A tipster sent along word that the Boardwalk Empire set at Franklin & Commercial Streets is currently being dismantled and that they will be out by the end of the month. The tipster also says Bay Crane is moving out of their large parcel at Eagle & West Streets. Both lots are held by Park Tower Group, a New York based developer, who has long held the development rights to this huge 22 acre swath of land at the tip of Greenpoint. Their proposed development, dubbed Greenpoint Landing, will ultimately result in 10 residential towers between 30 and 40 stories high totaling 4,000 units of housing – 20% of which will be affordable. Handel Architects designed the project and, according to their website, the development will feature a new marina, seasonal putting green, ice rink and even possibly a footbridge to Long Island City.
This proposed development neighbors the long-promised, but never-delivered park at 65 Commercial Street, which is currently a parking lot for MTA vehicles. In an effort to finally get the parking lot turned into a park, the City is offering the parking lot’s development rights for sale to neighboring properties. According to Rami Metal of Councilman Stephen Levin’s office, there are two interested bidders for the development rights – Park Tower Group, who is heading up Greenpoint Landing, and the Chetrit Group, a New York developer who acquired 77 Commercial earlier this year and has plans for a residential development on the site. When reached at his office, Robert Knakal of Massey Knakal Realty said the development rights could be worth as much as 14 million dollars. Given the small size of the 77 Commercial lot relative to the Park Tower parcel, The Chetrit Group would likely be the more interested party, though they did not respond to my request for comment.
It is also altogether unclear whether 14 million dollars would be enough to fund the new park or if the MTA vehicles will finally be moved to a new home, which has always been the primary impediment to progress on the site. When asked about that issue, Rami Metal of Councilman Levin’s office said that he “has assurances the vehicles will be moved”. One thing is clear – this sleepy tip of Greenpoint looks to be starting a dramatic transformation and the massive influx of new residents will have to rely on limited public transportation and a scarcity of parks. Can the area handle all of these new residents? May we have a couple extra cars on the G Train, please?