Zero to Sixty: Oliver House, AKA 360 Smith, Takes Off
[Right photo courtesy of Brooklyn Streets]
After nearly a year of public debate, work has started at at 360 Smith Street, now known as Oliver House. The digging has been going full tilt this week and is proceeding quickly. We're tempted to joke that the building will be completed by next week, but it won't be. It will be finished by June. Neighborhood blogger and City Council candidate Gary Reilly, who shot the photo on the right, wrote yesterday afternoon that it "Looks like [developer Billy] Stein is motivated to beat the text change on wide streets." While the design of the development itself was significantly modified from the Heavy Metal version (that still appears on architect Robert Scarano's website), the building's height still exceeds what would be allowed under a rezoning of Carroll Gardens and there is still deep dissatisfaction among some in the neighborhood about the outcome. City Council Member Bill de Blasio, who was very involved in discussions about the building said of the developer, "for various reasons by and large he has responded in good faith" to community concerns. He called the entire process, which resulted in a changed design (if not a height reduction), "a good model of intervening early" to modify a project. Meanwhile, a Community Board 6 Meeting about the zoning text changes, which would redefine a number of very narrow streets in Carroll Gardens as actually being narrow and, therefore, limit the height of buildings on those streets, takes place tonight. It a meeting of the CB6 Landmarks and Land Use Committee and it starts at at 6:00 PM at 250 Baltic Street (between Court and Clinton Streets) in the auditorium. Residents are delivering hundreds of signed letters in support of the change.