2012 Reconstruction Award Silver Winner: 220 Water Street, Brooklyn, N.Y.

The recent rehabilitation of 220 Water Street transforms it from a vacant manufacturing facility to a 134-unit luxury apartment building in Brooklyn’s DUMBO neighborhood.

October 05, 2012 |
Formerly an open-air courtyard, the two-story grand lobby is now the centerpiece

Once home to the Hanan & Son shoe factory, 220 Water Street, Brooklyn, was built in two phases: the first, in 1893, using heavy timber; the second, in 1905, with reinforced concrete. The historic building merges these two U-shaped structures together with a brick façade. The recent rehabilitation of 220 Water Street transforms it from a vacant manufacturing facility to a 134-unit luxury apartment building in Brooklyn’s DUMBO (“Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass”) neighborhood.

Led by developer GDC Properties, the Building Team completed the rehabilitation of 220 Water Street late last December in order to meet the deadline for New York City’s J-51 tax incentive program, which expired at the end of 2011 and is still facing renewal difficulties. The building was issued a temporary certificate of occupancy just three days before the end of the year.

PROJECT SUMMARY


220 WATER STREET

Brooklyn, N.Y.

Building Team

Owner/developer: GDC Properties LLC (submitting firm)

Architect: Perkins Eastman

Structural/MEP engineer: Glickman Engineering Associates

General contractor: The Rinaldi Group

General Information

Size: 196,000 sf

Construction cost: Confidential (at owner’s request)

Construction period: October 2010 to December 2011

Early plans called for the apartments to be laid out conventionally along double-loaded corridors, with half facing the street and the other half facing the interior courtyard. When it was decided to single load the corridors, the developers opted to create the apartments as deep units, whose interior rooms would receive daylight through the high windows along the corridors.

Also of concern were the several grade changes around the perimeter of the building. To ensure that first-floor units would receive privacy from pedestrian traffic, the Building Team elevated the first floor and created staircases leading upward into the building from Water and Front Streets. Inside, a 30-foot-high grand lobby that replaces the interior courtyard offers residents lounge areas, concierge services, and a coffee bar.

Due to 220 Water Street’s landmark status, the Building Team needed to manage stormwater runoff without adding scuppers or downspouts at the roof, which would have required perforations in the parapet wall. Instead, stormwater is taken through the building, and through the lobby’s copper piping, into three large custom retention vaults.

The new 220 Water Street has since become another hallmark of residential revival for the new Brooklyn. +

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