20 Bayard Street

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20 Bayard Street, Brooklyn, New York City, NY

20 Bayard Street

20 Bayard Street exterior with its interesting shape and angles
Building Information
Developer Fortis Property Group
Architect Karl Fischer Architects
Number of Units 64
Number of Floors 18
Year Built 2007
Construction Method Concrete
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20 Bayard Street, Brooklyn, New York City, NY
Distance to Public Transit Less than a block
Region New York City
Municipality New York City
Zoning M1-2/R6A
Title of Land Condominium



Williamsburg Bridge construction

20 Bayard Street sits in Williamsburg, a well-known neighborhood in the Brooklyn borough.

In 1638, the Dutch West India Company purchased the Williamsburg land from the Native Americans. It wasn't until 1661 that they charted the town of Boswijck, which is now land that became Williamsburg. After the English took over in the New Netherlands in 1664, the towns name was anglicized to Bushwick.

In 1802, Richard M. Woodhull acquired 13 acres of the land. He hired a United States Engineer to survey the property. In the engineered honor, Woodhull named the property Williamsburgh.

Williamsburgh separated from the town of Bushwick in 1840 and in 1852, it was declared the City of Williamsburgh. Today, Williamsburg (dropping the 'h') has expanded from what was originally the City of Williamsburgh.

The area experienced massive economic growth starting in 1855 when Williamsburg was annexed to the City of Brooklyn. There was growth in industrial and cultural growth and business boomed. Jim Fisk built many shore side mansions, Astral Oil was established, and later became Standard Oil. Charles Pratt founded the Pratt Institute that specialized in art and architecture.

In 1898, Brooklyn became one of the five New York City boroughs. The Williamsburg Bridge was opened five years later and thousands of people from Manhattan's overcrowded slums escaped to Williamsburg and it became one of the most densely populate neighborhoods in the United States.

After World War II, the economy slowed down, and many Europeans settled in Brooklyn including the Hasidim population who had been devastated by the Holocaust. There was a decrease in economy and an increase in crime and poverty.

Starting in the 1980s, artists moved out of places such as SoHo in search of cheap rent and quick transport. By 1996, Williamsburg had gained over 3,000 artists. By 2004, the community had over 70 art galleries. Today, it is one of the largest art communities in the world with over 10,000 artists. Many of them have come from over seas.[1]


McCarren Park track with 20 Bayard Street beyond

20 Bayard street is located in Williamsburg across the street from McCarren Park.

The park features a running track, soccer fields, a skate park, walking paths, dog parks, gardens and a famous swimming pool. The pool is 37,950 square feet and is one of the eleven pools opened by Robert Moses in 1936.[2]

The area is part of School District 14 which contains Purvis J. Behan Public School, Bay Terrace School, and 67.[3]

Popular tourist destinations in the are include the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, Green-Wood Cemetery, Brook Bridge, Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, and Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Within walking distance of 20 Bayard Street are many conveniences where residents can complete their typical errands without needing a car. Amenities include Great NY Noodle Town restaurant, Vivi Bubble Tea coffee, and 39 Bayard Street groceries.

For those needing to venture outside the walking distance radius, the transit in the area is excellent and there are also great bike lanes.[4]


The building formed a reputation with its original developer, Fortis Property Group, and architect, Karl Fischer Architects, in control. The project ended up filing for bankruptcy protection. Half of the units became rentals, and Fortis owed over $10 million to over 50 creditors.

There were issues regarding water damage and leaking roofs in many units. It was a result of both design flaw and poor construction practice and there was no way to stop this problem. Thousands of dollars were spent doing the same repairs over and over again and hoping it wouldn't rain again. [5]

After years of dealing with complaints and financial loss, Fortis unloaded the unsold shares, including 37 empty apartments.[6]

An investment firm scooped up the 37 unsold units for $25 million. They managed to turn the building's reputation around. One of the units is a 670-square-foot condominium asking $535,000. It was originally on the market for $625,000 in 2007. In 2009, Fortis were offering to sell it for $499,000. [7]

Layout and Features


The kitchen features Calcutta Gold marble counter tops and back splashes, Viking ranges, and Sub Zero 36 inch refrigerators.

The bathrooms offer Carrara marble surrounds, custom vanities, soaking tubs and glass surround showers.

Throughout the suites, there are high nine and a half foot ceilings, four inch maple plank floors, and wall of floor-to-ceiling windows that show off the incredible views of New York City and all its bridges and monuments. Even the lowest floors have a view of the green McCarren Park. [8]

Suites have individually controlled heat and air conditioning. The town houses have their own private entrance, set off from the street and their own gardens that provide a private location for barbecues and gardening. [9]

Floor Plans

20 Bayard street offers one, two and three bedroom homes, plus penthouse suites.


Amenities included in 20 Bayard Street are:

  • 24-hour doorman
  • fitness center
  • children’s playroom
  • common garden and roof deck
  • parking
  • basement storage
  • swimming pool
  • live-in superintendent
  • fresh direct fridge


20 Bayard Street Bylaws
Rentals Yes
Pets Yes
Barbecues Yes

  • rentals permitted
  • pets are allowed
  • barbecues are permitted


20 Bayard Street was not designed or built to follow any LEED practices or environmental conservation efforts. However, there are simple things that residents can do to conserve energy and have cheaper electricity bills.

  • switch incandescent light bulbs with compact florescent of light emitting diodes (LED)
  • unplug appliances that aren't in use such as toasters and coffee machines
  • turn down the thermostat, 22 degrees Celsius is recommended for indoor environmental comfort
  • limit the amount of time you open the oven when cooking, you lose about 30% of the heat energy every time


Williamsburg Bridge cables
  • 20 Bayard Street is well known as the tallest building on McCarren Park.
  • The McCarren Park Pool was closed in 1984 and sat unused until 2005. The empty pool opened as a venue for concerts, dance, and movies. In 2012, a renovated McCarren Pool opened as a center for year-round recreation for the residents of northern Brooklyn.
  • It took seven years to complete the Williamsburg Bridge and cost about $24,200,000 to build.


  • The Williamsburg Bridge has an overall length of 7,308 feet and its longest span is 1,600 feet.[12]
  • The Williamsburg Bridge was the first bridge to avoid masonry towers and use steel. This made construction both cheaper and quicker. It is built from about 3,000 tons of steel, 17,500 miles of wire that make up the 18 inch thick cables. That is enough to put up a six-strand electric fence around Texas.[13]
  • A scene from the Spider-Man movie was shot on the Williamsburg Bridge.


  1. NYC Architecture
  2. McCaren Park
  3. Wikipedia
  4. Walk Score
  5. Curbed NY
  6. Curbed
  7. Brownstoner
  8. Street Easy
  9. Corcoran
  10. Elliman
  11. Brooklyn About
  12. Wikipedia - Williamsburg Bridge
  13. Kiosse

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