Yesterday, we checked in on Two Trees’ new tower at 286 Ashland Place, where construction is making rapid headway. Work seems to be moving at a similar place at 333 Schermerhorn Street, just a few blocks away, where Douglas Steiner’s 53-story project dubbed “The Hub” is now roughly two-thirds of the way to its pinnacle, per the latest from Tectonic.
Dattner Architects designed the building, and when renderings were first released, it seemed 333 Schermerhorn would vie for the title of the borough’s tallest tower. But since then, both 388 Bridge Street and the Avalon Willoughby have topped-out, meaning The Hub will likely rank as Brooklyn’s third-tallest structure once it reaches its peak, 577 feet above the streets below.
The building will have 740 apartments, and like Two Trees’ tower at BAM South, 20% of the units will be set-aside as lottery-allocated housing. Most importantly, the base of the project will have 34,823 square feet of retail space, as well as amenities for the residences above.
While the actual tower portion of the development continues to rise — and now stands about 33 stories tall — the retail base is already built-out, and appears to be awaiting cladding and interior work.
The exterior brick is already visible along the lower floors of the tower, and window installation has also begun. Unfortunately, it seems 333 Schermerhorn will be afflicted with the PTAC scourge, and the environmentally-unfriendly monstrosities will even peer through parts of the brick facade, showing someone did an exceedingly thorough job of value-engineering.
Given that the crown was also likely changed due to “bottom-line” economics, the PTACs should not be shocking, and they are also present on many of the other large buildings rising in Downtown Brooklyn. This is hardly surprising in a city like New York, where local leaders encourage auto-centric policies like mandatory parking minimums that exacerbate the city’s worsening affordability crisis, while also ignoring gross inefficiencies that could easily be remedied by additional subsidies or incentives.
Despite its obvious inadequacies, 333 Schermerhorn will still help meet the seemingly incessant demand for housing in Brooklyn, and its retail will be a major positive for the streetscape. Completion is currently expected in 2016.