- Founded in 2002, Flank was formed as a design and development firm committed to making meaningful contributions to the built environment. Partners Jon Kully and Mick Walsdorf envisioned a vertically integrated practice that controlled the total real estate process—from concept to programming, architecture, development, marketing, and sales. Completed work reflects the firm’s commitment to design, livability, and architectural achievement. Flank’s primary focus is on residential and mixed-use condominium buildings in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Recent pursuits also include hospitality, retail, and multifamily developments in New York, Savannah, Georgia, and Charleston, South Carolina.
MulberryCentrally located between Prince and Spring Streets, 224 Mulberry presented a rare opportunity for infill on one of Manhattan’s most historic streets. Featuring a distinctly patterned Roman brick exterior, the building tells a story of its own with divided light weight-and-chain windows, art deco details, and a high-minded approach to quality, tradition, and context.
ABINGDONThe Abingdon is a modern reimagining of a unique prewar property, originally constructed in 1905 as a home for working women. Located on the northwest corner of scenic Abingdon Square, the condominium holds nine large residential apartments, showcasing spacious rooms and contemporary details against the dignified backdrop of Federalist-era architecture.
WEST 12THWith 12 homes behind a distinct modulating copper façade, 385 West 12th successfully integrates contemporary materials into a historic residential district. The untreated copper will patina gracefully as the building ages, falling into lockstep with a neighborhood where change is measured not by years but by generations.
WEST 27THLocated in the heart of Chelsea, 520 West 27th is a commercial property articulated as two volumes, with a base reflecting the surrounding streetscape and a set-back tower paying homage to the industrial buildings of the neighborhood. Made of glass block and concrete, the result is a stylish and timeless approach to modern design.
- FLANK ARCHITECTURE1 North Moore Street
New York, NY40 Walker Street
New York, NYPrivate Residence
Bridgehampton, NYPrivate Residence
Palm Beach, FLPrivate Residence
Martha’s Vineyard, MAPrivate Residence
211 East 61st Street
New York, NYPrivate Residence
10 West 66th Street
New York, NY
- FLANK ARCHITECTURE
AND DEVELOPMENT441 East 57th Street
New York, NY135 West 4th Street
New York, NY454 West 20th Street
New York, NYDrayton Tower
71 Smith Street
Property Owner, LLC
Goldstein Hill &
West Architects LLP
WSP Cantor Seinuk
WSP Flack + Kurtz
Cerami & Associates
AV/ IT Consultant
Flank Brokerage, LLC
Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group
Partners & Spade
Its unique approach to the work allows the studio to nimbly work with corporations such as Target, J.Crew and Patagonia as well as rising brands like Warby Parker, Shinola and Quirky.
But, residents say Boerum Hill, only about seven blocks long and eight blocks wide, isn’t barreling toward gentrification.
“That presumes nobody was there when you got there,” said resident Peter McGuire, who owns the brokerage firm Smith Hanten Properties. “The neighborhood was great before…”
Though surrounded by the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Barclays Center and Brooklyn Bridge Park, Boerum Hill hid in plain sight until a few boldface names—notably Michelle Williams and the late Heath Ledger, and Ethan Hawke—moved in. A short time later, an upscale grocer and Michelin-starred restaurant opened on Schermerhorn Street, the dividing line between Boerum Hill and Downtown Brooklyn.
“We’ve had our share of celebrity residents and that has, in some sense, put us on the map,” said Howard Kolins, president of the Boerum Hill Association and a resident since 1985. “You’d say Boerum Hill and no one knew where that was. That has certainly changed.”
At the heart of Boerum Hill are neat tracts of 19th-century row houses, ranging in style from Greek Revival to Italianate to Queen Anne. But it also is home to state offices, the Kings County Criminal Court and the Brooklyn House of Detention.
“The whole street used to be institutions—where I would go to get my license renewed—all state offices and parking lots…it was a downtown street,” said Jay Molishever, a Carroll Gardens resident since 1999 who is an agent for the real-estate firm Citi Habitats. “If you talk to some of the real old-timers, they talk about Boerum Hill as being pretty gritty, and the grittiness is certainly gone.”
