I (and just about everyone else in the neighborhood) pass the dreary plywood at Franklin and Eastern almost every day, at all hours, and until yesterday I was convinced the whole project had fallen victim to the real estate bubble exploding (and the subsequent economic collapse that's been gathering steam for the past two years). This struck me as particularly tragic, given that Franklin and Eastern is one of the most trafficked corners anywhere in Crown Heights, and it would be a shame to have it sitting both unsightly and unproductive. However, I spotted this heavy machinery crew at work on Tuesday morning, so I guess the project (an 8-story, 62 unit mixed-use development) still has legs.
There's a NY Sun article about the neighborhood with a good bit about the building plan here, and the various chatter (some over a year old) on the Crown Heights forum here.
In general, half-finished condos are a potential concern for a neighborhood in transition like the Franklin Avenue section of Crown Heights. You see a lot of these projects in various stages of completion, mostly looming shadows cast from the side streets. A few (like the one with the blue wall facing Franklin on Park) seem to be plugging along, but there are others that look almost completely idle. If the market keeps falling out from under stock like this, they'll go empty even if they ever do get finished, and buildings that sit unmaintained become condemned quicker than anyone would like (to say nothing of the wreckage that half-done sites rapidly become).
Maybe Obama will use some federal money to finish them all and turn them into rent-controlled mixed-income housing. While I'm at it, maybe the Big Three will announce windfall profits this quarter.
Walkabout: Calvert Vaux, Architect, Part 3
28 minutes ago