The city gave the okay for mega-developers to start work that would turn a Flatbush Avenue parking into an apartment tower with a movie theater and public library on the ground floors and a triangular plaza on a platform at its base, building records show.
The so-called “Brooklyn Academy of Music South” building will sit across Ashland Place from the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s cinema, but, though the city has signed off on foundation work, no construction is currently under way at the site. The developer of the complex on the triangular lot bounded by Flatbush Avenue, Lafayette Avenue, and Ashland and Hanson places says it will knit the Barclays Center to Downtown, which is rapidly becoming a dense residential center.
“By partnering with the city and some of Brooklyn’s most innovative cultural institutions, we’ll be able to provide permanent community amenities and an iconic new public plaza that helps to connect Downtown Brooklyn to the new arena,” said Jed Walentas, head mega-developer Two Trees Management Company.
The 32-story apartment tower is now slated to include 286 apartments space for the Brooklyn Academy of Music, which will use the building in part to make its archives public and to house a new branch of the Brooklyn Public Library. The Council approved a zoning variance for the project, which includes twice as much housing as building rules allow, in July. The vote to give the high-rise the go-ahead came over the objections of neighbors who complained that the apartment-heavy plan is an unwelcome switch from an earlier pitch that included office space and that the tall structure will obscure the iconic Williamsburgh Savings Bank tower.
“It’s a pity, because it’s a beautiful landmark,” said Frederik M., a subletter in the landmark building a stone’s throw away who asked that his last name not be used. “They shouldn’t obstruct it in any way.”
Records show that the developer is still tinkering with the design. Previously, the building was designed for 32 stories and between 300 and 400 apartments.
The building is rumored to be one of two in the running to house Brooklyn’s first Apple store, according to The Real Deal, a real estate news website.