State Street drew attention for the 2013 conversion of a blighted block to 23 new townhouses. The block is now flanked by State + Bond, a development of five townhouses expected to be ready by summer, and the Boerum, a 20-story hotel/condominium tower. The 128 units, ranging from one to five bedrooms, are slated for occupancy later this year.
Sales of the Boerum’s condos began in early 2015 and “went a little bit faster than expected,” said Mick Walsdorf, managing partner of Flank, the firm developing the tower with the Carlyle Group. Four units are still on the market.
On the other side of the neighborhood, 465 Pacific, which launched sales last fall, will add 30 one- to five-bedroom condominiums to the market, 28 of which are under contract.
Much of the commercial energy is emanating from Atlantic Avenue and Smith and Court streets. Smith Street became a restaurant row in the 1990s with more shops moving in over the years, said Mr. McGuire, who recalls when the street was pocked with closed storefronts.
Now, with the new residential buildings, “…Smith Street is going from version 3.0 to version 4.0, which is good,” he said.
Atlantic Avenue, once a bustling antiques district, is now lined with shops specializing in home décor, children’s clothes and toys, specialty clothing boutiques and salons for people and pets alike.
“You have a lot of very eclectic boutiques and a mix of small, medium and large in the neighborhood,” said Tammy Ben-Eliezer-Baxter, executive director of the Atlantic Avenue Local Development Corp. Even with larger businesses coming in, Ms. Ben-Eliezer-Baxter said, “It still has that mom-and-pop feel…it depends on which block you’re going to.”
Mary Jo Pile is a co-owner of Collier West, a home décor shop that opened on Atlantic Avenue four years ago, a time, she said, when the street was turning over because of high rents.
Lately, Ms. Pile said, “We’ve seen a lot of really great things happening and a lot of great stores, boutiques and salons come into the neighborhood, which has really helped.
“We’ve seen dramatic increases in not only traffic but a really nice energy come to this street,” she said. “There’s enough here now for people to make this a destination.”
Transportation: Boerum Hill is served by subway stations at Hoyt-Schermerhorn (A, C, G), Nevins Street (2, 3, 4, 5), Bergen Street (F, G) and Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center (2, 3, 4, 5, D, N, R). The Long Island Rail Road’s Atlantic Terminal serves Far Rockaway and Hempstead.
Shopping: On Atlantic Avenue, mainstays include Horseman Antiques, City Foundry and Sahadi’s, a Middle-Eastern grocery store. On Smith Street, the 55-year-old Paisano’s Butcher Shop specializes in artisanal meats and poultry as well as Italian groceries. Established in 1981, BookCourt, on Court Street, hosts readings of local authors.
Schools: P.S. 38 the Pacific School and P.S. 261 Philip Livingston School offer prekindergarten though fifth grade. High schools nearby include Brooklyn Frontiers High School and H.S. 519 Cobble Hill School of American Studies. Tuition-based schools for pre-K through eight grade include A. Fantis Parochial School and Brooklyn Heights Montessori School on Court Street. In Brooklyn Heights, private options include the Packer Collegiate Institute and St. Ann’s School, both preschool through 12th grade. Brooklyn Friends in downtown Brooklyn is preschool through 12th grade.
Corrections & Amplifications
The boutiques in a photo accompanying this story are on Court Street. Previously, the photo caption incorrectly said Atlantic Avenue. (Jan. 8, 2016)
An earlier version of this article didn’t mention 28 condominiums at 465 Pacific were already under contract. (Jan. 12, 2016)
“The Happening Boerum Hill”,
January 11, 2016
Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat spent part of his childhood living in his family’s brownstone in Boerum Hill, taking in the atmosphere of a neighborhood on the rise. His early years in this central Brooklyn hub likely planted the seeds that sprouted into the underlying themes in much of his art—the dichotomies of wealth and poverty, integration and segregation.
Author Jonathan Ames has spent much of his adult life in New York, with more than a decade of that in Boerum Hill. His HBO series Bored to Death, which chronicles the adventures and misadventures of a young Brooklyn writer moonlighting as an unlicensed detective, was undoubtedly influenced by the time he spent living in Boerum Hill.
