Mayor's Office Press Release #184-03
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEMAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG ANNOUNCES DESIGNATION OF DEVELOPER FOR FORMER BOARD OF EDUCATION HEADQUARTERS AT 110 LIVINGSTON STREET
July 8, 2003
Edward Skyler / Jennifer Falk (212) 788-2958
Michael Sherman (EDC) (212) 312-3804
Jerry Russo (DOE) (212) 374-5141
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today announced that a developer has been designated to redevelop the former headquarters of the now defunct Board of Education located at 110 Livingston Street in Downtown Brooklyn. The twelve-story, 335,000-square-foot building will be sold for more than $45 million and converted into residential condominium units. The designee, Two Trees Management, also plans to renovate the building's 6,000-square-foot Hall of the Board on the building's main floor into a theater that will be used by a local arts group for a nominal fee. Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, Economic Development Corporation President Andrew M. Alper, Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein, Housing Preservation & Development Commissioner Jerilyn Perine and President of Two Trees Management David Walentas joined the Mayor outside 110 Livingston Street for the announcement.
"Seven months ago, when I announced that the City was putting 110 Livingston Street up for sale, I said that we wanted to send the message that the Board of Education is history," said Mayor Bloomberg. "Today, with the designation of a developer to purchase this site, we are well on our way to accomplishing that objective. In addition, this sale presents us with an opportunity to further the redevelopment plan for Downtown Brooklyn that our Administration introduced this past April. Once converted, this project will expand the area's residential housing stock, and with the proposed theater, bolster the area's identity as a strong cultural district."
"The selection of Two Trees Management sets in motion another piece of the residential component of Downtown Brooklyn's ongoing development," said Borough President Markowitz. "It follows the wave of housing development underway along the Hoyt-Schermerhorn corridor and at the former Court Atlantic Garage site. One of the many strengths of the area is the adjoining residential neighborhood, and the potential for new residential development will bolster the marketing of office space envisioned by the Downtown Brooklyn Development Plan."
"We are delighted to have been selected to restore and adaptively reuse this extraordinary McKim Mead & White structure," said Two Trees President David Walentas. "Our plan will add 245 high-quality condominium apartments, a theater for the use of a local cultural organization, and 225 underground parking spaces to the neighborhood. It will also contribute significantly to the resurgence of Downtown Brooklyn."
Two Trees Management was chosen for the project as a result of a Request for Proposals issued by the New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC) on behalf of the City in February 2003. Two Trees Management's intends to keep the building's distinctive façade to remain intact and spend $95 million to convert the building into 245 condominium units with 225 below-grade parking spaces in the building's basement and sub-basement. The building, located at the corner of Livingston Street and Boerum Place, was designed by the architectural firm of McKim, Mead & White and constructed in 1925. In good structural condition, the building has undergone several major improvements in the last two years, including roof and window replacements, elevator upgrades and restoration of the exterior facade.
"This project represents an excellent reuse of this extraordinary building," said EDC President Alper. "The project will not only provide Downtown Brooklyn with quality housing, it will also generate more than 500 construction and permanent jobs."
Ten percent of the proceeds of the sale of 110 Livingston Street will be dedicated to affordable housing in Brooklyn as well as other targeted areas of the City. This move will further the Downtown Brooklyn plan announced by the Bloomberg Administration in April 2003, and help to transform the area into an exciting 24/7 residential, office and retail community. The plan calls for the City to increase zoning allowances, assist in the assembly of key commercial and residential sites, and implement a series of infrastructure improvements to facilitate the creation of as much as 5.4 million square feet of new commercial space and about 1,000 units of new housing.
"We are excited that a portion of the proceeds of the sale of this building will be dedicated to affordable housing in Brooklyn," said HPD Commissioner Jerilyn Perine. "This will help advance the Mayor's initiative to build or rehabilitate thousands of housing units over the next five years, find innovative ways to finance these projects and remove barriers to private investment. Adequate affordable housing is fundamental to the City's long-term economic prosperity."
The building had been occupied by the Board of Education, now the Department of Education, since 1939. The majority of its former occupants have been relocated to the Department's new headquarters in the former Tweed Courthouse, which is adjacent to City Hall in Lower Manhattan. The building's 250 remaining occupants will be relocated in the next few months. Moving the final Department of Education employees from 110 Livingston will symbolize another step forward in the Mayor's efforts to reform public education in New York City.
"For years, the building at 110 Livingston stood for all that was wrong with New York City's public school system: too much waste, too much bureaucracy, and too little attention to teaching and learning," said Schools Chancellor Klein. "As part of the Children First reforms, we are shifting the focus away from the system's bureaucracies and redirecting our efforts and resources to our schools, classrooms, and, most importantly, our children. And while the headquarters for the former Board of Education finally close, the Department of Education will aggressively continue to place the interests, well-being, and future of our children first."