Today’s news:

Local planner gets job for centerpiece of BAM district

The Brooklyn Paper

The centerpiece of a world-class arts district that’s going up around the Brooklyn Academy of Music will be built by a Fort Greene developer.

Local activists hailed the city’s selection of Carlton Brown and his architect partner, studioMDA with Behnisch Architects, as the developers of the 36-story focal point of the so-called BAM Cultural District, at the southwest corner of Ashland Place and Fulton Street.

The building will house Dancespace Project, a Manhattan-based experimental dance troupe, and 187 apartments, 30 for-sale units and 157 rentals. More than half of the rental units will be affordable housing, said Seth Donlin, a spokesman for the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development.

“Their level of affordability was great,” said Donlin, explaining why the local developer was chosen for the plum project. “And the design of the building architecturally was fantastic.”

Of the 157 rental studios and one-, two- and three-bedroom units, 96 will be affordable to families of four making between $28,360 and $92,170 and between $19,840 and $64,480 for a single person. The project also includes such eco-friendly elements as green roofs and a gray water system that will reuse waste water.

The selection marks a coup for local activists, who have clamored for Brown since competition began heating up for the project in August.

As The Brooklyn Paper reported then, Brown, who has lived in the neighborhood for a quarter-century, was initially eliminated from the competition. But after Councilwoman Letitia James (D–Fort Greene) and local activists raised a ruckus, Brown’s proposal was resurrected.

“We’re absolutely ecstatic [that Brown got the project],” said James on Monday.

Brown’s firm, Full Spectrum, is also developing the green Trenton Town Center in New Jersey and co-developing the Solaire in Tribeca. StudioMDA was founded by a former director of Zaha Hadid Architects.

Construction on the project, which will displace a locally owned music venue called Amber Art and Music Space, is slated to begin in spring 2009 and be completed in winter 2010.

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Stefan from Brooklyn says:

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Stefan & Asheka
Dec. 28, 2007, 4:46 am

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