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DoBro's New Residential Towers Add Height, Lack Good Looks

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The last several years have seen a series of tall towers sprout from the Downtown Brooklyn skyline, but as an article in today's Journal points out, these new edifices leave much to be desired in the looks department. The title of the borough's tallest building keeps passing from one development to the next, but none of these buildings?the Brooklyner, 388 Bridge Street, or Avalon Willoughby West, to name a few?offer any architectural integrity. "They are," writes the Journal, "in short, places from which to watch Manhattan, not things to be seen themselves." We compiled a list of these new height seekers, from tallest to shortest, pairing them with a few choice words from the Journal:

1. Avalon Willoughby West
Height: 57 stories, 596 feet
Status: Under construction
The Skinny: This tower will have 861 rental units, and it will take the title of being Brooklyn's tallest building.

2. 388 Bridge Street by Avalon Bay
Height: 53 stories, 590 feet
Status: Opening in 2014
The Skinny: Before Avalon Willoughby West becomes the tallest building, 388 Bridge will take the designation. It will have 378 units, 234 rentals and 144 condos. The Journal has this to say about it: "James Davidson, a partner with SLCE Architects, the designers of 388 Bridge, noted that the building was 'designed with a faceted floor plan providing numerous corners to take advantage of paramount views of the Manhattan and Brooklyn skylines.' The building unquestionably does that, but unfortunately doesn't offer much ornament to the neighborhood itself."

3. The Hub at 333 Schermerhorn
Height: 53 stories
Status: Under construction, completion set for late 2014
The Skinny: Developed by the Steiner brothers, The Hub will have 720 rentals, 20 percent of which will be affordable.

4. The Brooklyner at 111 Lawrence Street
Height: 51 stories
Status: Complete in 2009
The Skinny: "The Brooklyner," writes the Journal, "offers a dream residence to those who wish to live in the world's tallest Fourth of July wafer cookie." An endless source of entertainment and silly rules, this rental building has studio, one-, and two-bedrooms from $3,115.

5. 66 Rockwell Place (formerly known as 29 Flatbush Avenue)
Height: 44 stories
Status: Under construction, leasing should start this summer
The Skinny: As described by the Journal, "66 Rockwell Place looks like a dull slab to which a series of balconies don't so much add variety as incoherence. Nothing about the half-built appearance of the tower suggests there is much hope for a midcourse correction." This one will have 326 units.

6. Oro
Height: 40 stories
Status: Built, has units for sale and rent
The Skinny: Once the poster child for arrested development in Brooklyn, Oro has seen strong sales. That still doesn't make up for its poor design: "The Oro is an ungainly marriage of glass and brick that, from a distance, looks not unlike lacquered cardboard."

7. Toren
Height: 38 Stories
Status: Built in 2009.
The Skinny: The Journal says, "The turbocharged Toren at least tried for something distinctive with its rippling facade, a spot of monochrome Madras amid the drab fashions of Flatbush Avenue."

8. Oro 2
Height: 35 stories
Status: under construction
The Skinny: The sister tower to Oro will have 208 units. Construction began late last year.

9. Two Trees BAM Tower
Height: 32 stories
Status: Planned, going through ULURP process
The Skinny: Part of the BAM Cultural District development, this tower by Two Trees will have designated space for arts groups. The Journal tries to have a positive outlook on its design: "Enrique Norten's slim BAM South tower offers some hope of distinction from early renderings."
· Brooklyn's Bid for Higher Buildings Fails to Impress [WSJ]

388 Bridge Street

388 Bridge St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Toren

150 Myrtle Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11201