The dual-building rental development at 363 and 365 Bond Street is the first of its kind along the Gowanus Canal, the namesake neighborhood's relic of industry. Although the canal is famously a Superfund site, the development team behind the project believe it's time to start embracing the canal's awkward beauty—and everything about the project, from its esplanades to its programming, facilitates that.
The rentals are rising at the height of the area's popularity, but plans to redevelop the canal-fronting lots have been in place for nearly a decade. In 2009, former site owner Toll Brothers won a zoning variance to build housing on the former manufacturing lot. After the EPA deemed the canal a Superfund site in 2010, the developer ditched its plans for some 400 condos. Developer Lightstone Group picked up the property and with GHWArchitects recrafted the building envelope already approved by the city into the 700-rental complex it is today.
Everyone has a misconception and lack of understanding of the whole area.
"Everyone has a misconception and lack of understanding of the whole area," Lightstone's Senior Vice President of Development Scott Avram said on a recent site tour. Avram was talking about one of the development's more unusual amenities, a partnership with the Gowanus Dredgers Club who since 1999 have famously, or infamously, led canoe trips along the canal. The Dredgers have found a new home and storage facility in the base of 365 Bond Street and, in PR parlance, share a vision with Lightstone to activate the canal through recreation.
One of the major concerns surrounding the site is its vulnerability to flooding. Avram says the entire property was elevated above heights recommended after Hurricane Sandy, and the buildings even sit a foot or two higher than that. But the site, at the bottom of a downward grade, isn't immune to runoff. Sponge Park designed by dlandstudio bookends the development's esplanade at Second Street.
Tenants of 365 Bond Street, who have already begun moving in, will find themselves welcomed into the building by a soaring lobby presided over by a map of turn-of-the-century Brooklyn. A long hallway lined by amenities shoots off of its east side. The building's 40,000 square feet of amenities include a kitchen and dining area, lounge, game room, gym, spinning room, and yoga room that are collectively known as Club Bond, which residents will have to purchase memberships for. Most of the building's amenities are reserved for tenants, but the community can take advantage of its 200-car underground parking garage as well as the waterfront esplanade that will, when it's complete, connect to Carroll Street. The team is planning a restaurant with outdoor seating along the canal in the base of 363 Bond, which will be complete next year.
There are 99 different layouts throughout 365 Bond, which varies in height from five to six to eight to 12 floors. Avram says the variations are intended to create a boutique atmosphere on par with the buildings in neighboring Carroll Gardens and Park Slope. And like residents of Carroll Gardens and Park Slope, tenants in the development will be paying up. Studios in the development, which include both alcove and non-alcove layouts, start in the low $2,000s. One-bedrooms ask from the low $3,000s, two-bedrooms from the low $5,000s, and the development's four townhouses are asking upwards of $8,000 per month.
Because the surrounding neighborhoods are so low-slung, apartments that surround the building's exterior get skyline views from the fourth floor up. A huge bulk of the apartments face onto an intimate inner courtyard, which Avram says is the view he prefers.