Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Notes from Meeting with Clarett Group

Clarett has secured Roger's Marvel Architects, the same group who designed the townhouses on State Street. Clarett plans to build a five-story building with a 15 ft. setback leading to an additional two stories on Court St., which will wrap around to Union. There will be a few units on Union with separate entrances. In total, there will be 32 3-bedroom apartments, with an average square footage of 1,900 ft., plus 10 homes with 3,000+ square feet.

The townhouses will be lined-up at the lot line to fit in with the existing houses on Sackett and Union. The houses will be 20-feet wide and 50-feet deep, with 40 yards in total.
In addition, there will be one level of underground parking.

Rendition of Rogers Marvel's State St. Property

The first level of the building is reserved for retail space. It is unclear how Clarett will lease this space, but suggestions were clearly a food market.

Clarett says that they will begin demolition in January, construction in March and will finish in an estimated fifteen months.

In the meeting Clarett responded to construction concerns by assuring that they only work between 7 AM and 6 PM.

The New York Department of Building’s website is very useful to keep track of violations and complaints issued about construction sites. Since an address of the location is required for the search, you can use the Clarett Group's site to view the addresses of their past and current projects.

The most common complaints concerned noisy and after-hours work, shaking in the neighboring residences, and falling debris, sometimes causing damage to cars, sometimes injuring pedestrians. I suggest checking out the 230 Ashland Place property (the Forte in Fort Greene) as it's their only BK property. There were 15 complaints issued so far and 7 violations. A Clarett building on 29th st. in Manhattan has received 30 complaints and 24 violations and currently a stop work order exists.

Even if these violations and complaints are typical for any construction site, it's still a concern if debris is falling on the block, work is being done at 5 AM (despite Clarett’s commitment to 7 AM – 6 PM work), and shaking from construction is damaging neighboring buildings.

As you can see from the site, your 311 calls are recorded by the Department of Building and are a part of public record. Use it!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Clarett Group Meeting Announcement

A meeting with Clarett Group, councilman Bill Di Blasio, and 3-4 neighborhood representatives from the Union-Sackett Block Association and the Carroll Gardens Neighborhood Association has been scheduled for Thursday, Dececember 20th. We hope that this small meeting will eventually be followed by a larger meeting, during which Clarett will present their plans to the whole community.

The meeting with Clarett Group
, along with other topics, will be discussed at tonight's Union-Sackett Block Association meeting, which meets at 6:30 PM in the library's meeting room.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Meeting Tomorrow!


Preserve the Integrity of Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, New York, U.S.A.

Carroll Gardens is one of the last charming neighborhoods in New York Metro Area. You walk down tree-lined streets, pass by beautiful brownstones with gorgeous gardens, and meet many great people and families sitting on their stoops enjoying the fresh clean air of small town living.

Our neighborhood has been threatened by big time developers who want to develop without regards to the delicate nature of our existence in a community we call HOME. What are we going to do about this? We must fight together as one to save our neighborhood.

The voice of our community is strong. Ask yourself…can our infrastructure handle big city development?

The answer is obviously….NO!

-Sewage backup
-Electric outages
-Congested subway
-Air pollution
-Increase crime
-Increase garbage
-No local fire department
-And so much more

Your calls, letters, emails, text message blasts can make a difference. Hit the developers and elected officials with a bombardment of continuous calls, letters, emails and text message blasts. Be relentless!


Down-zone Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, New York, U.S.A. NOW!

Work WITH the community NOT AGAINST it!

Modify plans and maintain the homogeneity of Carroll Gardens NOW!

Say NO to high-rises in our neighborhood. NOW!

