The Real Deal New York

Modular construction makes a comeback
in Brooklyn

City taps Thorobird Companies for 167-unit project in East New York
March 04, 2019 10:05AM

581 Grant Avenue (Credit: Google Maps)

Even though modular construction at the Pacific Park megaproject didn’t succeed, the city government will use the construction method to speed up work on an affordable project in East New York.

The 167-unit project at 581 Grant Avenue in East New York will be one of the first to use this method of stacking factory-produced units, according to the Wall Street Journal. They chose the proposal from a development team led by Thorobird Companies and Bangladeshi American Community Development & Youth Services. A request for proposals was issued in May 2018.

Developers have been increasingly looking toward modular construction in New York for hotel and apartment projects thanks to the shorter construction period and ability to work without disruptions from the weather that it offers. The city estimates using it for the $70 million East New York project will cut its construction time by 25 to 30 percent. Last year, former city housing czar Alicia Glen said the government has learned from its mistakes in modular housing — it won’t be building high rise buildings with the method, as it did in Pacific Park with developer Forest City.

The project in East New York, on an L-shaped lot, will include apartments ranging in size from studios to four-bedroom units. Construction is expected to start in 2021 and end in mid-2022.

Thorobird managing director Thomas Campbell told the Journal that modular construction would help them work on the project more effectively.

“Modular removes the effects of the elements, allows the project to be built in a controlled environment and allows for better precision and a better way for all the elements of the project to fit together,” he said. [WSJ] – Eddie Small