Downtown glitz jumps Flatbush Avenue

The Brooklyn Paper
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The first fruit of Downtown Brooklyn’s massive upsize rezoning will be a squash court on Myrtle Avenue.

Ground has been broken on a 40-story luxury condo building on Myrtle Avenue directly across Flatbush Avenue Extension from Forest City Ratner’s Metrotech office campus.

The 309-unit building — its address is 306 Gold St. — is the first residential high-rise being built following approval in 2004 of the skyscraper-friendly Downtown Brooklyn Plan.

Downtown Brooklyn planners were crowing this week.

“For years, when you crossed the [Manhattan] bridge onto Flatbush, you would see nondescript buildings and gas stations,” said Michael Burke, director of the Downtown Brooklyn Council.

“Now, you will see a nice-looking building with beautiful streetscap­es.”

The building, which sits between Johnson Street and Myrtle Avenue, will include a swimming pool, a gym and an indoor basketball court, as well as the squash court, according to developer, Ron Hershko, who previously built the Toy Factory Lofts nearby.

“We’re pushing it to the next level,” he told The Brooklyn Papers.

The new level doesn’t please everyone Downtown.

“I want to know who wants Brooklyn to look like Manhattan,” asked Vincent Battista, president of the Institute of Design and Construction located one block south on Flatbush Avenue Extension. Battista has opposed the Downtown Brooklyn Plan since its creators threatened to use the power of eminent domain to demolish his college to build a park.

“And the question is,” he added, “who will be able to afford it when it does?”

Updated 4:00 pm, November 10, 2010
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