Tom Soter in Bricks & Bucks on October 24, 2012
But the seven-person board is able to walk and chew gum at the same time, and worked on other projects while dealing with lawsuits and countersuits. The board picked up nearly $8 million from a special assessment and a loan to complete extensive Local Law 11 work: the deteriorating façade was repaired in the parapets, the lintel work, the roofs and, finally, the roof deck.
The 18,000-square-foot deck (seen above) was in bad shape and the condo’s last order of business. “It was haphazard and pretty marginal,” recalls Eric Reschke, the building treasurer, and the board is particularly proud of the job it did. “We put in pavers, we built planters, we put in a children’s area, and we put in trees,” says Reschke, about the roof deck project, which took about a year and a half to complete. “It’s pretty amazing.”
The process started two years ago, when the board members sent out a questionnaire to the owners, “trying to understand what everyone wanted to get out of it,” Reschke recalls. The responses included everything from adding built-in seating to installing a swimming pool. “We had the whole shooting match,” he notes.
They then chose Terrain, a “conceptual design” firm chosen over two other companies that had bid for the job. “They gave us their ideas and we gave them our questionnaire data, and then they came up with the ultimate design.”
The deck is an impressive, sprawling open space, with a clear view of downtown Brooklyn and the new Barclays Center sports and entertainment facility. It is two-tiered; formerly, all the HVAC equipment from the building’s Daily News days had sat under a six-foot high platform that was part of the deck. In the rehab, that deck was raised two feet, making the bottom area more usable. Picnic tables were added, as was a bathroom, “so when people used [the roof] for parties they have a place to sit and eat and also don’t have to run back [to their apartments] to use the facilities,” Reschke says. The work took place in the summer, and the crew had to share the freight elevator with the residents. The reason: the shoddy construction done by Boymelgreen led to the closing of the passenger elevator for three months.
Prospect Heights, Brooklyn
The building itself is something special, Reschke notes. “We have a lot of larger apartments, which are kind of rambling, two-, three-, four-bedroom apartments, but we also have a lot of smaller apartments. We have so many families, so many young children, it’s unbelievable. And there’s very little turnover. People who come here stick. They’ll buy larger apartments, moving up.”
The building boasts a gut-renovated lobby (including a new intercom system, a new doorman station, and new lighting). “We’ve really upgraded the building. We’ve made all of our big investments,” says the treasurer, “and we feel the building is in such a great spot right now.”
The Newswalk owes its popularity partly to the neighborhood in which it sits: near Prospect Heights, Fort Greene, Park Slope, and Boerum Hill. Residents have access to all the new restaurants, as well as cultural centers like the Brooklyn Academy of Music and the Barclays Center. Concludes Reschke: “It’s really a neighborhood that’s come into its own.”
This project was started in September 2009 and completed in August 2011.
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