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Oct.October 13, 2021 02:37 PM

Inside 168 Plymouth: A Sustainable Loft Conversion in Dumbo, Brooklyn

Brick and Timber loft homes located in the 1898 round arch style building feature painted brick and exposed wood beams and columns as well as large windows and high ceilings.
Image Credit: Pavel Bendov

 

Dumbo, Brooklyn, a vibrant community characterized by independent boutiques, trendy cafes, and breathtaking views of the Manhattan skyline, two iconic building types brought together around a private courtyard. Alloy Development headed the redevelopment project. Its latest acquisition, 168 Plymouth Street, features 46 unique homes, including townhouses, brick & timber lofts, daylight factory lofts, and contemporary penthouse additions. Alloy is committed to making Brooklyn beautiful, sustainable, and equitable through thoughtful development.

The appliances were supplied by AjMadison, a Brooklyn-based appliance retailer and the top destination for home appliances nationwide. The team at Alloy chose to work with AjMadison for their ability to help specify the best product for the building and to meet the project budget. Sustainability was a primary focus for this project, so Miele appliances were an excellent choice, offering the perfect blend of luxury performance, design, and energy efficiency.

Tara Mrowka, Senior Director of Sales and Marketing at Alloy Development, oversees various stages of the design and development process. She shares insight into the beautiful 168 Plymouth Street redevelopment project.

Q: How did the Alloy team challenge the status quo?

Mrowka: As the architect and developer for the project, we challenge ourselves to make each project stand out. Preserving and celebrating 168 Plymouth’s original character and historic details while bringing to life new contemporary interiors and penthouse additions set it apart from any new construction project.

The site contains two existing, interconnected buildings, 50 Jay and 42 Jay, which share a cellar and exterior courtyard. 50 Jay was built in 1891 and is a 5-story structure with brick and timber construction. 42 Jay was built in 1921 and is a 7-story reinforced concrete building with large daylight factory windows.
Image Credit: Pavel Bendov

 

Q: What is Thoughtful Development? How does it manifest in your projects, company culture, and business partnerships? 

Mrowka: As architects and developers, we see opportunity in the diversity and complexity of our urban context, and we use great architecture and thoughtful development to positively impact our built environment.

We live and work in the neighborhoods that we are developing in, and we make the goal of creating a positive impact whether it be a space donated to the community as we did at 1 John Street or setting up a donor advised fund at 168 Plymouth to building the city’s first all-electric skyscraper and Passive house schools at The Alloy Block.

Q: What amenities are residents loving right now?

Mrowka: The courtyard entry and landscaped roof deck of 168 Plymouth has been a draw for residents and prospective purchasers. A discrete gate opens into a cobblestone path that leads back into a secrete landscaped garden which leads into the main lobby.  Access to outdoor space has also been a priority for buyers.

Residents can enjoy a sunset barbecue on the landscaped roof deck with stunning views of the river, bridges, and skyline.
Image Credit: Pavel Bendov

 

Q: What do residents have to look forward to living in Dumbo? 

Mrowka: Dumbo is one of Brooklyn’s most coveted neighborhoods benefited by proximity to the waterfront and Brooklyn Bridge Park as well as a mixed-use community which has become a destination for art and culture as well as good places to dine. There is a lot to discover but it’s small footprint also gives it that know your neighbor Brooklyn feel.

 

Q: How did this redevelopment project impact the community?

Mrowka: The quality of life in 168 Plymouth Street, in Dumbo, and in Brooklyn at large can only be improved through ensuring diverse and equitable opportunities for all our neighbors. Recognizing the incredible economy of New York City’s real estate market, the development and management of 168 Plymouth Street will actively counteract an imbalance that exists within Brooklyn. We have seeded a new charitable fund, A Better Brooklyn Fund, which will be managed by the Brooklyn Community Foundation. We will encourage residents of 168 Plymouth to continue this tradition of community support by making additional contributions to the fund from any building operating surpluses and provide for a sustainable model of support.