Chuck Klosterman, best-selling author and cultural critic, keeps his fingers on the pulse of pop culture from his Boerum Hill home. Klosterman’s books and essays dissect everything from popular music to postmodern society with humor and originality, as if giving a voice to the neighborhood itself.
Singer Joan Osborne also calls Boerum Hill home. She summed up the neighborhood perfectly in an interview with Brooklyn Roads publisher Howard B. Leibowitz: “You do your own thing…lock yourself in your room and you write or you paint¬, but you also want to go out and see what other people are doing. You see something and say, ‘That’s amazing! What can I do to answer that?’ Brooklyn is constantly inspiring in that way; there’s so much going on around you, you feel challenged to do your best all the time.” ”
Brooklyn is a borough fueled by creativity, which seems to be wired directly into its pulse. Resistance to its charm is futile, and visual self-expression is good for the soul. With that in mind, here are five of the most intriguing visual and performing art studios in and around Downtown Brooklyn, with notes on some of their upcoming scheduled classes.
French Louie | 320 Atlantic Avenue The food at French Louie near Cobble Hill is not just French, but French-American fusion. Owner Doug Crowell, a native New Yorker, spent years earning his stripes in Boston and New York, many of them in French restaurants such as La Grenouille and Picholine. That’s why on the menu at French Louie you’ll find intriguing combos such as snails with house-cured bacon and grits, dry-aged steak with house-made steak sauce, and smoked trout scrambled egg. Featuring flavors that are as familiar as they are irresistible, a meal here will likely inspire you to explore creating French-American fare in your own condo kitchen.
Bacchus | 409 Atlantic Avenue You can’t have a restaurant with a name like Bacchus and not serve exceptional wine. No fear; Bacchus offers over 200 vintages and matches them with incredible food, all the while remaining unpretentious and welcoming. Enjoy a satisfying and complex glass of Côtes du Rhône, Pinot Noir, or Muscadet while tucking into some hearty bistro fare. Classics on the Bacchus menu include Boeuf Bourguignon braised in red wine with potatoes, bacon and mushrooms and Pan-seared Salmon over julienne vegetables with saffron sauce. Macarons, the ideal, bite-sized dessert, are served here in every color of the rainbow. Close your eyes, and you could be in Paris.
Chez Oskar | 211 Dekalb Avenue In Chez Oskar, Fort Greene has one of its best international eateries. Indulge yourself with comfort foods like flavorful French onion soup, Chicken Liver Mousse, and Coq au Vin. There are also some altogether adventurous options on the menu, such as the Curry Salmon Burger and Fort Greene Salad, so you’ll be tempted to return no matter what you’re craving.
Provence en Boîte | 263 Smith Street Truite Amandine, Dorade Grise, Salade de Betteraves – don’t worry if you’re not sure what all these are – we can assure you they’re very French and tres délicieuse. Provence en Boîte, nestled between Cobble Hill and Boerum Hill, exudes the atmosphere of a small, independent French bistro and has its patrons enraptured by the mouth-watering dishes it serves. Hands-on owners Jean-Jacques and Leslie Bernat will enthusiastically guide you through the menu, and will be happy to help you choose a bottle of something nice, too.
