Press Release


New York, NY (September 28, 2011) Columbia Commons and Columbia Hicks Apartments, a mixed income project in Cobble Hill Brooklyn was awarded the Jack Kemp Models of Excellence Award from the Urban Land Institute (ULI). The project was designed by GF55 Partners, an Architectural and Interior Design firm in NYC. The developer was L + M Equities of Larchmont, New York.

This accolade honors projects demonstrating leadership and creativity in providing expanded housing opportunities for America’s working families. The awards recognize exemplary developments that meet workforce housing needs in high-cost communities.

The development is a sympathetic solution that respects the local character of the Cobble Hill area. Facing the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (BQE) on the east but also along quiet townhouse lined streets; the buildings are contextual and historic in character. The site was re-zoned to create opportunities for increased density. The heights of the buildings were limited by agreement to six stories.

Columbia Hicks Apartments and Columbia Commons are connected, but distinct buildings. They were designed in a traditional historic manner with large cornices, window pediments and rusticated base stone. Columbia Hicks Apartments is a 94 unit building of 107,000 SF that faces the BQE and is scaled as a block long building. Columbia Commons contains 42 high end condominium apartments in two flanking structures comprising 52,000 SF. They are scaled to the side streets and take their design cues from the adjacent townhouses of Cobble Hill. The entire assemblage has modern shared amenities such as the landscaped courtyard, a gym, onsite laundry, storage and parking.

David E. Gross, AIA, the Partner-in-Charge at GF55 says: “In collaboration with L + M, we worked closely with The Department of Housing Preservation and Development, City Planning and the local Community Board. It is an expression of a genuine public private partnership.”

If you would like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview with the partners, please contact Glenna Gross.