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Long-promised Fort Greene cultural center finally makes progress

The 50,000-square-foot center will house several Brooklyn cultural institutions

A rendering of a lobby area with floor-to-ceiling windows, orange seats, and silver decorations hanging from the ceiling.
Rendering of BAM’s cinema lobby at the center.
Courtesy of TEN Arquitectos and Andrea Steele Architecture/NYCEDC

A long-awaited cultural center that’s part of the 32-story building at 300 Ashland Place in Fort Greene has finally broken ground. The center was negotiated as part of a deal between developers Two Trees and the city, to build additional residential density at the site, but progress has not exactly been swift.

Two Trees bought the site, a former parking lot, from NYC’s Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) in 2013, with the building eventually opening to residents in 2017. A public plaza surrounding the building debuted in the summer of 2017, wile the development’s retail components including an Apple Store and a 365 by Whole Foods Market opened in late 2017 and early 2018, respectively. But early this year, in February, EDC and Two Trees were still finalizing the deal to build the cultural center.

The 50,000-square-foot space, which will be called L10 Arts and Cultural Center, will have three cinemas and other spaces for the Brooklyn Academy of Music; a gallery and performance space for the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts; a new branch for the Brooklyn Public Library; and studios and performance space for 651 ARTS.

Located within 300 Ashland and operated by the city, the center—designed by TEN Arquitectos, Andrea Steele Architecture, and built by Skanska—is expected to be completed by winter 2021.

“The design elevates the public walk to connect the community to new resources,” Andrea Steele, principal of Andrea Steele Architecture, said in a statement. “While the exterior landscaped terrace has already become a vibrant destination and venue for dance performances, concerts, markets and festivals; the new cultural spaces will bring critical activation and extend the public realm within, resulting in a 360-degree panorama of city life.”

A ticketing area with a wooden wall and beamed white ceilings.
The ticketing area at BAM.
A movie theatre with a screen that reads “BAMcinematek.”
BAM’s cinema.
A space with beamed white ceilings, grey columns, and several seating areas.
A rendering of MoCADA.
A library with beamed ceilings and several columns.
Brooklyn Public Library’s new branch.

300 Ashland Pl

300 Ashland Place, Brooklyn, NY 11217