ICI | 246 Dekalb Avenue Part of Brooklyn’s French dining scene for over a decade now, ICI offers French country cooking in the setting of a 19th-century brownstone. Although the menu is most definitely French, many of the ingredients on it – including cheeses, meats, and fish – are locally sourced. Come for brunch and enjoy thick-cut Brioche French Toast or Salade Niçoise. Those who arrive later in the day will be tempted by dishes such as Belle Rouge Chicken and a dazzling selection of French wines. ”
Soul Collections | 1126 Bedford Avenue Always wanted to see your designs flaunted at New York Fashion Week? Master the art of the needle and thread at Soul Collections, a self-described “sewing lounge” that offers classes for all levels of experience. Courses at this personal and friendly studio allow you to focus on everything from curvaceous corsets to computer pattern-making. Fabrics are provided, and you’ll get plenty of personal mentoring, as groups are intimate. For more info, visit: www.soul-collections.com
UrbanGlass | 647 Fulton Street Glass-making is hot in every sense of the word. Sign up for a course at UrbanGlass, and try your hand at crafting personal beads (this can be a fun family class), light fittings, stained glass, or even neon signs. Get inspired in the shop or in the gallery, where works of glass art from a worldwide stable of master makers are displayed. Whatever you create at UrbanGlass, it’s sure to become a focal point ‒ and a talking point ‒ in your Downtown Brooklyn condo. For more info, visit: www.urbanglass.org
Painting Lounge | 438 Union Avenue Painting Lounge, a relaxed studio where you can learn to recreate a famous masterpiece, has become so popular there are now three in the NYC area, including a bright and inviting location in Williamsburg. Behind such overwhelming popularity lies a very simple formula: you don’t need any previous painting experience, and all painting materials are provided. Painting students have learned by copying the masters for centuries, and Painting Lounge takes this tradition seriously. Depending on which class you choose, you could recreate anything from a Van Gogh to a Matisse. And though you may not quite replicate a masterpiece on your first try, you’ll be sure to see your style improve and your eye for color and form develop the more classes you take. For more info, visit: www.paintinglounge.com
Baked in Brooklyn | 242 Wythe Avenue While Baked in Brooklyn won’t teach you how to make perfect brownies, it will introduce you to the art of ceramics. Experienced and encouraging ceramic artists lead the way as you turn wet, gray clay into personalized jugs, mugs, bowls and other decorative items that you can paint and glaze in your own unique style. Consider creating something you can use at home or even display at work. Baked in Brooklyn also offers mosaic classes as well as special kids’ classes and camps and creative birthday parties. For more info, visit: www.baked-in-brooklyn.com
BKC | 33 Washington Street Whether you haven’t got a clue about your camera or you’re a DSLR enthusiast who wants to take things to the next level, BKC will teach you how to get the most out of your photography equipment. Once you know your camera inside and out, you can learn about lighting and framing and even processing pictures in the studio. Classes include Essential Portraiture (great for taking photos of family and friends) and Urban Landscape, where you’re encouraged to capture your surroundings. You could even make The Boerum one of your subjects! For more info, visit: www.wearebkc.com ”
The shops that currently reside between Bond and Hoyt Streets on Atlantic, on a stretch known as Antique Row, are frequented not only by locals living in Boerum Hill but by tourists and design-savvy shoppers from around NYC and its environs who are drawn to the area’s treasures from the past. On the top of most must-see lists is a staple called Horseman Antiques at 351 Atlantic Avenue, a 25,000-square-foot, five-story building that is teeming with an eclectic array of furniture, fixtures, and salvaged items. Open since 1962, Horseman Antiques carries many mid-century pieces, and turn-of-the-century armoires are a staple. Their stained glass collection is one of the largest on the East Coast.
Just down the street from Horseman at 352 7th Avenue is Sterling Place, a haven for those who enjoy treating themselves as well as buying for others. With a globally collected inventory hand-picked by passionate buyers, Sterling Place prides itself on providing the finest-quality items with heirloom potential. In addition to perfect gifts hand-wrapped with care, the store boasts floors filled with vintage furnishings as well as antique items for the home.
Another noteworthy stop nearby at 365 Atlantic Avenue is City Foundry, a well-established source for stylists, designers, and other professionals in the design industry. Rightfully located at the center of the antiques mecca that is Atlantic Avenue, City Foundry is one of the area’s design-focused pioneers. It features an extensive collection of mid-century and modern furniture as well as lighting and other home essentials. City Foundry also offers an exclusive collection of items that can be made to order, plus expert custom upholstery and furniture restoration services.
A few steps over at 377A Atlantic Avenue, Collier West is a shop known for fine curation and an eye for quality. Founded in Columbus, Ohio, Collier West opened in Brooklyn in 2011. Since then it has become known for a passion for excellence in design that shines through the 1,100-square-foot store. Collier West is filled with vintage and antique furniture, accessories, and décor. An exclusive stop for one-of-a-kind items, the store has created a unique environment for finding just the right item to fulfill your specific antique shopping quest.
