Revealed: 134 Vanderbilt Avenue, Fort Greene

134 Vanderbilt Avenue, rendering by ODA134 Vanderbilt Avenue, rendering by ODA

In April, DNAinfo reported that a permit had been filed to build a 45-unit residential building on the site of an old Gulf gas station at the corner of Myrtle and Vanderbilt, near the border between Fort Greene and Clinton Hill.

That, it turns out, was only half the truth. The new building permit for 134 Vanderbilt Avenue actually states – at least, now it does – that the “previous applicant of record” was Karl Fischer (architects are the ones who apply for building permits, not developers). The more current applicant? Eran Chen, of ODA Architecture.

A rendering obtained by YIMBY depicts a seven-story building (or is that eight?) featuring Chen’s characteristic sleek modernism and irregularly protruding cubes, with a black façade finish between floors. The sides of the boxes jutting out of the building, and some of those indented spaces, are faced with a rust-colored brown – a material that looks to be Corten steel, popularized by SHoP at Barclays Center and now showing up seemingly everywhere.

134 Vanderbilt Avenue, image from Google Maps

134 Vanderbilt Avenue, image from Google Maps

The permit, filed in late March, indicates a total construction floor area of nearly 65,000 square feet, with almost 41,000 square feet of usable residential space (for an average apartment size of a bit over 900 square feet) and an additional 3,000 square feet of community facility space. It also says the building will only be six stories tall, contradicting the rendering, although the total 80-foot height is consistent with the visual depiction. (The rendering also does not show ground-floor uses that would qualify as community facilities, and the retail spaces look larger than 3,000 square feet.) The developer is listed as Joel Goodman of All Year Management.

While Myrtle Avenue has seen some infill in recent years, the construction has mostly come in the form of unassuming rentals. If realized, ODA’s striking design for 134 Vanderbilt would finally return some dignity to Myrtle Avenue – home to Brooklyn’s first streetcar line in 1854, but scarred by urban renewal projects and left for dead as the city slid into decline after World War II.

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