Revealed: 21 Powers Street, Slate’s Newest Condos in Williamsburg

21 Powers Street, rendering by Meshberg Group21 Powers Street, rendering by Meshberg Group

Slate Property Group is one of Williamsburg’s most prolific developers at the moment, from big rental projects like 120 Union Avenue to boutique condo buildings like the one YIMBY can reveal today, 21 Powers Street.

21 Powers will replace a single-story warehouse on a low-slung, tree-lined block between Union Avenue and Lorimer Street, in East Williamsburg. The four-story development will have 10 units and 13,192 square feet of interior space, for an average apartment of 1,300 square feet.

Grasso Menziuso Architects filed the project’s new building applications in January, but the design architect is Adam Meshberg of Meshberg Group, headquartered in Vinegar Hill next to the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Meshberg is responsible for some of Williamsburg’s more attractive new rental buildings, including 291 Metropolitan Avenue and 174 Jackson Street, as well as 341 Eastern Parkway in Crown Heights.

But Slate didn’t want a new, factory-style brick building like 291 Metropolitan. Instead, they’re aiming for something in between the Northside’s typical glassy rentals and a traditional converted warehouse. “We didn’t want to make it a faux historic building,” explained Slate principal David Schwartz. “We wanted to make it feel very modern but with some notes of the past. It doesn’t look like a warehouse, but something that respects the warehouse-iness of the neighborhood and looks residential.”

The design is an interesting mix of styles, incorporating arched window openings with nearly floor-to-ceiling casement windows. The facade will be clad in an unusual gray brick and accented with Corten steel, which will also hide the five parking spots on the ground floor.

More than half the condos will have private outdoor space, either in the backyard or a terrace, and they’ll be priced around $1400 or $1500 per square foot, according to Schwartz.

Construction is expected to start in the fall and last about two years, aiming for a completion date in spring or summer 2017.

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5 Comments on "Revealed: 21 Powers Street, Slate’s Newest Condos in Williamsburg"

  1. This is quite attractive. I really like it.

  2. I expect better from YIMBY than a fluff piece like this. The breaking of the street wall and the blank windowless wall on the ground floor are aggressively anti-urban. If the windowless wall is due to parking requirements, I would expect YIMBY to mention (and condemn) it.

    • As Becca also replied, I would agree that zoning is the main issue at hand here. The city encourages anti-urban architecture across so much of the five boroughs that it’s disgraceful, but that’s the situation developers have to deal with (not that they are entirely innocent when it comes to VE’ing either). While the ground floor is unattractive I don’t think the overall building here is bad.

  3. That’s a very good point. It’s pretty from a distance, but pretty darn dead at street level. I assumed this was a quiet residential street where commercial space might not be appropriate or allowed by zoning. Is it? But even if that’s the case, the design is very fortress-like at street level. Some windows and/or greenery at ground level would go a long way.

    • Rebecca Baird-Remba | July 24, 2015 at 8:53 am |

      No commercial space allowed, and the parking is being built voluntarily. In cases like this, where zoning calls for five or fewer parking spots, parking would be waived entirely. But for condos at this price point in Williamsburg, I would expect a developer to build some parking.

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