Saturday, September 03, 2016

Instagrammable, Pt. 2: another style blogger promotes 550 Vanderbilt (plus the "so amazing" park dodge)

OK, it's a strategy: find a style blogger with oodles of Instagram followers, and hire them to post something deeply aspirational about living in Brooklyn at the adorable 550 Vanderbilt building, while wearing some cute clothes.

It worked with Kendall Kremer of Styled Snapshots (Apartment Hunting in NYC), as I wrote, and it also worked with Brooke Tamisiea of Somewhere Lately (City Living).

Such vague titles seem pitched at wealthy suburbanites who just might want to buy an expensive condo in Brooklyn, which, as Brooke points out in the comments, would be fine for kids because "this place has a great location for shopping & food so that makes it easier, and also a park nearby is key!"

Right. That "park," due by 2025. No wonder a very small disclosure at the end states "In collaboration with BerlinRosen," which is the development's p.r. firm.

From the post

Unlike Kendall--I'm using first names because they use them--Brooke doesn't go for a photo shoot on Vanderbilt Avenue. She takes her adorable kids to the 550 Vanderbilt sales office.

She writes:
So, when we were asked to come check out Greenland Forest City Partners' new development 550 Vanderbilt in Brooklyn, we jumped at the opportunity! The units are still being built, so we went to the sales gallery to check out the floor plans & finishes.

...There will be 278 residences - a mix of studios to four-bedrooms including duplexes, maisonettes with private entrances (yes please!) and penthouses (in my dreams ha!). One of my favorite parts (and a "must" in my opinion) of living in the city was having a beautiful outdoor space in the middle of the concrete jungle, and 550 Vanderbilt will have a rooftop terrace - perfect for summer nights with friends or family BBQs! Possibly the best feature is the 8-acre brand new Pacific Park that the building actually sits amazing, I can't wait to see how beautiful it is! Obviously living near a park in the city is difficult, let alone in the middle of one!
(Emphasis added)

What's "within" a "park"?

Well, it depends on what the words "park" and "within" mean, given that 550 Vanderbilt is at the southeast corner of project site, with the privately-operated, publicly accessible "open space"--not a "park"--not due to be finished until 2025, at best.

Let's recall what Kent Barwick, then president of the Municipal Art Society, wrote in July 2006 regarding Atlantic Yards:
Instead the developer has proposed removing public streets to create super-blocks and creating a "publicly accessible" park that would be the backyard of free-standing residential towers. The problem with this approach is that has not worked in the past. Similar enclaves in New York, like Stuyvesant Town, have fine park space for those who live there, but because the open space is situated behind buildings, members of the public feel discouraged from using it.
An alternative approach would be to learn from previous large-scale development in New York City and not only keep existing streets but add new ones -- as Rockefeller Center and Battery Park City have done -- to improve circulation and better connect the surrounding neighborhoods. To make it truly public, the park space could be bordered by streets rather than buildings, as is the case with all other successful public parks in New York City. And instead of tall, deadening towers set in park space, the developer could build continuous blockfronts with inviting retail to ensure lively streets.

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