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Touring the Model Unit at Pierhouse, Brooklyn Heights's Controversial Condos

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All photos via Will Femia for Curbed

The minute you walk into the three-bedroom model unit at Pierhouse, the contentious Brooklyn Bridge Park development, you're immediately struck by the breathtaking view. Both the master bedroom and the living room (with an 88-square foot outdoor terrace) afford splendid views of the East River and the Financial District skyscrapers that rise beyond it. It's easy to picture waking up, reading the newspaper, and sipping a hot cup of coffee, all with that view in the background; it immediately fills you with a sense of calm. Curbed recently got an exclusive tour of the model unit accompanied by David Von Spreckelsen of Toll Brothers City Living, the developer on the project, who also had some thoughts on recent lawsuits leveled against the development.

"Calm" isn't necessarily a word that has been associated with the development: Many Brooklyn Heights residents have opposed the building's construction since it was announced, on the grounds that it blocks the Brooklyn Bridge. The advocacy group Save the View Now recently filed another challenge over the building's bulkheads, alleging that Pierhouse violates the zoning laws of the scenic view district established in the area. The developers, meanwhile, maintain that they've done nothing wrong. "We've won consistently in court and we haven't been slowed down by it," Von Spreckelsen said on the tour.

The model unit is a duplex-style apartment, like several others in the building, and is located on the fifth floor of the larger of the two residential buildings, 90 Furman Street. (The other is located at 130 Furman Street.) The interiors showcase the minimalist style now considered de rigueur for new developments in Brooklyn: There are 600-year-old reclaimed heartwood pine floors throughout; walnut cabinets and marble countertops; and an elegant bathtub placed in the center of the bathroom. The development as a whole features 106 one- to-five bedroom units, along with a 192-room hotel that residents can access by signing up for a special amenities package, according to Von Spreckelsen.

What those will include: 24-hour lobbies, multiple fitness centers, a meditation room, residents' lounge, valet parking, a children's playroom, a pet wash, and refrigerated storage, and a 20,000-square-foot event space, along with access to the hotel's spa and a rooftop pool. The developers are also planning a farm-to-table restaurant for the hotel, though a partner for that has yet to be announced.

Sales launched in 2014, and according to Von Spreckelsen, 78 of the 106 units have already sold. Thanks to the recently-unveiled model unit—it only opened to the public this fall—interest has been ramping up in the remaining units. Apartments start at $2.85 million, and a penthouse at 90 Furman Street is currently listed at $10.49 million. The residences at Pierhouse will be ready for occupancy by June 2016, and the hotel will follow sometime that summer.

UPDATE: The A/C unit displayed in the living room is only being used temporarily for the model unit. It will be removed when the project is complete.

· By Blocking View of the Brooklyn Bridge, a Building Incites a Battle [New York Times]
· Pierhouse at Brooklyn Bridge Park [Official]
All the Pierhouse Coverage [Curbed]


90 Furman Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201