In July 2003, Mayor Michael Bloomberg stated that 110 Livingston Street was like the old Soviet Union's "Kremlin."
From The Mayor's Desk...
Selling Off Bureaucracy To Save New York City Kids
Last Tuesday, I slapped a "sold" sign on the building located at 110 Livingston Street in Downtown Brooklyn, the headquarters of what was the Board of Education for more than 60 years. Like last year's decision to move the Department of Education to the Tweed Building next to City Hall, selling 110 Livingston sent another powerful message that the old school bureaucracy that served only itself instead of our students is history. In its place, we're working with parents to build an education system that is open, accountable, and that puts children first — all the things that the previous school structure housed at 110 Livingston was not.
110 Livingston's designated new owner, Brooklyn-based Two Trees Management, will acquire the building for more than $45 million and convert it into 245 residential condominium units. For the last 20 years, this company has played a leading role in the revival of Downtown Brooklyn. Its comprehensive and forward-thinking redevelopment plan for 110 Livingston will add momentum to that exciting renaissance, and, in the process, generate millions of dollars of much-needed revenue for the city.
Brooklyn residents, and all New Yorkers, will also be able to enjoy a new theater being created through the renovation of the building's 6,000-square-foot main floor. The theater will be used by a local arts group for a nominal fee, and will be one more star in Brooklyn's glittering cultural constellation. In addition, the plan for 110 Livingston addresses one of the major concerns in Downtown Brooklyn: parking. 225 below-grade parking spaces will be constructed in the building's basement and sub-basement.
The sale of 110 Livingston will help us accomplish one of the most important goals of our administration: creating 65,000 units of housing in all five boroughs over the next five years, the largest affordable housing program in a generation. $4.5 million, or 10% of the proceeds generated by the sale of 110 Livingston, will be dedicated to build or renovate affordable housing in Brooklyn. New Yorkers deserve the security that only good homes in safe and stable neighborhoods can provide, and this project will help make that happen.
Selling this property also fits in perfectly with our plan for the overall growth of Downtown Brooklyn. We want to capitalize on this community's remarkable assets: its great transit network; vibrant academic and cultural resources; strong corporate presence; and attractive residential neighborhoods. The historic sale of 110 Livingston, and its impending transformation means that the notorious Kremlin of the now-defunct Board of Education is no more. From now on, this address will be associated with quality housing in a community whose future couldn't be brighter.
July 9, 2003
City Is Selling Symbol of Its Troubled Schools
By MICHAEL COOPER
(New York Times - ed.)
Like the Kremlin, to which Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg compared it yesterday, 110 Livingston Street was more than a location or a shorthand name for the institution it housed, the city's Board of Education. It symbolized a state of mind, a failed system that was at once imperious and impervious.
July 09, 2003
Downtown Brooklyn's $100 Million Condo Building
Who will rent apartments in the buliding remains to be seen, but the Department of Education sold its old downtown Brooklyn Board of Ed headquarters to developer David Walentas for $45 million. Walentas will then convert the building into condos in the $500,000-$1 million range.
The building, at 110 Livingston Street, was synonymous with bureaucracy and not getting anything done, earning the nickname "The Kremlin." Ouch. And one former school spokesperson remarked, "If there is an opposite of nostalgia, you'd have to apply it to 110 Livingston Street."
Some say that the buliding may be renamed to shed the old associations - perhaps as "45 Boerum Place." How about "45 Paces from Cobble Hill" to snag the hipster parents looking for more space but DUMBO is getting pricey...
The Department of Education is now at the old Tweed Courthouse.
Posted by Jen Chung in News: NYC
August 6, 2003
End of an Era
The name-calling began as soon as New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg slapped the red "sold" sign on the front of the defenseless building in downtown Brooklyn.
The mayor compared the erstwhile headquarters of the city's former board of education at 110 Livingston St. to the Kremlin during a July 8 news conference to announce its sale. Then Joel I. Klein, the city's schools chancellor, likened the building to the catacombs of Rome.
Regarded by many critics as a symbol of the 1.1 million-student system's inefficiency and bureaucracy, 110 Livingston St. is now slated to be reborn as residential condominium units.
Shortly after Mr. Bloomberg won control of the city's schools last year, he moved the system's main administrative offices into Tweed Courthouse, across from City Hall in Manhattan.
"Today marks both an end and a rebirth," Mr. Bloomberg said during the news conference. "For years, this remarkable building was unjustly sentenced to life as the notorious Kremlin of the now- defunct board of education."