high rise residential

A Very Tall Rental in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens

The developers of a rental building in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, Brooklyn, that got off to a rough start, with some neighbors suing to halt construction, are hoping that time has healed wounds now that leasing has begun.

The Parkline, a 254-unit development from the Hudson Companies at 626 Flatbush Avenue, near Prospect Park, soars 23 stories, putting it head and shoulders above much of the low-lying area.

The height of the building was at the heart of a lawsuit filed in 2013 by neighbors and community groups that said the project would ruin views from the park and cast shadows over nearby gardens. While the legal action prompted a temporary work stoppage, it ultimately fell short of its goal. Today the building is just as tall as planned.

For its part, Hudson is looking forward.

“There were a lot of concerns about this building changing the neighborhood,” said Alison Novak, a Hudson principal. But because the Parkline has affordable apartments as well as market-rate ones, concerns about shadows should be secondary, Ms. Novak said: “I would lean toward: It’s more important to have a mixed-income building in a neighborhood that’s experiencing economic pressure.”

Designed by Marvel Architects, the Parkline, at Fenimore Street, is set back from Flatbush Avenue, making it less noticeable from the sidewalk than one might expect.

While tall buildings may alter the skyline, they also allow for sweeping vistas. The view from a three-bedroom during a recent tour stretched all the way to Coney Island, where the red-metal Parachute Jump tower could be seen.

The light-filled apartments have Caesarstone counters, Bosch washers and dryers, and walls covered in subway tile, arranged unusually in vertical rows.

As with many recent rentals, the Parkline has loaded on the amenities. On the second floor is a theater with three tiers of seats and on the third floor, a window-lined gym and a terrace for yoga. Close to that terrace are beds where residents can plant vegetables, for about $12 a month. The Parkline’s top story offers spacious rooms and terraces for lounging or giving parties, though fees are charged for the use of some areas.

In addition, the Parkline will house a new outpost of the neighborhood’s Maple Street School, a preschool, as well as a second location of the Greenlight Bookstore in Fort Greene. Also planned is a restaurant. “We considered what’s going to benefit tenants,” Ms. Novak said, but also “what’s going to be additive for the neighborhood.”

Since the leasing office opened in early July, about 20 leases have been signed, and move-ins began at the end of July, according to Hudson.

One-bedrooms start at $2,775 a month, but with a concession of a month of free rent on a 13-month lease, the monthly net price works out to $2,561.

Yisroel Pruss, a salesman with Brick & Galo Realty who grew up in next-door Crown Heights and works as a rental agent in the area, said one-bedrooms nearby average $1,600 to $1,700 a month. But most rentals are in prewar buildings with few amenities.

The Parkline’s monthly rents seem on par with those of the luxury buildings now opening. For instance, at 123 on the Park, a seven-story luxury rental at 123 Parkside Avenue, just west of Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, one-bedrooms start at $2,598 a month after factoring in its concession, according to its website.

The $92 million Parkline project, which was financed with $72 million in state housing bonds, also has 51 apartments set aside for lower-income renters, all of which have been awarded by lottery.

The lawsuit, which named Hudson as well as state agencies involved in the project’s financing, warned that the Parkline would bring noise and congestion, and ruin views. A state judge halted construction on the project in the spring of 2014, but after about two weeks the restraining order was lifted and the project resumed.

The suit apparently did not speak for the whole neighborhood, however.

“When they came to me, I didn’t have an issue, because I thought the building was a big plus for the neighborhood,” said Sandra Marshall-Haye, the owner of Tafari Tribe, a Flatbush store offering tie-dyed T-shirts in exchange for a coupon that is part of the Parkline’s marketing campaign. “It steps it up a little bit.”


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