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Dumbo residential conversion sent back for tweaks by LPC

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The residential conversion of this former paint manufacturing facility may create nearly 50 apartments

Via Alloy Development

Prolific Dumbo developers Alloy Development (they’re behind the townhouses on Pearl Street and the waterfront condo at 1 John Street) are looking to transform a pair of formerly industrial buildings into a residential project. To that end, the developers, who also serve as the architects on their projects, appeared before the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission on Tuesday to seek approvals for their development.

The buildings proposed for transformation are a five-story red brick structure at 50 Jay Street and a seven-story concrete building next door at 42 Jay Street, and while these two buildings appear as distinct structures, they’re actually connected on the inside.

Most recently, the red brick building served as offices for the drug and alcohol rehab center Phoenix House, and the concrete building served as an in-patient treatment facility. Phoenix House has since relocated, and Alloy purchased the buildings earlier this year. Alloy had in fact been in discussions to purchase the buildings five years ago, but the deal did not go through at that time. Prior to its use as a rehab center, the buildings served as a paint manufacturing factory for several years.

The existing 50 Jay Street.
Alloy Development
The existing 42 Jay Street.
Alloy Development

As part of their proposal, Alloy wants to add a single-story addition to the red brick building, and a two-story addition to the concrete building. The developer is looking to create about 46 apartments, which suggests condos, but details about this are yet to be finalized. The residential building will have a new address of 168 Plymouth Street, and the development will feature an interior courtyard.

The project has received the support of the Dumbo Neighborhood Alliance. Doreen Gallo, a member of the organization, spoke at Tuesday’s LPC meeting and said “this will be a beautiful enhancement of one of the neighborhood’s favorite buildings.”

Brooklyn Community Board 2 did not make a determination one way or the other but felt that the additions weren’t contextual, according to LPC vice chair Frederick Bland, who read out the Board’s position at the meeting.

The proposed new entrance and interior courtyard.
Alloy Development

LPC Commissioners, for the most part, were supportive of the project. Some felt the two-story addition on the concrete structure was a bit large and needed some sort of setback. Others weren’t fond of the idea of bringing a set of stairs on the ground level of the red brick building out on to the street; and others still expressed concerns about the color of concrete building. All the proposed changes were however minor, and the LPC encouraged Alloy to return to them with a revised proposal. A date for that has yet to be set, but this project is certainly close to approval.