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Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park infographics: what's built/what's coming/what's missing, who's responsible, + project FAQ/timeline (pinned post)

As two-tower 595 Dean nears completion, marketing ramps up; affordability unspecified, but lottery in 2023. Chelsea Piers opens in June. Pizza joint signed.

Updated and corrected: the initial version of this post suggested that Chelsea Piers might open in February.

Well, developer TF Cornerstone is steadily completing the 798-unit, two-tower complex (B12 & B13) known collectively as 595 Dean Street, hence new renderings and recent articles in two real estate-friendly publications, plus the launch of two websites, 595 Dean St Luxury Brooklyn Apartments, for the market-rate units. and TFC 595 Dean St--Rent Stabilized Luxury in Prospect Heights, for the "affordable" ones.
Images from 595 Dean web sites

(I'm using titles, not the URLs)

So what have we learned?

Not "affordable housing"

Well, they're not promoting "affordable housing" but rather "rent stabilized luxury," because the 240 "affordable" units, however below market, surely won't be cheap.

Tellingly, they haven't yet listed rents--or even what percentage of Area Median Income (AMI) they're targeting. (The lottery likely won't open until early 2023.)

But it's almost certain that the 240 rent-stabilized units will be for middle-income households earning 130% of AMI, as with the two most recent Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park towers to open, 662 Pacific St. (B15, aka Plank Road) and 18 Sixth Ave. (B4, aka Brooklyn Crossing).

Also almost certain: TF Cornerstone, recognizing reality, won't market the "affordable" units for the maximum levels allowable, which under elevated 2022 guidelines could mean studios for $3,035, 1-BRs for $3,253, and 2-BRs for $3,903.

Plank Road and Brooklyn Crossing offered considerable discounts, at least for smaller units, off the 2021 guidelines, as I wrote:
  • studio: $1,547 and $1,905 (allowable: $2,263)
  • 1-BR: $2,273 and $2,390 (allowable: $2,838)
  • 2-BR: $3,219 and $3,344 (Plank Road: (allowable: $3,397)
I will note that, as shown in the annotated screenshot at right, it's impossible to sign up to be alerted of the housing lottery without opting in and agreeing to receive additional marketing emails. That's against TF Cornerstone's announced privacy policy.

Market-rate rents aren't listed yet, but they're presumably within range of TF Cornerstone's closest Brooklyn building, 33 Bond in Downtown Brooklyn, which has the current availabilities: studio, $3,225; 1-BR, $4,330; 2-BR, $6,495 (albeit a penthouse).

New York YIMBY on 11/18/22 published Two-Tower Development At 595 Dean Street Nears Completion In Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, noting that "595 Dean Street is expected to open in early 2023 with the lottery expected to go live on housing connect shortly after."

Commenters on the website thought the buildings were dull. The Commercial Observer 11/18/22 published Pacific Park’s 595 Dean Street Inches Toward the Finish Line, noting that "the western tower will be clad in red brick, in a nod to many of the adjacent buildings, while the eastern tower is covered in a mix of gray metal facade paneling and gray brick." Is that supposed to reference the adjacent 550 Vanderbilt?

Prospect Heights > Pacific Park

The marketing does mention the larger Pacific Park project or, rather "Pacific Park’s first major greenspace," including "3 plazas, a playground, and a dog run spread out across nearly 2 acres of public park space."

(That's out of 8 promised acres.)

But it emphasizes the Prospect Heights neighborhood; the location is even said to be "steps from Prospect Park, surrounded by the charm of brownstone Brooklyn."

Steps? Well, maybe about 1,400 of them, at 2,000 steps per mile. The whole point of this development was the new open space, not the park .7-mile away!

The website promises "Spacious, light-filled apartments with breathtaking views of Brownstone Brooklyn." 

Well, the deceptive image above left points to Fort Greene and includes the Atlantic Terminal 4B public housing tower, which is 31 stories, 310 feet, and considerably taller than the 28-story East Tower and 23-story West Tower that are part of 595 Dean.

Similarly, the "Life at 595" screenshot below claims that the layouts highlight the "incredible views of brownstone Brooklyn."

What's missing, of course, is any image of the three Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park towers (B8, B9, B10) directly north of 595 Dean, as shown in the image below.