The Clarett Group (Developing ten town houses and thirty to forty condominium units on at 340 Court Street, the former Longshoremen's medical center and LICH School of Nursing)

New York-
79 Madison Ave
17th Floor
New York, NY 10016
Phone: 212-399-2400

Fax: 212-664-0580

Los Angeles-
1901 Avenue of the Stars,
2nd Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90067
Phone: 310-461-1470
Fax: 310-461-1304

Washington DC
1201 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Ste 300
Washington DC 20004
Phone: 202-661-4618

Fax: 202-661-4619

Prudential Real Estate Investors Group

Main Office Headquarters
Prudential Real Estate Investors

8 Campus Drive
4th Floor
Parsippany, NJ 07054
Phone: (973) 734-1300 U.S. Regional Offices

Prudential Real Estate Investors
4 Embarcadero Center
Suite 2700
San Francisco, CA 94111-4180
Phone: (415) 398-7310
Fax: (415) 398-1025

Prudential Real Estate Investors
Two Prudential Plaza
180 N. Stetson Street
Suite 3275
Chicago, IL 60601-6217
Phone: (312) 861-4359
Fax: (312) 861-4957

Prudential Real Estate Investors
Two Ravinia Drive
Suite 400
Atlanta, GA 30346-2110
Phone: (770) 481-3000
Fax: (770) 481-3550

Friday, December 14, 2007

Letter to the Clarett Group's Development Director

Click to enlarge.

Meeting Announcement for 12/19

Next week's meeting is scheduled to be held on Wednesday, December 19th from 6:30 to 7:45 PM in the library's meeting room at 396 Clinton St. There is a possibility to start earlier if there is an interest to do so. An agenda will be posted once it's complied.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Donald and Mildred Othmer LICH Donation

Yesterday I contacted a professor at UPenn who wrote a book about the Othmers, hoping to learn more about the terms of their donation to Long Island College Hospital. Here is the email I sent. Does anyone have any ideas on this matter?

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Dear Dr. Thackray,

I am a intern at the New York Historical Society as well as a life-long Brooklyn resident, who is interested in neighborhood preservation and protection. I am currently doing some research on Donald and Mildred Othmer, specifically in relation to their financial donations to Long Island College Hospital. Much of their $130 million donation helped to renovate the former Brooklyn Longshoremen’s Medical Center, which later housed LICH’s School of Nursing. In the last year, developers have bought the location at 340 Court St. in order to build ten town houses and thirty to forty condominium units. The local neighborhood association and neighboring residents have expressed much opposition to the development plans, viewing the construction as a threat to Carroll Garden’s historic preservation.

In recent neighborhood association meetings the topic of the Othmer donation has come up. One member suggested that a part of the donation’s conditions assured that the donated money would be used towards education (hence the nursing school). I see that you wrote a book on the Othmer’s and would greatly appreciate any information you have on the topic. If you don’t have information on the specific terms of the donation, perhaps you can point me in the right direction. Thank you for your help.


Anne Joseph

Summary of the 12/10/07 Community Meeting

1. The 340 Court (ILA) site was sold by Beth Israel Hospital (for LICH, one of 5 members of this consortium) to the Clarett Group this fall for $23.5M

2. No public announcement by Clarett to indicate what they will build on the site to date. Lots of conjecture based articles in Crains, local papers, blogs,etc. on their recent projects in downtown Brooklyn, etc.

3. Clarett activity: Anticipating the community's need to know, local electeds met with Clarett reps. Although the private meetings were acknowledged, the info released indicated only that Clarett was going to apply for "quality housing" under current zoning, which means a squat construction on the whole site rather than a needle. Demands for public exchange of info with electeds and Clarett yet unresolved.Steady site prep by sub contractors has included clearing the surface, borings, jackhammering,use of heavy equipment, late night work (etc.-add on here). These actions have produced rat sightings in neighboring yards, water pressure problems, vibrations and resulting cracks in walls and foundations of adjacent homes.

4. Actions taken by residents: calls to the Clarett Group, complaints to 311, calls to local elected officials, appeals to local civic groups for support, networking within the surrounding blocks, forming block associations and presenting issues to the media. Photos of site activity posted on local blogs.

5. Responses: Clarett has responded to the complaints of one neighbor demanding redress for property damage due to site activity. Local electeds have continued the dialogue with Clarett and residents, promising a public meeting. Neighbors have built a network of information and support within the community and are planning actions.