There are abandoned Williamsburg construction pits, and then there's Hot Karl Beach, ruler of them all. While the neighborhood gained the rep during the credit crunch as the city's ground zero for stalled development, Hot Karl Beach?the incredibly massive hole in the ground at 95 Bedford Avenue slated to become an eight-story apartment building designed by architect Karl Fischer?became a particular fan favorite for its man-made lakes and petting zoo. Then the party was over, and we waited. And waited. For this day.
A Curbed tipster writes, "Site looked active when I passed it yesterday. It was at night, but concrete looked recently poured, and the trailer connected to the site had its lights on, plus heavy machinery on site. I think things are moving along." Can it really be? It appears so! A Stop Work Order was partially rescinded in October, and Karl Fischer's website now shows what we believe to be a recent rendering of 95 Bedford (if it's old and outdated let us know) that sports an estimated 2012 completion date. Guess the beach club won't be hiring Zack Morris and the gang this summer.
If this design is the ultimate outcome, the well-known site (a former paint manufacturing plant right neat McCarren Park) is getting quite the special building. Is it just us, or does it combine every Williamsburg building trend of the past decade? The arched warehouse windows down below, echoing the neighborhood's industrial past. The different facades to divvy up the project's streetwall-dominating bulk à la the Edge. The glassy condo crap up top. Are we looking at Mr. Fischer's Opus?
Long ago it was said that the mystery building rising here would be 351 units. That's no longer the case, but it's still a big boy. The most recent revised plans we could find describe 262 apartments, retail space, parking for 144 cars and a cellar swimming pool. Another 200+ apartments on the Williamsburg market? We'll have to see how that plays out, but at least the legacy of Hot Karl Beach's splish-splashing fun will live on in the basement.
· Portfolio: 95 Bedford Avenue [Karl Fischer Architect]
· Schedule A: 95 Bedford Avenue / 180 North 12th Street [DOB]
· 95 Bedford Avenue coverage [Curbed]