09/17/14 5:18pm

Politicians call for Restoration for F train express service

Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams led a coalition of elected officials urging the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) to restore express service on the F train in Brooklyn yesterday. In a letter sent to MTA Chairman Thomas F. Prendengast, Borough President Adams specifically ask that MTA to restore limited northbound F express service for morning commuters and southbound F express service for evening commuters. 19 of the 22 Brooklyn stops along the F train have seen increases in ridership over the last year; on a broader scale, the MTA’s review of 2013 ridership rates showed Brooklyn as having the largest increase in ridership.

“As ridership on the F line continues to grow, it is important that we give riders more options,” said Council Member Stephen Levin. “Restoring express service on the F line will ease commute times for Brooklyn residents and benefit their quality of life. I am proud to join my fellow elected officials in calling for the restoration of express service on the F line.”

Real Estate Developer Proposes East River Gondola

Daniel Levy, president of CityRealty created a lot of online chatter with a proposed plan for a gondola that connects Williamsburg to Navy Yards, Lower East Side, Queens, and Dumbo. The East River Skyway can transport 5,000 people in either direction per hour. Given the increase in ridership on the subways, a gondola service that connects the North and South parts of Brooklyn and Queens will be more cost effective than developing new subway lines while reducing travel times between Williamsburg Brooklyn and Manhattan. The initial plan would cost around $100 million to implement. Stops between South Street Seaport, Dumbo, and Williamsburg is proposed for phase 3. Dumbo residents, would you support a gondola?


{Proposed aerial gondola system makes a splash, Crain’s, 16Sept2014}
{Next Up For Brooklyn, an Urban Gondola, Citylab, 16Sept2014}
{Goodbye L Train, Hello East River Gondola, Gothamist, 16Sept2014}
{The Brilliant Plan to Build a Gondola From Williamsburg to Manhattan, Gizmodo, 16Sept2014}

09/04/14 11:00am


Sponsored By Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM).

BAM 2014 Next Wave Festival (Sep 9 — Dec 20).

Created By BlankSlate

Since 1981, the Next Wave Festival has been the venue for BAM’s most daring programming. This year’s festival — running from September 9 through December 20 — will feature 30 theater, music, dance, and film productions, plus 15 concert engagements celebrating the 50th anniversary of the groundbreaking Nonesuch Records.

That’s a lot for one person to see, so here’s a quick guide to what you’re absolutely not going to want to miss. (more…)

08/29/14 6:20pm


Roomr, located at 17 Old Fulton Street, is the newest addition to the Dumbo food scene. I headed over there this afternoon for a quick lunch. I was pleasantly greeted upon entering and after explaining that it was my first time in the cafe was given a quick rundown of everything they have to offer. Whether you’re on the go or have time to sit and enjoy made-to-order food, Roomr has you covered. They have an array of pre-made sandwiches, salads, and pastries, as well as a large menu of crepes and omelets. The gentleman that I was speaking with was quite enthusiastic about their hotdog waffle, “a beef hotdog wrapped in a delicious waffle”Given my pregnancy, though, I wasn’t able to try it for myself. I’ll have to go back with friends to get their opinions or hold out a few more months until after baby arrives. Everything at Roomr is organic; well, 98% of it is – the espresso is the only thing on the menu that isn’t.


I settled on a savory, whole wheat crepe. It was delicious, but too big for me to finish. I am a sucker for sweet crepes, so was disappointed I didn’t leave myself enough room to try one. Tourists that entered the cafe while I was there were thrilled to find out that Roomr offers free wifi. Perhaps I should have taken advantage of that and started this post while my food digested so I could then try a sweet crepe!

The cafe is clean, no frills (my food was served with a disposable plate and silverware), and devoid of the overwhelming lines you typically see outside of Grimaldi’s and Shake Shack. I found it to be a peaceful and relaxing place to enjoy my lunch. For more information on Roomr, visit www.RoomrCafe.com.

08/28/14 2:28pm

Via Curbed NY

[UPDATE: Occupancy for 60 Water Street will happen before 2015.]

As everyone in Dumbo has likely seen, the Dock Street Dumbo building – 60 Water Street (official name) on Dock, Front, and Water Streets – is nearly complete. And finally, we have an updated rendering to match it.

The updated rendering isn’t too much different than the original image from 2008, though it does better capture the glass that now almost fully covers the building’s façade.

The building will have 290 units, 58 of which will be affordable units. Two Trees is slated to begin leasing this fall, with occupancy scheduled before 2015.

Previous Dock Street coverage here:Dock Street Building Now Seven Stories High

08/27/14 5:57pm


The NY Times takes a look at the former Jehovah’s Witness 5 inter-connected buildings to the Kushner Companies for $375 million that’s being redesigned for commercial and technology tenants. A sixth building, 90 Sands Street, the 30 story hotel building will close in 2017.

The most obvious use for the six brick behemoths, also known as Brooklyn Bethel and clustered around Pearl and Sands Streets, would have been loft apartments; Dumbo has quickly become one of the most expensive residential neighborhoods in the borough. But the Bloomberg administration was desperate to keep the spaces commercially zoned, to provide homes for the city’s growing tech sector.

The name Dumbo Heights is meant to evoke the “gritty lofts of Dumbo and the lofty grandeur of Brooklyn Heights”. The strength and popularity of the startup scene in Dumbo is a blessing and a challenge for early stage businesses trying to upgrade their office space. This is where developers Jared Kushner, Aby Rosen, and Asher Abehsera see an opportunity for these startups to mature into growth firms:

“Two Trees has really mastered the 500- to 2,500-square-foot office suite for start-ups, but these companies need somewhere they can grow without having to leave the borough,” said Natalie Hurwitz, a broker at Sholom & Zuckerbrot and a former city planner. “People live in Brooklyn, they want to work in Brooklyn, but businesses are almost totally out of room. Dumbo Heights is just what the borough needs.”

Etsy leased 200,000 square feet of space in the 117 Adams Street building and WeWork, the Manhattan co-working company leased 90,000 square feet of office space at 81 Prospect Street. There will be local food and retail in the buildings. The NY Times writer, Matt A.V. Chaban writes “Expect gluten-free bakers, Edison-bulb-lighted bistros, maybe a beer hall and of course sushi, all run by some classically trained, tattoo-covered chefs. “It’s going to be like our little hipster kibbutz,” Mr. Abehsera said.” The article points out that there is a chance that part of the complex may become residential to help underwrite the purchase. “An obvious candidate is a 30-story hotel built in 1992 at 90 Sands Street where many of the Witnesses have stayed.”

{Etsy Leases 200,000 Square-foot of Dumbo Heights Starting in 2016, 14May2014}
{Former Watchtower Buildings, Now Called Dumbo Heights, Expected to Open First Quarter 2015, 01May2014}
{WSJ: Watchtower Building Sale Will Transform Dumbo, 08Oct2013}
{The Witnesses Remove Signs from Watchtower Buildings in Dumbo, 27Aug2013}
{Jehovah’s Witnesses Sell Dumbo Properties for $375 Million, 08Jul2013}
{Brooklyn Tech Triangle Unveils Plans to Expand and Support Tech Ecosystem, 19Jun2013}
{Mayor Bloomberg Unveils the Made in NY Media Center in Dumbo, 01Oct2013}