The Clarett Group’s Brooklyner launch party never should have happened: city

By Candace Taylor | July 01, 2010 05:21PM

From left: the Brooklyner roof deck, Clarett Group’s Veronica Hackett and the Brooklyner building

It turns out that tenants at the Brooklyner had good reason to be irked about a launch party the developer threw on their roof deck last week.

According to the city’s Department of Buildings, lower floors in the
building have received their certificates of occupancy, but the roof
deck has not. That means that the roof can’t be occupied for any
purpose other than construction work, and that parties are not allowed

A developer could be fined up to $25,000 for this type of
violation, according to Ryan FitzGibbon, a buildings department

“They have an active permit to do work on the building, so
they can be up there doing work to finish the building,” she explained.
“But they can’t use it for recreational purposes. It’s not allowed
because they don’t have a certificate of occupancy to use the space.”

The Brooklyner, at 111 Lawrence Street, is the tallest tower
in Brooklyn, and the Atlantic Ocean is visible from the roof deck,
nicknamed “the beach.” Invites to the June 23 launch party for the
Downtown Brooklyn rental building — sent to members of the press —
read “The Beach is Open!” rankling tenants who said they’d never been
allowed on the roof, or been informed when it would open.

A spokesperson for Veronica Hackett, managing partner of the Clarett
Group, declined to comment when asked about the improper use of the
roof deck.

Regarding the tenants’ not being invited to the party, the spokesperson
said: “Last week’s rooftop event was a preview for the Brooklyner’s
project consultants and development partners and their guests. The
reporters that attended were ‘guests’ of the developer. It was a
private event and was not open to tenants.”

Renters concerned about the use of the space should call 311,
FitzGibbon said. If the buildings department receives complaints, she
said, inspectors will visit the site and take action based on what they
find. But she noted that fines or other penalties likely wouldn’t be
imposed unless partiers or other occupants were caught in the act.

David Perry, director of sales for the building’s developer, the Clarett Group, said while giving The Real Deal
a tour of the Brooklyner that the buildings department is expected to
grant a TCO for the roof by the end of next week, at which point the
space will be opened to residents.

The Brooklyner, which began leasing in December, has rented
294 of its 491 units, or about 60 percent, Perry said. Net-effective
rents in the building now start at $1,765 for studios, $2,351 for
one-bedrooms, and $3,300 for two-bedrooms. In addition to the roof
deck, the building has a gym, a dog shower, and a lounge with
Skee-Ball, a billiards table and a “Wii Den,” where residents can
gather to play the popular video game.