Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Beer Table opening soon.

There Will Be Beer.

Pine no longer. The proprietors of Beer Table, Justin and Tricia Philips, are promising to seduce us with rare and special brews in an intimate setting. I can't remember hearing anyone repeat those exact vows since maybe back in my Milwaukee high school daze, when that usually meant sharing a warm 12 pack of PBR's in the rear seat of my Mustang... With my girlfriend... At the drive-in... And did they actually say preserved snacks? How did they know Pink Pickled Eggs are considered an aphrodisiac where I come from?

about beer table
"Though we are not open yet, we just found out that we've been conditionally approved for our liquor license. Once we actually receive the document (hopefully this week), we will open for business! It is possible that we will open on Saturday, February 2nd at 5 PM, but we cannot confirm this until Friday. Please sign onto our e-mail invitation list for an official update."

We look forward to sharing a beer with each of you soon!

If they have beer, and if they have tables... what more could someone ask for.

Look for new beer @ 427 B 7th Avenue (between 14th & 15th Streets in Park Slope), Brooklyn, NY 11215

18-20 Jackson Place!!!!!!!!!!

an anyone say this new Zeldin /BK Development is not an improvement over the vacant lot left in the middle of Jackson Place? Anyone... Anyone? Come on this is your chance.
It surely is an improvement over the long forsaken and ignored, carelessly abandoned and neglected, rotting, grievously half demolished, imminently perilous to life, eye sore of a building that, just recently last August, collapsed to the ground, causing the next door neighbors to be suddenly vacated from their homes, and the street closed while tax payers paid for the removal of the debris. www.Brownstoner.com had this to say, and this, back then.

From the BK Development web Page...
"About Us

When making an important investment decision such as buying a home or a commercial space, it is crucial to go with a company you trust. BK Developers Inc has been building projects in the New York and New Jersey Area for over 10 years. Our contractors have the best reputations in the field because of the quality of work that they do and the attention and care they put into every project. We use the best materials and appliances and try to stay on top of the latest developments and innovations in the industry to bring you the best possible end product.

We have only one thing in mind when we build – You! Our goal is for you to not only be satisfied with your purchase, but fall in love with it. We don’t just build to meet demand in any particular area, we choose every project very carefully to make sure we build a one of a kind, uniquely designed and perfectly situated home or office.

Please be confident that you are paying your hard earned money for an outstanding property that will be a joy to you and your family for years to come as well as great investment in your future."

© BK Developers Inc

Zeldin Empire tightens its grip over South Slope

Brace yourselves Sixteenth Street'rs, the rumor appear to be true. Mark Zeldin, aka 224 Development LLC, is the new owner and present developer of the Ganmar Electronics, Inc. building site. Strolled by the other day and saw what folks in these parts know all too well, the tell tale sign that another demolition is on the way, The dreaded red skull and cross bones. Keep Out Poison! Quality of Life Apocalypse to follow. A warning to rats and local citizens alike.

What to expect when your expecting?

Current Applicant of Record: Dmitriy Shenker Phone: 718-259-0070
Shenker Architects
1539 Bath Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11228
Professional Title: RA License Number: 24190

Filing Representative: Shenker Dmitriy Phone: 718-259-0070
Shenker Architects
1539 Bath Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11228

Metes and Bounds:
Beginning at a point on the SOUTHWEST side of 16th Street
Distant 180.63 Ft. NORTHWEST of the corner formed by the intersection of 16th Street and 6th Avenue

Building Dimension: No. Stories: 4
Height: 49 Dwelling Units: 6

Zeldin and BK Developers: Southern Slope Style
Anyone living with in a sigh's distance is well aware of the prolific Mr. Zeldin and BK Developers. They are responsible for the project next door 226-228-230 16th Street as well as the beauty across the way at 245 16th Street.
They just about own 12th Street. They have 245 12th Street and 394 12th Street and 362 12th Street and last but not least 370 12th Street.

IMBY visited one of their construction sites early on when things didn't seem to be going so well. Remember this? Or remember this disaster? Not a very good start. Left a bad taste in the neighborhoods mouth. And don't get me started on 20 Jackson Place.

Before we run out of red ink we will leave you with some additional information (ammunition?) about the site. Two views from the gods. They show the vast potential if the surrounding properties including the wandering parking garages not visible from the street can be acquired as well. Our prayers are with you folks living down hill from IMBY's corporate offices.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

614-616-618-620 Seventh Avenue a.k.a. 322-326 23rd Street, a.k.a. The Minerva Building

A rose by any name...

The digging starts in wild, wild, Greenwood Heights and the digging stops just as quickly.
I can't figure it out. So why would anyone go to all the trouble to file structural and underpinning plans with the city and have them approved only to start off tunneling under your neighbors property like a bunch of rabid prairie dogs without the proper safe guards in place? No shoring? It must be what they call in the foundation business as Value Engineering. Most Brooklyn dirt guys view these plans as little more than suggestions. Where have we seen this way of working before? Let me think... Remember this? Let's start over from the top, boys.