And just a few doors down, the mid-century mavens of Bright Lyons at 383 Atlantic Avenue stock Herman Miller, Charles and Ray Eames, Alexander Girard, Florence Knoll, George Nelson, and Hans Wegner gems for those seeking a pared-down but cheerfully modern aesthetic from the 1950s and ’60s. (Their entertaining blog is also worth a virtual visit: http://blog.brightlyons.com.) In addition to mid-century classics, you’ll also find whimsical conversation pieces from as recently as the 1980s. A Peter Shire table or a set of Michele de Lucchi side chairs, both from Memphis Milano, will make you wonder if you’ve stumbled into an episode of Miami Vice. ”
Julie Reiner—the famed mixologist behind Flatiron Lounge, Pegu Club, and Lani Kai—is the proprietress of the speakeasy/prohibition-tinged Clover Club. As New Yorkers have come to expect from Reiner, the theme-appropriate drink menu is full of inventive, expertly crafted, and fully formed cocktails such as the spicy and refreshing “Pepper Martin,” which contains mezcal, grapefruit, lime, white pepper syrup, peach liqueur, and salt. Clover Club’s punches, too, are favorites of Boerum Hill residents thanks to recipes that stretch as far back as the 1600s. Try the “Scarlet Lady Punch” for a fruit-centric flavor bouquet that refreshes the palate and intrigues the senses.
Livingston Manor | 42 Hoyt Street
Downtown Brooklyn’s Livingston Manor is a quintessential cocktail bar that focuses significant effort and attention on the drinks it serves. Livingston Manor makes a great Old Fashioned, and their Sazerac—another tough classic to master—is also incredibly balanced. Numerous local liquors are incorporated into their menu, making most selections decidedly singular to Livingston Manor itself.
The JakeWalk | 282 Smith Street
The JakeWalk differs from other cocktails bars on this list in that it offers more than 200 wines, as well as cocktails, cheese plates, and charcuterie. Essentially a wine bar with a cocktail bar’s soul, the JakeWalk offers a speakeasy vibe, and mixed drinks that are far from pedestrian. Try their eponymous cocktail, “The JakeWalk,” for an invigorating mix of tequila, rum, St. Germain, lime juice, and bitters, or the “Bartenders Choice” option, which allows guests to choose the spirit and style of their drinks and let the mixologists at the JakeWalk create a customized concoction.
Grand Army Bar | 336 State Street
One of Boerum Hill’s latest additions, cocktail bar and raw bar hybrid Grand Army Bar was created by some of Brooklyn’s most distinguished culinary visionaries - including Mile End’s Noah Bernamoff, Rucola’s Julian Brizzi, and chef Jon Bignelli, late of wd~50. This hot spot’s buzzy vibe is pointedly vintage, with radiant art lining the walls, rustic wood floors, and a stunning bar from the 1930s as the centerpiece. Their cocktail menu was creatively constructed with one eye on innovation and the other on tried-and-true mixtures. Try the “Trans-Siberian,” a vividly refreshing summer option made with vodka, Aperol, fresh grapefruit and lime juice, Maldon salt, and orange flower water.
Leyenda | 221 Smith Street
Leyenda is the long-anticipated pan-Latin bar from the team that launched Clover Club, Julie Reiner and Susan Fedroff, with cocktails courtesy of bartender Ivy Mix. The drinks menu at Leyenda offers a survey of Latin American spirits including tequila and rum as well as mezcal, cachaca, and pisco, as well as numerous forward-thinking interpretations of cocktail classics. Try a mezcal mai tai, for example, or a rum cocktail made with macadamia nut orgeat syrup. Sue Torres, formerly of Sueños, oversees a food menu of small plates that features flavorful treats such as goat tacos and coconut habanero shrimp panuchos, perfect companions to breezy mixed drinks enjoyed on Leyenda’s generous patio. ”
Boerum House & Home
“Boerum House & Home”,