Major BAM Development to Move Forward After Delays

Monday, June 17, 2013

The city council approved a 32-story, mixed-use apartment building and cultural center known as BAM South on Monday.

The angular glass building will include a 20,000 square foot public plaza, 300 apartments, and a 50,000 square foot community and cultural facility. It will be built on top of an existing parking lot south of the Brooklyn Academy of Music, at Lafayette Street and Flatbush Avenue.

“A lot of thought has gone into the philosophy behind this district and this building is central to that philosophy, ” said Karen Brooks Hopkins, president of the Brooklyn Academy of Music, in a WNYC interview last week. She said that the project is vital to the area's future and would have "small and large, ethnically diverse, visual and performing arts," and would be comprised of "a lot of buildings that look different pulled together with a common streetscape.” 

City Council member Letitia James, who has worked with developers since 2009, threatened to veto the project last week as it was initially proposed. She called for builders to use more union labor that pays a “prevailing wage," an issue that has not been resolved. 

To pass the plan, James said she came to an agreement on preserving the Pacific Street library, which will be housed in the new building, while the library's original building is preserved. James also said she reached an agreement to give space at BAM South for the arts organization 651 Arts. 

In a statement, James said, "I am pleased to again offer my support to BAM South, a project which will offer significant affordable housing to the Fort Greene community. . . .Two Trees has further recognized the importance of paying union working prevailing wages, and I congratulate them for exceeding WMBE contractor requirements in the development of this project."

The project includes 300 apartments, 60 of which are designated affordable, something James says is not enough. Part of her agreement includes adding 30 percent affordable housing to three other projects in the area.


BAM South will be located at Lafayette Street and Flatbush Avenue, where there is a currently a BAM parking lot. (Courtesy of Ten Arquitectos)


Renderings for BAM South (Courtesy of Ten Arquitectos)


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Comments [5]

Charles Sutton

I hope it goes union and people in the area get work.

Jun. 18 2013 12:11 AM

Old school, huh? It's Flatbush Avenue, actually. The Extension starts at Fulton.

Jun. 17 2013 10:20 PM
Nancy Cadet from Fort Greene

Council Member Letitia James is doing a great job for her constituents. She is really trying to negotiate a decent deal that addresses several community needs. Of course , we need affordable housing and lots of it; the luxury high rises popping up all around Fort Greene, downtown Brooklyn and along Flatbush, Myrtle, and Atlantic Avenues are not providing that.

But kudos to Ms James for fighting for union labor , community cultural centers and libraries . We've got a real champion in our corner .

Jun. 17 2013 07:41 PM
Danny from Brooklyn

A.M. Sabino, I thought Flatbush Extension started at Fulton Street where there's the slight bend in the street.

Also - are the affordable units for rent or for purchase?

Jun. 17 2013 05:10 PM
A.M. Sabino from Long Island

Respectfully, it's Lafayette "Avenue," not Street, and technically it's Flatbush Avenue "Extension" at that juncture, something only "old school" Brooklynites from that neighborhood would know. What is important is that this will be a wonderful repurposing of what was for decades an underutilized parking lot that in years past has a modest florist shop and nursery. When future NYC Marathons make the turn from Fourth Ave. to Lafayette, it will remind Brooklynites past and present of the Borough's greatness. Thanks.

Jun. 17 2013 04:15 PM

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