Similarly, as to the claim of a "Brooklyn Oasis," above right, it won't be too calm if/when the two-phase platform, and six towers, are built over the railyard to the north.

Amenities and Chelsea Piers 

The west tower offers a Roof Deck, Cardio Room, Pool & Sundeck, Children's Playroom, Dog Grooming, Bicycle Storage, and Laundry. The east tower offers a Clubroom, Roof Terrace, BBQ Grills, Lounge, HomeWork (co-working space), Game Room, and Screening Room.

Given setbacks at either eight or nine stories, those horizontal areas can supply outdoor spaces for the buildings.

Only the Chelsea Piers fitness center/fieldhouse, accessible through the east tower, is marked as requiring an extra fee from market-rate tenants, though I imagine the laundry isn't free. 

For the rent-stabilized tenants, there will be fees for Amenity & BBQ Terrace, Pool Terrace, Laundry Room, and Dog Grooming, 

Chelsea Piers, at least according to TF Cornerstone's retail brochure (at bottom) for 595 Dean--marketing an "Exceptional 1,890 SF Retail Opportunity"--has occupancy "February 2023," according to the document--but it's June 2023, according to Chelsea Piers.

Either way, that'll be a testament to overtime work, including weekends.

Unclear is how well the block will accommodate the users--teams, groups?--of the more than 100,000 square feet of space, most below ground.

The Commercial Observer cited a 15-foot-wide underground passageway "that gradually rises to ground level, following the elevation change in the property," including many of the amenity spaces, plus an entrance to Chelsea Piers.

From marketing brochure
One new tenant: Simo Pizza

That marketing brochure mentions a "Recent 1,522 SF lease with Simo Pizza," which has not been publicly announced.

According to the pizzeria's website:
SIMÒ takes its name from its founder, Simone Falco, whose family nicknamed him Simò. Simone has channeled his roots from his hometown of Napoli to bring NYC SIMÒ PIZZA, a fast-casual dining concept.
New York Eater in December 2017 said it was "joining the slew of new fast-casual pizza restaurants to hit New York City recently?" It currently has locations in the Meatpacking District and near New York University in Manhattan.

The Ward Bakery's memorialized

From the Commercial Observer:
Finally, the architects incorporated pieces of the Ward Bakery, a 19th century [not quite] commercial bakery that once occupied the site and was demolished a decade ago.
“A lot of its history remained through tiles and balustrades and railings,” said Honyi Wang, another architect at Handel. “We’re using some of that in the park to recall what was happening here. Some of it is displayed exhibition-style in a plaque in the center, and some of it is just used in new construction. We’re using the railings and balustrades to make new tables.”
Municipal Art Society, 2006
That has some slight echo of industrial preservation that we've seen in Gantry Plaza State Park in Long Island City, Ikea Park in Red Hook, and Domino Park in Williamsburg--in all cases sincere homages, but a bit ghoulish.

When neighbors were told in November 2019 by a representative of Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects (MNLA) that "interpretative exhibit paying homage" to the Ward Bakery (1911 to 1995) would be included, the suggestion provoked some sardonic laughter, perhaps because they remembered the city wouldn't preserve it, though some influential voices suggested it could and should be reused.

That said, the newcomers won't remember.

How many units?

By the way, that brochure has a graphic, excerpted and annotated below, with a math error.

The number of units associated with the towers planned for the railyard are mostly reasonable estimates, based on the expected square footage.

While B4, at the northeast corner of the arena block (but west of Sixth Avenue) indeed has 858 units, annotated in yellow, it's not a future development, but already open.

But B5, next to it, will not have the 858 units annotated in blue. While previous filings suggested 650 units, the most recent information I've seen is 682 units.

So far, units constructed: 363+303+858+312+298+798+278 [not 275] = 3,210 units, leaving 3,220 left of the 6,430 approved.

So if the six towers over the railyard include the following totals: 682+550+588+521+500+408 = 3,249 units, somewhat over the maximum but surely subject to revision.

The brochure is a wee bit sloppy, stating "Pacific Park is a mixed-use, 22-acre redevelopment project situated between Fort Greene, Boerum Hill, Clinton Heights and Park Slope." Um, it's in Prospect Heights but near Clinton Hill.