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Watch: The story behind Brooklyn Tower, JDS’ supertall skyscraper

Developer Michael Stern and architect Gregg Pasquarelli explain the significance of the borough’s first supertall

On the corner of Dekalb and Flatbush Avenue Extension in Downtown Brooklyn, a skyscraper rises above the historic Dimes Savings Bank building. The supertall, the first of its kind in Brooklyn, launched sales for its 150 condo units on March 10. Another 400 rental units will come onto the market in the summer. 


Dubbed The Brooklyn Tower, the development is spearheaded by JDS Development and was designed by SHoP Architecture, with residential interior design by Gachot Studios, and amenity interior design by Krista Ninivaggi of Woods Bagot. Now, as it nears completion, TRD took an inside look at the process of bringing a new icon to life in one of the fastest growing neighborhoods in New York. 


Speaking to developer Michael Stern and architect Gregg Pasquarelli, we learned about the process of designing a unique structure on a uniquely challenging site, and came to understand why the Landmarks Preservation Commission called it “enlightened urbanism at its best.”


I think there’s a real responsibility that comes with resetting the skyline,” Stern said. And indeed, the building can be seen from even the farthest reaches of the borough, creating a new center for the Downtown Brooklyn neighborhood.


The architect’s and developer’s teams worked hand in hand to plan for a site that both noted had unique challenges, from an unusual lot shape to a landmark building on site that had to be not only preserved, but incorporated. The team opted to “slip” part of the tower between the historic bank’s walls, a complicated construction technique, but one that enabled them to tie the new building in with the old. 


Watch the video for more on the story behind the Brooklyn Tower.