Good as new. The holes been filled, but not before the DoB unzippered its full wrath upon the poor unsuspecting fools.
DOB Violation # 012508CEX0703DP

DOB Violation # 012508CEX0704DP

DOB Violation # 102508CEX0701DP

Saturday, January 19, 2008

1502 8th Avenue Assured.

Steel beams shoring up the rear facade of 1502 8th Avenue.

The support bracing was fabricated in front of 406 15th Street and then hoisted up into place in one piece. There were no fatalities.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Unsafe Conditions?

So today they started to shore up 1502 8th Avenue. It didn't last very long. The "police" showed up and the work stopped shortly after. I'm not sure if they were part of the Buildings Department Emergency Enforcement Unit. They were wearing dark green uniforms that said NYC on them.

The contractors were using the always on site, large orange telescoping fork lift with a yellow strap looped over one of it's forks attached to this 30' steel I-beam. They were attempting to hoist it up and back against the rear wall of 1502 and then suddenly, they retreated. It must not have looked to safe. Someone made a call to 311. Complaint no. 103. I'm guessing the residents of 1502 are not that happy... you know... living in a damaged building right this minute.

Of coarse, when the Department of Buildings arrived there was "no crane on the site". Is a fork lift that can reach 5 stories considered a crane?

Monday, January 14, 2008

Slowly, and Sorely Missed.

The masons have left and work has all but stopped at 406 15th Street. Progress on the Armory Plaza is at a stand still.

Behind the scenes several lawsuits are working their way through Brooklyn's court system. I have refrained from discussing any of them. Frankly I don't know that much as to what's been going on. However, one case in particular could be the reason behind our recent weeks of solitude. It may be that a judge has granted a Temporary Restraining Order preventing any work to continue on the Armory Plaza until 1502 8th Avenue is protected from the threat of any further damage. It seems like certain conditions must be met before the TRO can be removed. These might include that the neighboring building is to be shored up and the foundation eventually underpinned. Not as easy as it sounds. There is only a small alley between the two buildings and the holes for the steel tube pilings were bored down some 60 feet along the property line. The multi-cellared basement is more than 30 feet deep. If the old stone foundation of 1502 has been compromised during the boring process, how is it possible to find undisturbed ground beneath it and successfully underpin? Excavate to below the pilings? Sixty feet? Seems like a daunting task... now.

According to the Department of Buildings web site several building permits have been acquired by Immobiliaria Construction Corp. to complete the work. It's hard to know for sure but this company may be the same company that did the original boring and foundation work for the Armory Plaza. Demarara Engineering is the company hired by the LoCiceros to supervise their previous excavation work.
I wonder if this required underpinning will continue on down the property line to include the vacated 1504 8th Avenue, the Memorial Baptist Church, or even the properties cracking along the 16th Street line?

Permits: Demarara Engineering and IMMOBILIARIA CONSTRUCTION CORP Temporary Shoring Sidewalk Shed Scaffolding Facade Repair

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

18th Street secedes from Windsor Terrace!

Brooklyn Realtors Prepared to Recognize "Prospect Bluffs" as Sovereign Entity.

It may have been the frightening popularity of those criminally ornate, polished stainless steel entrance doors and gates now spreading throughout the neighborhood. Or it may have been the pre-cast concrete gargoyles. We may never know what spontaneously ignited the final straw that broke the camel's back, leaving no other options left for the developer of
481 18th
but to secede from greater Windsor Terrace.

The so called
"Aluminum Curtain" has now fallen. "A new age, and neighborhood is amongst us. Long live Prospect Bluffs."

Any hope of reconciliation was crushed yesterday when the 18 page "Prospect Bluffs Manifesto" was stapled in the most precise grid ever on the plywood construction fence out front of the striking three family development. Each page, placed within its own form follows function transparent plastic sleeve, outlined a reason why living within the confines of Windsor Terrace is no longer tolerable.
"Exit Windsor Terrace Proviso no. 13" for example, calls for an immediate moratorium on the application of aluminum siding to any structure within the new Prospect Bluffs Non-contextual District, and a phasing out of any and all existing buildings without "witty juxtaposition of surfaces" within the next 10 years. They even go so far as to ban outright, "the permanent placement, display, and or exhibition of sports memorabilia, ceramic figurines (cats, dogs, and owls), as well as any religious statuary, from interior windowsills that may be plainly visible to any passerby.'' These "Chotchki Prohibitions" fuel what is now becoming an unbearable resentment against these new comers by the native, old timer Windsor Terraceans. Some are saying let them go. Others are not so willing to lose any more territory.

We plan on taking this lying down... if that's possible.

Terrified that these same secessionist feelings could spread to other streets, local activists are planning to meet up at Ferrell's around noon after Sunday mass, and then from there, head on over to the 8th Avenue pedestrian overpass later in the day, well, eventually by say 5pm. "That's where we plan to make our final stand," remarked long time resident Paddy O'Furniture. "There's only another two blocks until you hit the Cemetery and we don't want those asshats over in Greenwood Heights getting any effin' ideas either."
Editors Note: When I gently reminded them the Giants are playing the Cowboys at 4:30pm they quickly called off the protest.

The Giant Sleeping.

