Sour notes from old piano factory

The Brooklyn Paper
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A developer turning an old Rockwell Place piano factory into condos took a not-so-subtle swipe at his competition this week, calling the controversial Forte tower “more along the lines of a Manhattan-type skyscraper.”

Josh Landau, the developer of the so-called “Rockwell Place,” cast a far more favorable light on his development: turning the 97-year-old piano warehouse, between Fulton Street and Lafayette Avenue, into 37 luxury lofts.

“We fit in with the surrounding community,” said Landau. “Our building respects its historical context.”

The 12-story Rockwell — the piano factory’s six original floors plus six floors of new residential construction — will also house 3,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space.

In contrast, the glass-walled Forte’s tower, on Fulton Street and Ashland Place, will top out at 30 stories, with 108 units inside.

Like the Clarett Group, which is developing Forte Condo, Landau is banking that the allure of the incipient BAM Cultural District will turn Fort Greene into the Upper West Side to Brooklyn’s Lincoln Center.

“Our acquisition of the property was strategic,” said Landau. “Our project is in the heart of that cultural district, which has a tremendous amount of public financing.”

Obviously, not everything we hear coming from Rockwell Place is about preserving the beauty of Fort Greene. Real-estate isn’t philanthropy. The goal is, of course, to keep those property values moving as high as the Forte tower, as Stephen Kliegerman, the Rockwell Place marketing whiz at Halstead Property, freely points out.

“Rockwell Place offers New Yorkers an amazing opportunity to live in an authentic pre-war loft, complete with modern-luxury finishes in a great neighborhood where property values are sure to rise,” Kliegerman said.

Rockwell Place units will go on the market by mid-April, but its sales office began fielding inquiries about the studios and one- and two-bedroom apartments on Monday. The units are priced between $445,000 and $899,000.

Updated 4:28 pm, July 9, 2018
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