will only "adjoin" it by a very thin ribbon of green.

It would be hard to call the building "an extension" of the open space for ten years, until it's finished.

Most curious is the claim that the 60-foot street wall--required as part of the Atlantic Yards Design Guidelines is somehow "a contextual extension of the surrounding neighborhood, matching the 60-foot street wall of Dean Street."

Below are two photos--screenshots from Google Street View--of the Dean Street street wall below the southeast block of the project site. Most buildings are actually two, three, and four stores, some 25 to 45 feet tall.

In the screenshot immediately below, the tallest building near 550 Vanderbilt, in the distance, is 660 Dean Street,  54 feet, according to its Certificate of Occupancy.



Immediately below, the tallest building on the block, far from 550 Vanderbilt and near Carlton Avenue, is 610 Dean Street, which is 60 feet, according to its Certificate of Occupancy. So, yes, there's one building on Dean Street that's 60 feet tall. But that's no street wall.


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