Jonathan Rose Companies was designated as the winner of an RFP process run by NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development to develop the last un-programmed vacant site in the Downtown Brooklyn Cultural District. The Caesura, named for a pause in the middle of a line of music or poetry, is located at the corner of Lafayette Avenue and Ashland Place, across the street from the BAM Opera House, just south of the new Theatre for a New Audience (TFANA) and immediately adjacent to the Mark Morris Dance Center. Our winning proposal was a mixed-use building comprised of five condos: two cultural facility spaces to be sold to cultural non-profits; a ground floor commercial space for a restaurant tenant and a diverse residential component that includes market-rate and affordable units (one condo for each), ranging in size from micro units to two-bedroom apartments.
Caesura consists of 123 rental apartments units designed to accommodate a range of modern urban households. Twenty percent of the apartments will be affordable to households earning 80% of AMI, twenty percent will be affordable to households earning 130% of AMI, with the balance rented at market rates. Unique to the area are the 34 micro-unit apartments, which are efficiencies under 400 SF in size that optimize living space and reduce clutter and the apartment footprint. The micro units are delivered with flexible, convertible furniture from Resource Furniture, such as a sofa and shelving units that converts to a bed, and a desk that expands to a dining table.
Caesura features an environmentally responsible design to promote healthy living, resource conservation and energy efficiency, and is expected to achieve LEED Gold certification. The design calls for a high performance insulated façade system with low-e double-glazed windows, and state of the art extremely quiet and efficient VRF HVAC systems. This system does not require façade penetration thus reducing air infiltration, and, unlike PTAC units or conventional air conditioners, does not take up valuable floor space in each apartment.
Complementary to the micro units, the building introduces a library of “Common Goods” – a thoughtful assortment of items that residents might need occasionally but don’t need or have the space to own. Such items are available for check-out at Caesura, and include folding chairs and tables for card games, kitchen appliances, and even guitars and amps for the musically inclined. The building also includes a beautiful rooftop garden lounge that duplicates Brooklyn’s pre-settlement with a healthy ecosystem of indigenous plants that attracts pollinating insects and birds, and outdoor kitchen and sun deck which invites residents to socialize, grill, eat or work in the fresh air and sunshine.
In addition to the Common Goods library and rooftop garden, amenities include a concierge service, fitness center, double-height conservatory for quiet contemplation, community lounge, and game room, bicycle storage and laundry room.
- The Society of American Registered Architects (SARA), National Honor Award, Multifamily Housing category
- The Society of American Registered Architects (SARA), National Honor Award
- Urban Land Institute Terwilliger Center for Housing, Jack Kemp Excellence in Affordable and Workforce Housing, Finalist
New Construction of 123 mixed income residential units; 2,838 SF of retail for a restaurant; 23,667 SF for cultural use. The Center for Fiction will occupy 19,964 SF and the Mark Morris Dance Group to occupy 3,703 SF