08/03/12 6:00am

Summer Streets, the annual event where 7 miles of New York City’s streets will be closed to auto traffic and opened up for everyone to play, run, walk and bike in three consecutive Saturdays. The first Saturday will be tomorrow, August 4, 2012. August 11 and 18, 2012 will be the other two Saturdays for Summer Streets. Starting at the Brooklyn Bridge, along Park Avenue in Manhattan to Central Park, you’ll be able to bike or walk the street without cars, with activities along the route.

To get there from Dumbo, walk/bike over the Brooklyn Bridge. The East River Ferry will also be providing transportation to the Summer Streets NYC from Dumbo, waiving the $1 bicycle fee, all day, on the three consecutive Saturdays: August 4, 11, and 18, 2012. Cyclists can cross the river via East River Ferry from Long Island City (Queens), and Greenpoint, North and South Williamsburg, and Dumbo (Brooklyn) to get to Summer Streets NYC.

Summer Streets runs from 7:00 am to 1:00 pm.

12/31/11 6:24am

Pete's Downtown Restaurant

Pete’s Downtown restaurant at 2 Water Street (next to Ignazio’s Pizza and across The River Cafe) has closed, according to a worker who has emailed us. Brooklyn Eagle first reported that the restaurant is not only closed, but it has cleared its space, after being open since the 1980s. It’s too bad for a restaurant that has been a fixture in the neighborhood for a long time. Pete’s served Italian food with popular dishes like penne vodka, baked ravioli, veal parmigiana, and shrimp scampi, according to online review websites.

Calls were not returned, and there are no updates on its Twitter (@petesdowntown) or Facebook pages, and their website, petesdowntown.com is offline.

According to a Fulton Ferry resident, Pete Thristino the owner has told patrons that the lease was not renewed, and the landlord is seeking a high end restaurant to take over the space. The location is a prime space, given the view of the Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan skyline, and would attract a higher lease. A restaurant there would make a lot of ‘friends’ from residents in the area if the food quality is high, but is also a destination location for outer borough visitors.

The Brooklyn Eagle writes: “Pete’s was one of the first businesses to move into the area after it began to be redeveloped. The first signs of this redevelopment came in 1977, when BargeMusic and the River Café opened. Pete Thristino, owner of the restaurant, told this reporter in a 2008 interview that even in the early 1980s, “This was known as an area that when it snowed, there were no footprints…The building, on the corner of Water Street, was known as the Franklin House Hotel in the mid-1800s. It was an important hotel and restaurant in the days before the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge, when the ferry area was the gateway to Manhattan and visiting merchants, clerks, seamen and farmers needed someplace to stay.”

Pete’s Downtown (Closed as of Dec 29, 2011)
2 Water Street (at Old Fulton Street), Brooklyn, NY 11201

Pete's Downtown Restaurant

12/19/11 1:32pm

[UPDATE from CB2 (Dec 20): As previously announced, Community Board 2 (CB2) will hold its monthly transportation and land use committee meetings this week, both of which are scheduled for 6:00 pm. However, the Department of Transportation (DOT) is not fully prepared to present its interrelated plans for an entrance ramp to the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, two-way Furman Street, and improvements in Fulton Ferry Landing. This presentation, therefore, has been laid over to January 17, 2012.]

Community Board 2 (CB2) will hold its monthly transportation and land use committee meetings on Dec 20/21, both of which are scheduled for 6:00 pm.

Transportation and Public Safety Committee

Tuesday, December 20; First Floor Board Room, St. Francis College, 180 Remsen Street (between Clinton and Court streets) in Brooklyn Heights

Christopher Hrones, the downtown brooklyn transportation coordinator for the Department of Transportation (DOT), will present interrelated plans for the entrance ramp from Atlantic Avenue to the Queens- or eastbound Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, two-way Furman Street, and traffic calming, streetscape and other improvements in Fulton Ferry Landing.

The image above is from a June 21, 2011 presentation by DOT to the transportation committee, which will be superceded by next week’s presentation.

Read the June presentation for background information about issues in Fulton Ferry Landing (PDF)

Mr. Hrones will also brief the committee on plans by DOT to prohibit left turns on to Fulton Street from westbound Greene Avenue.

