Ever since the massive rezoning of the north Brooklyn waterfront in 2005, Greenpoint has lagged its sister 'hood Williamsburg in terms of glittery new high-rises dotting the industrial wastelands along the East River. But if you think the credit crunch and the lackluster reception of said condo towers has derailed Greenpoint's ambition, think again! The ArchPaper has quite the reveal: a developer's plan to build a twin-towered apartment complex (parkland! piers! water taxi! historic ships!) designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects on an India Street lot two blocks from the last G-train stop. It is, frankly, insane. And while it's sure to get the Miss Heathers of the world riled up about the future of the beloved Polish burg, we just can't get too excited about this zany scheme. Forty-story Greenpoint towers have been proposed and approved in the past, but shovel has yet to meet ground. And this one has a whole bunch of factors already going against it.
Like, but not limited to:
1) It's the work of a first-time developer. But he has experience working with Donald Trump! Yeah, as his personal lawyer.
2) It's way too big. Current zoning allows for a max tower height of 400 feet, and the bigger of the two towers here is 470 feet (47 stories). Plus, when adding up the towers and all the row buildings, that's 890,000 square feet, 230,000sf bigger than allowed as-of-right. The proposal also calls for demapping India Street and part of neighboring Java Street to create this waterfront oasis. So basically it's a whole new neighborhood. Greenpoint 2.0?
3) It needs approvals/variances from a crapload of agencies. For example, City Planning, DOT and the Parks Department have to all be on board. Not to mention support at the community level. According to ArchPaper, City Planning chair Amanda Burden has already wagged a finger at this plan in private.
4) It's in Greenpoint. Seriously, did we mention that this is in Greenpoint? Wacky!
Then again, this all might be a shock and awe campaign to sneak a slightly reduced plan through the approvals process a little down the line. For now, however, let's file under "Architecture Porn." What say you, G-Pointers?
· Greenpoint Rising [Architect's Newspaper]
UPDATE: Or maybe it's not so crazy! ArchPaper has revised its story to remove the bit about Burden not being keen on the project, adding the nugget that developer Jonathan Bernstein has "signed a contract with the city’s Economic Development Corporation to serve as the Greenpoint stop in an East River ferry service program."