High-end high-rise planned on Flatbush

The Brooklyn Paper
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He has a background in real estate and a name linked with entertainment, but the developer behind the borough’s newest proposed luxury high-rise says he’s no Donald Trump — and he’s not building a garish, Trump-like tower.

Douglas Steiner insists his proposed 720-unit, 52-story rental building, which could begin rising at the corner of Flatbush Avenue and Schermerhorn Street early next year, will offer Brooklyn a refined, modern skyscraper that “will be more interesting than the typical rental box.”

“I’m the anti-Trump, starting with the hair,” said Steiner, who along with running the development company Steiner NYC oversees the Navy Yard movie lot Steiner Studios. “Nothing we do is gaudy but has an industrial and clean aesthetic.”

One story taller than Lawrence Street’s The Brooklyner, the borough’s highest building, and just steps away from the Barclays Center and the historic 37-story Willamsburgh Savings Bank tower, the planned $325-million high-rise — called “The Hub” — could reshape the borough’s skyline.

But Steiner says his design of masonry and glass will pay tribute to the nearby Williamsburgh Savings Bank — Brooklyn’s answer to Manhattan skyscrapers — with a series of architectural setbacks.

“We didn’t want to build a monolith,” said Steiner, who also owns 58 and 80 Metropolitan, a condo project in Williamsburg, and 25 Washington Ave., an extension of Steiner Studios.

The development is slated to replace a state parole office and set of low-rise properties.

Market-rate units will rent for between $40 to $50 a square foot, with 1,000-square-foot pads going for about $4,000 per month.

Residents will enjoy a giant landscaped sun deck, health club, dog run, grilling terrace, and bike storage, Steiner says.

The building will also boast about 144 units of “affordable housing.”

But it’s the 50,000 square feet slated for retail — including second-floor store space on Third and Flatbush avenues — and that has Downtown real estate gurus excited.

“This is great for the appearance of our gateway into Brooklyn,” said real estate insider and broker Chris Havens. “Good retail is needed to improve the feeling of the street.”

Steiner joked that his enviable location at the crossroads of Boerum Hill, Prospect Heights, Fort Greene, and Downtown could be the magnet that finally lures the borough’s first Apple store — retail outposts that often pop up in eyecatching modern constructions or historic buildings.

“I’m sure Marty Markowitz will be calling Apple to come on over,” he said.

Reach Kate Briquelet at or by calling her at (718) 260-2511.
Updated 1:50 pm, February 14, 2012
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Reasonable discourse

Mike says:
Flatbush & Schermerhorn for an Apple store? Wake me up when it's not a total craphole of a neighborhood. Sure it's near a lot of stuff. But it's sketchy as hell. Apple will NEVER locate there.
Feb. 14, 2012, 12:49 pm
Jesse from Ft. Greene says:
RIP Brooklyn. How soon before we're all pushed out?
Feb. 14, 2012, 3:47 pm
Steve Nitwitt from Sheepshead Bay says:
I bet Norm is pulling out his pen and is ready to report that the rendering looks like a modular project.
Feb. 15, 2012, 1:34 am
John from Ditmas Park says:
I'd rather garish than dull. Build, Brooklyn, Build. Throw in a museum (the defunct Folk Art Museum) and a couple of entertainment venues and we'll finally have a real downtown.
Feb. 15, 2012, 2:15 am
Skellatosis from BK says:
Affordable? I think not. $4k for 1000 square feet is NOT affordable.
Feb. 15, 2012, 6:11 am
al pankin from downtown says:
anything's better than what's there now but I would imagine that with a little more effort it wouldn't have to look so industrial, the design looks like the parole board could move back in... 60 years ago that was some bustling area, I used to go with my family to the fox theatre which was just up the street from the proposed building and then eat in was great...
Feb. 15, 2012, 8:08 am
one block away from boerum hill says:
there goes our sunshine. with all the traffic of the stadium, now living in shadow, they are ruining our hood. sigh.
Feb. 15, 2012, 10:57 am

Feb. 15, 2012, 11:52 am
Scott from Park Slope says:
I have been impressed with the changes along Flatbush. The new buildings and landscaping between Manhattan Bridge and Atlantic reflect a reinvigorated sense of self for Brooklyn. With all the creativity and reinvention happening here I wonder how long it will be before the city's center of gravity officially shifts here.
Feb. 15, 2012, 1:09 pm

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