A Department of Buildings stop work order has stalled construction at the nearly complete, four-story 574 Bushwick Avenue, where no visible progress has been made in half a year. The 10,150-square-foot project divides 6,883 square feet of residential space between seven apartments, which average 983 square feet each. The building rises in a rapidly developing part of northern Bushwick.
The 2,571 square-foot, 25 foot-wide lot sits on the west side of the avenue. The new building occupies 65 percent of the property, leaving space for a 36-foot-wide rear yard. The resulting floor-to-area ratio of 2.60 is average for the R6 residential zoning district.
The project replaces a single-story garage shed that was built around twenty years ago. The structure was torn down in 2012, six years after the new building permit was filed with the Department of Buildings. Construction progressed above street level by 2013, and reached the top floor by the following summer. The concrete-framed, masonry-walled structure was complete by 2015. Windows and balcony doors were installed in 2016.
Gabriel Okundaye of Odaye Design P.C. is the building architect. The original design, posted at the site, shows a brick façade accented with simplified traditional elements such as keystones above windows, a Chippendale top, and spherical sconces at the articulated base and recessed loggias.
The final design employs a more modest approach. The design was likely simplified as a cost-cutting measure, a positive change that contextually addresses the building’s surroundings through scale and materiality rather than relying on the historicist pastiche of its predecessor. The façade rises 39 feet without setbacks to the parapet, punctuated by a series of vertical slots. The street wall and cornice line match the walk-ups that line the rest of the block. Light beige strips along the floor plates and the parapet match the color of the four-story building next door, clad in the vinyl siding that characterizes residential properties across much of North Brooklyn. Pale red brick pays homage to ornate pre-war residences further east.
The façade color scheme matches the seven-story 585 Bushwick Avenue across the street. That mixed-use property, which features community facilities at the ground level with residences above, was built in 2011.
During the late 19th and early 20th century, the neighborhood was home to a working class community employed by nearby industries, such as the sprawling Rheingold Brewery complex east of Bushwick Avenue. The neighborhood fell on hard times as industry started leaving the area after World War II. But today, the wave of development that transformed Williamsburg into an upscale neighborhood is now sweeping Bushwick.
A six-story, 64-unit conversion of a pre-war warehouse nears topping out a block east at 600 Bushwick Avenue. An affordable housing lottery was launched earlier this month at The Saint Marks at 616 Bushwick Avenue, where 99 rental units sit within a repurposed 1890 Victorian Gothic church and an adjacent seven-story extension. Several large residential projects in progress one block north and east will bring hundreds of residential units to the blocks once occupied by the brewery.
More development is likely to follow in the future, given the proximity of the Myrtle Avenue stop for the J, M and Z trains, the rising prestige of Bushwick as a residential destination, and an abundance of underdeveloped and undeveloped properties nearby.