How That New Brooklyn Look Stays So New


One of the many remarkably modern qualities of that That New Brooklyn Look is that, like many other products of our particularly exuberant moment in late capitalism, it is inherently disposable and temporary:

It took just three years for balconies to crack and concrete to flake from the facade of one Brooklyn condominium. Another building was prone to flooding, because the storm drainage system was never connected to the sewage system. With buildings rising at a pace not seen in years, some fear that shoddy construction could be making a comeback, too.

As developers feverishly break ground on projects to cash in on soaring property values, lawyers, architects and engineers say they are fielding more calls from residents complaining of structural defects in newly built homes. There is growing concern that some developers are repeating the mistakes of the last housing boom and delivering substandard product. As more residents settle into new buildings, the trickle of calls could soon turn into a flood.

When your New Brooklyn apartment collapses, just throw it away — perhaps for a profit, like at 500 Fourth Avenue, where twenty units have sold since the city issued a partial vacate order of the building — and upgrade to a newer one with more storage, a slimmer design, and higher resolution windows.

Photo via StreetEasy