Brooklyn’s First Skyscraper

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Back in June of 2014, YIMBY reported on new building applications filed by JDS Development for a tower coming to 340 Flatbush Avenue Ext., on the southeastern edge of Downtown Brooklyn. Now, we have the first rendering and actual details for the SHoP-designed tower, which will rise 1,000 feet tall, claiming the title of New York City’s tallest building outside of Manhattan, and giving Brooklyn its first legitimate supertall skyscraper.

Building applications called for a 775-foot tall structure spanning 555,734 square feet, and subsequent plans filed with the DOB were even shorter. But the actual design will majorly exceed expectations.

SHoP has familiarity in the space of supertalls, especially when working with JDS, and the pair are also working on 111 West 57th Street, in Midtown Manhattan. That building will rise approximately 1,437 feet to its roof, and will have a height:width ratio of 24:1.

340 Flatbush will be substantially less slender, and our calculations indicate a preliminary ratio of approximately 12:1. While that’s double the width of 111 West 57th Street, it will still rank among the skinniest towers in New York, especially in Brooklyn, where the behemoths that are currently under construction generally peak with boxy rooflines at the 600-foot level.

Projects in that range include the recently completed 388 Bridge Street, which stands 590 feet tall. But the 596-foot tall AVA Willoughby is nearing the finish line, and that will be topped by the 607-foot tall 333 Schermerhorn Street, also under construction. The latter project will be capped with a small attempt at ornament, but both buildings will chiefly act as aesthetic infill.

It would appear that 340 Flatbush will stand head and shoulders above anything else on the Brooklyn skyline, with over 400 feet between it and 333 Schermerhorn.

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Like 111 West 57th Street and the old Steinway Hall, this site also involves a historic structure and its repurposing. The Dime Savings Bank at 9 DeKalb Avenue was built from 1906-1908, and if 111 West 57th set any sort of precedent, it would seem that refurbishment will result in a positive transformation for the site.

SHoP’s tower will be a dramatic improvement for both the cityscape and the skyline. With slender proportions capped in pointed, Deco-tinged accents, the building will have a notable presence without overwhelming its surrounds, like the wedding cake-inspired architecture that dominated in the era of pre-1961 zoning.

One caveat to future prominence is the third tower planned in the CityPoint development, which is being helmed by Extell. Given Extell and JDS’ relationship on the future 57th Street skyline, something substantial at the CityPoint would seem more likely than not, though at this point it would not seem likely to reach quite as tall as 340 Flatbush.

The residential component will span 466,000 square feet, and be divided amongst 550 units, with approximately 90 floors in total. There will also be 140,000 square feet of commercial development, likely including the repurposed and refurbished Dime Savings Bank.

The tower has a tentative completion date of Q1 2019.

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