"The North Bank" as the Eighteenth Streeters like to refer to their side of Prospect Bluffs, is currently experiencing an architectural zeitgeist of the highest order.
But on the other side, just across the overpass lies the shell of the old 3 story (fire damaged) mattress factory. It's located on the corner of 19th Street and (1901) Eighth Avenue. The banner says openly, FOR SALE. DoB records from January of 2007 show a first attempt at trying to c o n v e r t the warehouses' zoning from M1-1 light manufacturing to residential use failed. No further attempts have been made in the last year. The warehouse has Board of Standards and Approvals approved plans for a 37,614 square foot condominium conversion. The proposed project is designed to include 31 luxury units and 20 parking spaces. It could be yours for the taking for the unbeatable price of $7.5 million. This would make a nice addition to the South Bank of Prospect Bluffs, I bet, if it falls into the right architects hands... especially if they can complete the C of O conversion before Super Bowl Sunday.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Prospect Park's Third Street Playground gets a landscaping timeout.

Fantastic January day to spend in Prospect Park with a toddler. The Little Master and I spent a good thirty minutes watching the workers shred Christmas trees into little chips before heading over to 9th Street's Harmony playground. And I must say that the Park has never smelled better. Pine mulch mounds be everywhere.


As a public service announcement I thought I would update all my adult readers who find themselves alone with small children on a regular basis that the 3rd Street Playground is not yet finished. It looks pretty close to being done.

Gone is that antiquated, concrete aqueduct-like water feature. It has been replaced by a giant red sprinkler coil. The main reason for this new landscaping renovation was to correct its terrible drainage problems. All of the run-off water that bypassed the old fountains sewer drains would instead somehow travel its way down hill, under the rubber safety matting, and end up in this big, black, stagnant puddle in the tree pit near the sandbox. This shallow septic pool will certainly be missed by those addicted to nasty splash, but I'm not alone in saying good riddance.

The sandbox looks like it will be staying put. Seems odd that after all these years just as I have finally built up my natural tolerance to ringworm they decide to go ahead and change the "sand".

They have removed all the old hard rubber matting and are replacing it with these thick, black tiles made up of shredded and recycled kittens. This is the same surface they have at the Harmony Playground. Did I just say kittens? I must still be thinking about that Christmas tree shredding accident earlier in the day. I meant to say automobile tires.

This is the other new fountain installed just to the side of the sandbox. I'm almost sure there used to be a large tree in this spot. Must have removed it. For you tree huggers, this play ground has some mighty large Bald Cyprus Trees surrounding it. They have, if I might add on a personal note, great trunks. On hot sunny days everyone l o v e s the shade tree.

Here's the monster child washer still wrapped in plastic for its own protection.

Finally for the stroller set, you will be glad to know they have also repaved the asphalt walkway leading up to the playground from the Third St. and Prospect Park West entrance. The one next to the Litchfield Villa. The one that always stays flooded after a rain storm. Now that it's fixed we could use some additional benches along this path, please. The current system where bench positions are determined through games of chance does not work. I know some of the nannies are using loaded dice.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Friday, January 04, 2008

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Sunset Park High School vs.* Central Los Angeles High School #9

*For entertainment purposes only.

"East Coast" Sunset Park High School
Architect: Hillier Architecture
General Contractor: The Leon D. DeMatteis Construction Corporation
Expected Completion Date: November 2009

The 35th Street side as viewed from Dunkin' Donuts.

Fourth Avenue facade directly across the street from Green Wood Cemetery.

As seen from Third Avenue and 35th Street while lurking below the Gowanus Expressway.
The John D' Emic Sr. Memorial Playground is in the foreground.

34th Street side viewed from 4th Avenue

34th Street detail

Topped off.

"West Coast" LA Central HS #9
Architect: HMC Architects/Coop Himmelblau
Completion Date: May-2008

The new Central Los Angeles High School #9 is located in downtown Los Angeles at the northern end of Grand Avenue on the historic Fort Moore Hill. By virtue of its proximity to the theater and music companies of the Los Angeles Music Center, the Colburn School Performing Arts, the Museum of Contemporary Art, and Walt Disney Concert Hall, the site is well suited for a comprehensive high school with a focus in dance, music, theater, and visual arts. Students will select a specific course of study within the core curriculum that focuses on the performance and visual arts. Throughout the campus, spaces have been designed as opportunities for performances and exhibitions.

"The Los Angeles Unified School District is currently engaged in the largest school construction building program in our history. Over the next ten to 12 years we will complete the construction of 155 new schools to accommodate explosive growth in our student population. New schools and site expansions will require the acquisition of over 450 acres of land, some of which we have already acquired. The total estimated cost of the Master Plan program is approximately $11.2 billion dollars. Funding has been identified from various sources including State Proposition 1A bonds, local Proposition BB Bonds, and developer fees."

Construction Photos November 2007.

More Photographs available from Los Angeles Unified School District.

"...spaces have been designed as opportunities for performances and exhibitions"... like maybe Logan's Run: The Musical or, something featuring Jason "Wee Man" Acuña and a stolen shopping cart.