Building signage has been posted at LEVEL at 2 North 6th Place in Williamsburg, where the 554-unit rental development inches closer to completion. The 40-story high-rise joins three other Douglaston Development towers, which have transformed abandoned lots at the East River waterfront into a burgeoning residential community over the course of the past decade. The Stephen B. Jacobs Group is behind the design.
Piers and large-scale industrial tenants crowded the north Williamsburg waterfront at the start of the twentieth century. A block-long manufacturing facility, measuring over 112,000 square feet, stood at 2 North 6th Place . The post-World War II advent of container shipping rendered local piers obsolete, and the industrial district went into steady decline. The facility was demolished shortly after the war.
Fortunes of the surrounding lots, most of which sat unused by the late 1990s, began to turn around ten years ago. Today, a waterfront promenade anchors the Edge residential complex, which consists of three 15-, 30-, and 40-story towers built between 2009 and 2014. They form a prominent skyline together with Toll Brothers’ 29- and 30-story One and Two Northside Piers. Mid-rise housing built on adjacent blocks integrates the large tower scale with traditional low-rise blocks further inland.
The new building permit for LEVEL was filed in December 2013. The concrete frame began to rise in 2015, reaching its highest point the following year. The façade was completed by the end of 2016.
The 589,750-square-foot building sits upon a 310,296-square-foot lot, a few dozen feet away from the North 6th Street/North Williamsburg landing for the East River Ferry.
The tower rises 400 feet to the main roof, and fits tightly within the zoning envelope. The bulkhead boosts the total height to 439 feet. A total 512,755 residential square feet result in an average of 926 square feet per unit. A small, 678-square-foot retail space sits at the ground floor. The flood-proof cellar features 160 parking spaces.
The design follows the aesthetic of its neighbors, several of which were designed by the same firm. The massing of the eight-story podium follows the traditional urban model as it aligns with the sidewalk. Beige columns and lintels reconcile the glassy façade with the more traditionally-styled structure across the street to the east. The lower floors cluster around a courtyard park that features a reflecting pool. The podium top houses a gym, a club lounge, a landscaped terrace, and an indoor-outdoor pool that overlooks the Manhattan skyline and the recently built Bushwick Inlet Park to the north.
The minimalist tower, which rises at the southern portion of site, features an understated grid of metal mullions that frames floor-to-ceiling windows. Rows of balconies at the corners provide a shared design element with its high-rise neighbors. A green roof sits at the 40th floor rooftop.
The retail and entertainment venues introduced by the new developments effectively extend Williamsburg’s vibrant dining and nightlife district. The residential cluster is a part of a series of developments that are transforming the East River waterfront between the Williamsburg and Queensboro bridges. The massive Domino Sugar Factory complex, in progress several blocks south, would bring thousands of residential units within a series of towers stretching along a quarter-mile-long waterfront esplanade. To the north, the city is planning to expand the Bushwick Inlet Park upon adjacent industrial land. Construction recently began on the extensive Greenpoint Landing project, which would create parkland and a residential community along the waterfront of Brooklyn’s northernmost neighborhood, similar to the one in progress at Hunters Point South on the opposite side of Newtown Creek in Long Island City.