Pratt files for 124-room dorm near Clinton Hill campus

Art and design college bought 135 Emerson Place for $13M in 2012

135 Emerson Place
135 Emerson Place in Clinton Hill

Pratt Institute filed plans for a new 124-room student dormitory on a Clinton Hill development site it acquired for $13 million four years ago.

The Brooklyn-based art and design college is looking to build a 10-story, 57,000-square-foot dorm at 135 Emerson Place, between Myrtle and Willoughby avenues, according to a permit application filed with the city’s Department of Buildings Thursday.

Pratt acquired the property, located a block from its Clinton Hill campus, for $13 million in 2012, as The Real Deal reported at the time. The college’s filing for the site would appear to significantly underutilize its buildable square footage, however, as the property is zoned for nearly 97,000 square feet of residential space, according to Massey Knakal Realty Services marketing materials from several years ago.

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Pratt bought the block-through lot from Cara Development, led by Charles Cara, which had originally teamed with David Kramer’s the Hudson Companies to build a new 16-story, 95,000-square-foot residential building on the property in 2008.

But the financial crisis and subsequent recession led to the developers scrapping that project. By the time Cara sold 135 Emerson to Pratt, it had plans approved for a 17-story, 110-unit residential building on the site.

Neither Pratt nor Cannon Design, the project’s architect of record, returned requests for comment.