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This new Stein way is almost in tune

A new rendering for 360 Smith St., seen here from Second Place, represents a big change from Robert Scarano's original steel design.
Oliver Developments

The developer of a stalled condo building on Smith Street announced this week that he had sacked his controversial architect and revised the design to be more compatible with area buildings.

The crowd at the Carroll Gardens Neighborhood Association meeting on Monday night was happy to learn that developer William Stein had walked away from unpopular architect Robert Scarano and his modern design for the seven-story condo at 360 Smith St.

Stein credited the group with encouraging him to make the changes.

“You took me to a place I might not have gone if I hadn’t opened up to this dialogue,” said Stein. “And I’m thrilled with the building we got.”

The so-called “Oliver House” will now use materials the developer says fit in better with the surrounding brownstone houses. Renderings of the project now show dun-colored terra cotta and bricks where Scarano once envisioned a shiny stainless steel facade.

But many said that there was room for improvement on the Armand Quadrini-designed revision, which remains 70 feet tall in an area of mostly three- and four-story homes.

“I still see something twice as big as my house,” said Rita Miller.

Councilman Bill DeBlasio, who led the charge against the Scarano design, said, “The original plans stuck out like a sore thumb, so putting brownstone back on the side streets is great.”

“But,” he added, “I’d like to see less height.”

Despite some criticism, Stein was received far more warmly than the last time he met with the neighborhood group. In that meeting, last summer, residents berated Stein and his overly large, funky Scarano design.

This time, residents said their muted criticism showed that private developers and communities can work together.

“It’s proof we’re not anti-development — we’re anti-bad development,” said Daniel Squadron, who is also a candidate for state Senate.

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