|Photo of Highest and Best Use, Queens Museum|
Work by Lawrence Mesich; click to enlarge
In the Queens International 2016 exhibition (closes July 31!) at the Queens Museum comes Highest and Best Use (388 Bridge St.), From the blurb:
In Highest and Best Use, Lawrence Mesich wryly examines the ongoing effects of the 2004 rezoning of Downtown Brooklyn. The digitally manipulated photographs in this series elongate the facades of each newly-built residential tower that breaks the current building height record for Queens’ neighboring borough. The title, a real estate valuation term, invokes the absurdity of how developers describe the ostensible success of this incremental change in zoning laws.(Emphasis added)
The change in zoning was more than incremental--it was a gold rush. On his web site, Mesich explains that this is an ongoing project:
Highest and Best Use wryly examines the ongoing effects of the 2004 rezoning of Downtown Brooklyn. A rash of lucrative residential developments have pushed out long-time residents and businesses and overtaxed area resources at an alarming pace, while the need for new commercial space continues to be underserved. The opening of the area's air rights has set off a height race among developers, with each successive new building breaking the height record of the one built immediately before it.About 388 Bridge and the Atlantic Yards implication
The digitally manipulated photographs in this series extend the facades of each newly built residential tower that breaks the current height record for the borough. The title of the piece, a real estate valuation term describing the optimal use of a property which produces the highest possible profit, was invoked by Tucker Reed (President, Downtown Brooklyn Partnership) in a statement to the press while the group was promoting its assessment of the rezoning in 2014. The elongated facades coupled with absurd, oblique industry terminology produce a counter-narrative to the rezoning's ostensible success.
This is an ongoing series; a new image will be generated for each building that breaks the current height record for the borough.
Between Fulton and Willoughby streets, 388 Bridge bills itself as Brooklyn's tallest residential building, though at 595 feet it's about the height of the nearby Avalon Willoughby West and, oddly enough, does not appear in the slide below, prepared by Greenland Forest City Partners (GFCP).
As noted in my recent article for City Limits on plans for Site 5 of Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park, GFCP has floated plans to build a two-tower project that could extent 785 feet--the tallest building in Brooklyn at the time, though it will be eclipsed by a "supertall" next to Junior's. See the slide from GFCP's presentation.