A 22-story, 285-ft tall mixed-use tower dubbed One Boerum Place is nearing completion adjacent to the Brooklyn Bridge. At the intersection of Brooklyn Heights, Boerum Hill and Downtown Brooklyn, the full-block development is already a fixture in the neighborhood for its location, size and strategy pivot during the pandemic.
The unique triangular site for the building enabled a flatiron-shaped structure. The prominent brick building was designed by Jesse Wark, Partner of Avery Hall, the architect of record is SCLE while Gachot Studios appointed the interiors including the many amenity spaces.
One Boerum Place’s facade is composed of handmade bricks and features a setback each third of the way up creating a staggered and stepped edifice. Expansive landscaped outdoor terraces occupy each of these setbacks. Texture in the tambour detail of the custom millwork within the residences is a nod to the textured concrete developed for the ribbed details on the exterior.
Previously situated on the site was a four-story low-rise structure occupied by The Brooklyn Law School. It was built in 1955 and designed by the architecture firm DeYoung, Moscowitz & Rosenberg, who also designed multiple buildings at the Fashion Institute of Technology. After purchasing the original structure from the Brooklyn Law School in 2016, Avery Hall assembled 50,000 square feet of air rights from nearby properties for protected 360 views. Air rights grant owners the ability to build a structure that occupies vertical space above a property. Real estate development firms acquire these rights over an existing building with the intention of building a structure that extends into its airspace with views and light. Small businesses and local organizations can benefit from these deals as they secure new capital and lose no operating space.
The concept of development via air rights originated in New York City where it’s common for developers to buy a buildable lot as well as the air rights of adjacent, smaller buildings in order to create larger – and more valuable – property. Since the supply of buildable land is very limited and zoning regulations may allow for taller structures, this process creates unique developments like One Boerum Place.
A rooftop park is located on the 23rd level designed by Brook Klausing of Brook Landscape with a Stargazing Lawn for gatherings, picnics, and outdoor fitness. The path to the outdoor spaces is trellis-lined, bordered by walls wrapped in greenery, and passes by a lounge area seated amongst a grove of river birch. The outdoor communal space on this level also includes cooking stations and lounge areas with pergolas and dining tables. A Chalet Lounge with a fireplace and a hearth clad in black marble and a 30-ft high flute is the centerpiece of the park. Indoor amenities include a lap pool, sauna, changing rooms with cabana seating, a two-story fitness center, a cardio mezzanine, and a yoga room ideal for private classes. A Resident’s Lounge features a massive culinary island, an oversized dining table, and a separate media lounge for entertaining. Additional amenities include a Children’s Playroom, pet spa with a grooming station along with bicycle storage.
The building has 96 market-rate rentals, ranging from one-bedrooms to four-bedroom duplex residences. Nearly half feature private outdoor space, including landscaped terraces and covered loggias with gas connections for grilling. One Boerum Place also contains 42 affordable units for residents earning 130% of the area median income.
Another incredible feat enabled by the site’s footprint is automated parking. One Boerum Place is the only rental building to offer this coveted amenity in New York. German-based Lödige, a global pioneer in parking technology, has engineered a system in which renters can drive into the garage with a porte-cochere. Their cars will safely be parked using robotic technology and can then be retrieved remotely. EV charging stations are also available on the parking level.
The building has a two-story 22,000 square foot retail base which will be leased by local businesses and add to the rich retail corridor that connects three Brooklyn neighborhoods. Nearby are eight subway lines: the A, C, F, and R at Jay Street—MetroTech; the 2, 3, 4, and 5 at Borough Hall and Hoyt Street; and the G at Hoyt—Schermerhorn.
One Boerum Place sits adjacent to the Borough Hall Station, Brooklyn's first subway station that opened on January 9, 1908. In the following years, the New York Public Service Commission would extend the platforms at Borough Hall Station to increase capacity and accommodate ten-car express and six-car local trains. $1.5 million was spent on platform lengthening in 1910 (equivalent to $41.7 million in 2020) and $500,000 (equivalent to $13,887,500 in 2020) was spent on building additional entrances and exits. The station allows Downtown Brooklyn residents to reach Lower Manhattan in under five minutes.