The committee will also, as part of the community board’s annual review of the citywide statement of needs for facilities, consider plans by the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the New York Police Department (NYPD) to relocate facilities. DOT proposes to move the Brooklyn Highway Inspection Quality Assurance (HIQA) office, currently located in Community District 2, to Sunset Park, in Community District 7. NYPD proposes relocating its central record/property clerk warehouse from 540 Kingsland Avenue, in Greenpoint, within Community District 1, to an unspecified location in Brooklyn. Based on a meeting between Council Member Stephen Levin and District Manager Robert Perris and the police department, there is strong reason to believe the warehouse may be moved to 11 Front Street, in DUMBO.

Land Use Committee

Wednesday, December 21; Room LC400, Dibner Building, Polytechnic Institute, 5 MetroTech Center (off of the MetroTech Commons) in Downtown Brooklyn

Lish Whitson, a planner in the Brooklyn office of the Department of City Planning (DCP), will present a zoning text amendment—that is, proposed changes to the written text in the New York City Zoning Resolution—”to remove zoning impediments to the construction and retrofitting of green buildings.”

Major features of the proposed zoning text facilitate construction of energy-efficient building walls, sun-control devices, solar panels, greenhouses, wind turbines and other roof-top installations.

The committee will also review the following Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) applications:

  • 256 Cumberland Street – Fort Greene Historic District – Application is to restore the front façade and construct a 10-foot by 12-foot, three-story extension on the back of the building.
  • 224 Henry Street – Brooklyn Heights Historic District – Application is to convert a rear window to a door leading to a new exterior stair giving access from the parlor level to the rear yard.

{Front and York Street Redesign Proposal, 14Jul2011}
{DOT Looks to Revamp the Streets Near Pier 1 but Not B25 Bus Route, 13Jul2011}

12/16/11 1:01pm

Juliana's Pizza

[UPDATE Sat Dec 17: Grimaldi’s has opened at 1 Front Street.]

We saw yesterday that Grimaldi’s Pizza is now closed. But there seems to be a lot of activity on 1 Front Street (now that the stop work order has been resolved) to prepare for the opening of the new Grimaldi’s location. Meanwhile, a Juliana’s Pizza sign is in the window of 19 Old Fulton Street. A placeholder for Juliana’s website is live at julianaspizza.com.

(Thanks to reader Kathleen for the photo.)

11/29/11 2:41pm

1 Front Street, Brooklyn NY 11201

Grimaldi’s move to 1 Front Street is delayed due to an untimely death in the family and the Department of Buildings has issued a stop-work order at the 1 Front Street location. According to the BOD website, the stop work order issued on 11/28/2011 is for “illegally installed coal burning oven @ 1st floor done w/o propper approvals & presents a potential danger to patrons”.

Russell Ciolli, son of Frank Ciolli, both owners of Grimaldi’s Pizza, died last Wednesday at 39. Our condolences go out to the Ciolli family.

{Patsy Grimaldi’s Coming out of Retirement to Take Over Original Pizza Location}
{Grimaldi’s Move POSTPONED Due To Death In The Family, Gothamist}
{Grimaldi’s Coal-Oven Troubles At New Location, HuffPo}
{Tragic News for Grimaldi’s, Grub Street}
{City blocks new Grimaldi’s from opening over illegal oven, Brooklyn Daily}

11/22/11 9:45am

46 Old Fulton Street

A commercial building with 3 loft units at 46 Old Fulton Street just came on the market on Friday. Brownstoner featured one of the 5,000 sqft lofts for rent last month for $12,000 per month, still listed by Awaye Realty. This 1925 built building is 41 x 98.58 sqft with 8 full baths and 16,000 sqft was sold for $2,900,000 in August 2010, according to Everyblock.

There are two commercial spaces on the ground level and 3 floor through lofts, one per floor. The Fillmore listing says that the “side wall has a billboard which can be rented for $15,000 per month.” For 20% down ($1.4MM) and loan amount of $5.6MM, that’s roughly $30k per month of mortgage (at 5%). If half that can be paid for by the billboard, leasing 3 lofts for $5k covers the mortgage.

Is there a hitch? Unless there isn’t an updated Certificate of Occupancy on the NYC.gov website, the listed C of O of the building states that it cannot be used by more than 2 families. Are we reading this wrong? Either way, it’s an attractive building (for investment potential) across the street from what will be Grimaldi’s new home at 1 Front Street, next to the Eagle Warehouse coop building, but with plenty of traffic passing it.

[Update: A reader pointed out, “If you look closer at the C of O pdf, you will see that there are actually 2 distinct properties included in the 4 pages. The latter half, with the 2 families notation, is not for this building.”]

(Photos from Awaye Realty)

{NYC.gov BIS: 46 Old Fulton St}
{Propertyshark.com listing for 46 Old Fulton St}