The Daylight factory features over-sized windows, restored concrete beams and columns and high ceilings.
Image Credit: Pavel Bendov

 

Q: Which industry movement influenced design decisions?

Mrowka: Sustainability is at the core of our mission at Alloy and here at 168 Plymouth. Recycling a building of this size is one of the greenest aspects of the project.  Reusing and adapting the original structure for a new use limits the loss of all the embodied energy that went into making 168 Plymouth and reduces the carbon created through building a new building. While restoring the existing structure we also make key upgrades that improve the buildings performance and bring it up to code. All new energy efficient windows and building systems that make the building more resilient. Upgrades such as high-performance windows have a direct impact on the resident’s comfort and well-being.

Q: What are your favorite in-unit products or finishes?

Mrowka: The custom designed kitchens are one of the favorite features of the homes at 168 Plymouth. Alloy works with RiFRA, an Italian kitchen manufacturer to design and fabricate custom kitchen designs. The custom RiFRA Italian kitchen includes Miele appliances, cast porcelain countertops, a blackened Dornbracht faucet and a bleached white oak island.

Miele appliances were the perfect choice for this project as sustainability is a core characteristic of Miele’s brand identity. Miele is committed to producing long-lasting, energy-efficient appliances and conserving resources during the production process for every product.

The kitchen above features a fully integrated bottom freezer refrigerator with Push2Open doors. The opening system is activated by light pressure on the door, meaning this refrigerator does not need handles and can be optimally flush-mounted and integrated into every kitchen and living environment. The refrigerator also includes interior LED lighting and a MasterFresh cooling system producing the ideal climate, so food stays fresh for up to three times longer due to perfect temperature and humidity.

Behind the island, a full size Miele refrigerator is fully concealed by cabinet panels. This refrigerator does not need handles and can be concealed in any living environment.
Image Credit: Pavel Bendov

 

Each unit features a Miele full-size panel-ready dishwasher offering efficient and reliable performance. Miele dishwashers conserve resources. An internal sensor measures food particles inside the water. As a result, temperatures, cycle times, and water consumption are adjusted and will end the cycle when your dishes are spotless. The average Miele dishwasher uses approximately three gallons of water per cycle, a significant savings compared to hand washing.

Miele cooking appliances offer a clean aesthetic and reliable performance. A massive five-burner gas cooktop provides ample space for multiple pots and pans. A full-size electric wall oven comes equipped with TwinPower Convection Blowers for even heat distribution on every oven rack. Plus, select units offer a built-in coffee machine, the perfect appliance for one’s daily routine or delivering rich roast flavor to cap off an evening meal.

Miele Pureline series ovens offer edge to edge black glass and can be flush inset into cabinets.
Image Credit: Pavel Bendov

 

It takes a dedicated team of knowledgeable appliance experts to recommend the best products for every situation. According to Mrowka, “AjMadison has been most helpful in assisting with specifying the right appliance package to meet our design and performance standards.” AjMadison offers the most favorable pricing at scale from more brands than anyone else. There is a lot of information out there, at AjMadison trade experts have an average tenure of 10+ years in business. They are rigorously trained to recommend the right appliances for every budget, schedule, and project application. With expansive knowledge and expertise, AjMadison provides skillful advice, support, and the best market pricing.

Founded in 2001, this family-owned business has become the leading online retailer of top-rated appliances. With over 2.5 million customers, AjMadison is the industry’s foremost appliance authority offering an unrivaled selection of top-rated home and kitchen appliances. The company has an exceptional team of appliance experts to assist customers with navigating the wide array of brands available, with thousands of in-stock products that are ready to ship. AjMadison was named the top Household Appliances retailer in Newsweek’s Best Online Shops 2021. AjMadison operates the largest direct-to-site appliance logistics network in the US. With showroom locations in Brooklyn, New York, Washington DC, and coming soon, Sunny Isles, Florida, AjMadison’s dedicated builder team is the best in the business.


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