Few buildings have symbolized the city’s real estate boom and bust more than the notorious tower at 144 North Eighth Street in Williamsburg. The developers, exploiting old zoning codes that gave empty manufacturing sites an excess of air rights, planned a 16-story tower in a low-rise neighborhood of rowhouses of only three to five stories. The infamous architect Robert Scarano was brought on, and using his mezzanine trick and other loopholes, he pushed the plans to essentially 21 stories.
It was 2004, and the locals were in the midst of having the neighborhood rezoned, but “the finger building” as it came to be known for its perceived sleight to the neighborhood, snuck through. That is until a fight with the neighbor mired the project in court, its developer could no longer afford the loan, and was forced to sell. Now, nearly complete at a more modest but still very tall 10 stories, 144 North Eight Street is hitting the market, according to The Journal. Read More