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New 312-foot residential tower at Atlantic/Vanderbilt would match height of future (bulkier) catercorner Pacific Park tower

Rendering by Morris Adjmi Architects helpfully
includes vaportecture to represent future B10
It's Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park-adjacent, and clearly influenced by it.

As reported by the Brooklyn Daily Eagle (and then NY Yimby and Brownstoner), a 29-story, 312-foot residential tower is slated to built at the northeast corner of Vanderbilt Avenue and Atlantic Avenue, with the retail component stretching east along Atlantic to Clinton Avenue.

That's one block from the extant 550 Vanderbilt (202 feet, but add 40 feet for mechanicals), aka B11, and catercorner from the future B10, at 313 feet, at the northeast corner of the Pacific Park site, requiring a deck over the railyard.

It's a sign that, as predicted, Atlantic Avenue, a wide boulevard, would start seeing more height and bulk--though in this case, more than expected, thanks to a clever strategy. (How long until the McDonald's across the street at the southeast corner of Vanderbilt and Atlantic, with its huge parking lot, goes down for a big project?)

Mostly apartments

The new building, known as 550 Clinton Avenue, would be about 237,000 square feet, according to NY YIMBY. With 202,041 square feet of residential, averaging (just a guess) 800 square feet, that's about 252 apartments. Presumably they would be using the open space across the street, behind the Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park towers.

The total bulk is only about half planned for the wider B10, at 475,000 square feet. Note that B9, one building west of B10, would be larger: 419 feet and 674,000 square feet. See image below from presentation to the LPC.
Note that 550 Vanderbilt is actually 202 feet, not 186 feet.
Behind the maneuver

The height and bulk of the new project relies on air rights from the historic but weathered Church of St. Luke and St. Matthew on Clinton Avenue. Despite the 550 Clinton designation, the bulk of the project would flank Vanderbilt Avenue. The closest subway would be the C train at Clinton-Washington Avenues, along Fulton Street to the north.

The designer is Morris Adjmi Architects, the firm behind 465 Pacific and the Wythe Hotel, among others.

As reported by the New York Post in 2015, developer Jeffrey Gerson of Hope Street Capital bought 99-year leases on the properties fronting Atlantic Avenue, mostly auto-related uses--repairs, car wish--but also including the bar/restaurant Hot Bird.
Part of the current site, via Google Street View
Approvals needed

Hope Street must get a special zoning and approval from the Landmarks Preservation Commission regarding the plan to preserve the church. The LPC has asked for modifications. The Eagle cited criticism from the Historic Districts Council (HDC), calling the design "stark to a fault." 

Indeed, it's hardly consonant with nearby historic properties. Then again, if the pre-cast concrete facade seems out of place, as HDC argued, I suspect defenders will say that it reflects the neighbor across Atlantic Avenue: 550 Vanderbilt.

Lots of retail
Looking west along Atlantic Avenue

The building, according to NY YIMBY, would contain a significant amount of retail space: 34,258 square feet. That could be a risk for the developer, as it competes with extant retail and that planned in Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park buildings.

Perhaps Hope Street is optimistic about the arrival of those huge residential buildings planned for the railyard deck, delivering new customers and/or expects other development nearby. 

Or maybe they've just done the math regarding 470 Vanderbilt, the office building across the street which is occupied mainly by the Human Resources Administration. With 400,000 square feet on that lease, that means 1,800 employees, not necessarily well-paid, and 1,500 clients who don't have a lot to spend. But that's still a lot of daily foot traffic.


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