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MAP: Glitzy Makeover Underway for Fort Greene's Arts District

By Janet Upadhye | July 10, 2014 7:42am
 There are several developments and projects taking shape in 2014 for Fort Greene's artsy district.
Brooklyn Cultural District
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FORT GREENE — It's a big year for this small corner of Fort Greene.

The area recently dubbed the Brooklyn Cultural District is set to get a major makeover — with a handful of new developments, a glamorous new hotel, glitzy sidewalks and a host of theaters, restaurants and public plazas.

The approximately 6-block area — bounded roughly by Flatbush Avenue, Fulton Street and Lafayette Avenue — is anchored by the century-old Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) and is also home to the Theater for a New Audience, Urban Glass and BRIC Arts.

Local arts organizations recently met to come up with a new name for the area, once called the BAM Cultural District, ahead of the completion of several mixed-use developments — BAM North I, EyeBAM and BAM South.

"They felt that the area was no longer just about BAM," said Andrew Kalish, director of cultural development at the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership. "It will be like the Lincoln Center area and they wanted a name to reflect that."

The name was changed in June.

In a series of projects that are underway or set to begin, the district is set to include by 2016 museums, dance studios, art galleries, music venues, theaters, restaurants, public plazas as well as the glamorous Rockwell Tower Hotel.

The city recently approved a $3 million plan for sidewalks that will have embedded lights, similar to those outside Barclays Center. The area's developers, including Two Trees,  Jonathan Rose Companies and The Gotham Organization, have agreed to foot half the bill for the sidewalks, and the partnership plans to fundraise the rest from the city and other groups.

DNAinfo New York rounded up the area's most recent developments:

BAM North I, 598-600 Fulton St.

Construction has begun on this 52-story mixed-income rental tower, a project from FXFOWLE Architects that will have 586 apartments with 20,000 square feet of cultural and related office space, plus 20,000 square feet of retail space, according to the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership.

The building will be located next to the newly opened Theater for a New Audience and is expected to be completed in 2016.

EyeBAM or BAM North II, 280 Ashland Place

The BAM North Site II is a 12-story, mixed-use, mixed-income building dubbed EyeBAM because it will house the Eyebeam Art and Technology Center, currently in Chelsea, while the upper levels will be home to 109 rental units, according to Dattner Architects.

Construction is expected to begin in 2015.

BAM South, 286 Ashland Place

Construction started on the BAM South building, which was approved in 2012, in late May. The site will be home to a 32-story tower with 384 apartments, community and cultural space and a public plaza.

Renderings of the site, by design firm Grain Collective, show a colorful plaza filled with trees, greenery, seating, and shops plus a tower that will rival the nearby Williamsburgh Savings Bank in height.

The site will also be home to space for nearby Brooklyn Academy of Music, 651 ARTS and a new “technology-rich branch” of the Brooklyn Public Library.

The building will be complete in 2016.

Rockwell Hotel Tower, 95 Rockwell Pl.

The Rockwell Hotel Tower is a 200-room, 30-story glass and metal structure that will feature "dramatic asymmetrical fractures in the façade reinforcing a notion of Brooklyn as ‘multi-faceted’ and ‘modern’,” according to LEESER Architecture, the firm that designed the building.

The hotel is part of the "Marriott Autograph Collection," according to city records and will be home to a rooftop bar, swimming pool, banquet hall and a ground floor restaurant that will overlook an outdoor arts plaza.

Construction started in May and will be complete in 2015.

Brooklyn Cultural District sidewalks

The city recently approved a $3 million plan to upgrade sidewalks on Fulton Street, Ashland Place and Lafayette Avenue near Brooklyn Academy of Music.

The area’s new sidewalks will be made with sparkling dark stone slabs with embedded lights, according to the plan created by the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership. 

A timeline has not yet been set for construction.