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Developers want to crack open Dime Savings Bank to make way for borough’s tallest building

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They want to break the bank!

The developers behind Brooklyn’s first “supertall” skyscraper want to demolish part of Fulton Mall’s landmarked Dime Savings Bank to make room for the 73-story behemoth, and build stores inside the rest of the 108-year-old cash repository. And locals say they can’t wait to crack the vault after seeing the plan on Wednesday night.

“It’s a beautiful project and a great opportunity to save the bank,” said Hazra Ali, a member of Community Board 2’s land-use committee, which enthusiastically approved the changes 11–0 with one abstention at a meeting on Wednesday night.

Reps for builders JDS Development and the Cherit Group told residents they want to pulverize a segment in the back of the bank at Flatbush Avenue Extension so they can create a glassy new entrance and set the Chrysler Building-sized tower off to the side.

The portion of the building slated for destruction is a service area that is not architecturally significant, the firms claimed.

If city officials don’t approve the change, the developers told residents they would just erect their massive new tower flush against the back of the bank — blocking its windows, and creating an unattractive flat wall along Flatbush Avenue Extension.

The city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission has shot down changes to the protected building before — it refused to let previous owner JP Morgan Chase build a handicap ramp there in 2013. But one preservationist says he thinks the body won’t have too many gripes with this alteration, and doesn’t think its members will object to the neighboring tower, either.

“Getting landmarks’ approval is not going to be the thing that stops it if someone wants to stop this tower,” said Simeon Bankoff of preservation advocacy group the Historic Districts Council.

The developers bought the bank primarily so they could use its air rights to construct the 1,066-foot tower next door, but they do plan to renovate it. Inside, they intend to rip out the 1970s Formica teller stations to make room for retail stores, and they promised to restore the building’s cracked facade and steps out the front.

The reps also offered new details for the gargantuan high-rise itself.

The needle-like building will boast a bronze, stone, stainless steel, and black granite exterior that will change colors as pedestrians walk it from Fleet Street to Flatbush Avenue Extension, they said.

And the interior will include four floors of retail and office space at the base, with 417-units of housing — which will be rentals, according to a New York Times report — above that.

The full community board will vote on the changes to the bank next, but its vote is only advisory — the landmarks commission will ultimately say yea or nay.

Reach reporter Lauren Gill at lgill@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her on Twitter @laurenk_gill
Updated 2:56 pm, June 29, 2016
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Reasonable discourse

Jim from Cobble Hill says:
Like like they made sure to get the bribes in nice and early on this one.
Feb. 19, 2016, 8:44 am
Cynthia from Clinton Hill says:
When i see a extremely tall building i say to myself this building shouldn't be here to tall, plus it damages the foundations meaning leaves cracks to very old foundations, that happened to a building that was up since 1890. The high rise that they but three blocks away did just that cracked the foundation and the building fell down people they lost everything the lot is empty now to build more tall scary apartments.
Feb. 19, 2016, 11:52 am
Mike from Earth says:
And the destruction of Brooklyn continues.....
Feb. 19, 2016, 12:11 pm
Chuck Reichenthal from BROOKLYN says:
Once again, alas money and power dictate the future.
Downtown Brooklyn, once a mighty hub that had fallen onto hard times, deserved the renaissance. But development without careful consideration of all issues, all agencies, residents, workers, visitors, et al remains a dangerous part of the now-surging, almost overdeveloped, Downtown. What networking has been done with the MTA, with the Traffic Dept., with DEP, with the PD and Fire, to name but a few. Yes, we can get understandingly nostalgic over the loss of theaters, department stores, mom-and-pop shops, the bank, the restaurants. But nostalgia, sadly, doesn't always count when development is needed...and it WAS needed. The questions remain as to 'how much' and 'how far' do we go? Construction of a multi-million dollar skyscraper, I suppose, can be justified for the one-percenters...and for business...Still, there is more to Brooklyn than DeKalb Avenue...there are far more people in Brooklyn than can afford the architectural cash-towers that arise. Brooklyn is still Brooklyn..for all people. Let's THINK before we keep building on a helter-skelter methdology.
Feb. 19, 2016, 1:36 pm
Ruth Brown (Brooklyn Paper) says:
b from gp: No, Junior's didn't sell in the end -- the developers got the extra air rights from the bank.

One of their arguments for being allowed to cut into the bank is that if they can't build the tower on an angle, they will build it straight up along Flatbush Avenue Extension, and if Junior's then sells and someone build there as well, you will end up with a massive flat wall between Fleet St. and DeKalb.
Feb. 19, 2016, 2:24 pm
verajay from cobble hill says:
now they want to F up the iconic dime bank. for a tower bldg.smh. you think they havent learned from 911. wtc.? if i had the money i wouldnt live there. bunch of greeds.
Feb. 19, 2016, 5:19 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I would rather this not get built, plus it won't just ruin the building, I find its design to be very overrated.
Feb. 19, 2016, 6:05 pm
Jimmy from Flatbush says:
This is downtown Brooklyn -- the downtown of a borough with 2.6 million people. This is where you build buildings like this. This isn't a place to preserve in amber. The facade of the Dime Bank is being preserved. And they are building housing representing an 'increase' of 0.038% of the population of Brooklyn (or 0.012% of the whole city). Yeah, the building is pointy and you may not like what it looks like... so, build your own building. I'm sure the developers will accept reasonable offers to buy them out.
Feb. 22, 2016, 1:42 pm
Barry from Flatbush says:
That's right. Rich folks can do whatever they want.

It's not like there's anything anyone could ever do about that.
Feb. 22, 2016, 7:19 pm
Kyla from Downtown says:
Rich people are poor by today's standards.
Feb. 25, 2016, 11:43 pm
David from New York says:
Thanks for interesting article! I use The Dime Svgs. Bank of Williamsburgh for 5 years and I can say that I am satisfied with its work. I think that it is a good bank. By the way, here you can find all information about this bank then you should search here http://www.usbankinginfo.com/bank/the-dime-svgs-bank-of-williamsbu/ Hope it will be useful!
April 19, 2016, 3:20 pm

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