Spearheaded by Brookfield Properties in partnership with Park Tower Group, Greenpoint Landing is a 22-acre development that promises to transform the historic Brooklyn neighborhood’s once-industrial waterfront. It is the ideal backdrop for One Blue Slip—the first of four new buildings to attract residents to the esplanade, and one that is setting the standard for a new kind of urban living with its contemporary design and upscale amenities (including the Latch access system).
We took a trip to the bustling esplanade for a tour of the building and surrounding community, and a conversation with one of its earliest residents.
According to famed architect Gary Handel, it was critical that One Blue Slip’s design honor Greenpoint’s industrial past. The result is a property that juxtaposes the old and the new—gunmetal beams, rustic brick, and diverted light windows are a nod to the few warehouses that still stand, while gleaming glass windows reflect both the bustling waterway and buildings that sit on the other side of it. Even the window bays, built to reference the serrated skylights often seen in factories, have a backstory.
“The site is overlooking the East River, Newtown Creek, towards one of the most iconic panoramas in the world: the Manhattan skyline,” said Handel in an interview with One Blue Slip. “The vision of what this place could become was overwhelming to me.”
The 30-story tower’s striking exterior served as the inspiration for the thoughtfully designed interior, dreamt up by husband-and-wife team John and Christine Gachot of Gachot Studios. No details were spared in outfitting the common areas and amenity spaces, which include a coworking space, fitness center, and game room, and were designed to echo the architecture, the Gachots told Metropolis magazine. The result is an artful combination of white oak, blackened steel, oil-rubbed bronze, and mid-century furnishings that have a singularly Greenpoint feel.
The northernmost neighborhood in Brooklyn, sandwiched between Williamsburg and Long Island City in Queens, Greenpoint is no stranger to change. The land earned its name thanks to the lush forests and orchards that blanketed the space as New York City underwent its first wave of development centuries ago. Over time, it became a hub for shipbuilding and other manufacturing trades, and attracted a predominantly Polish American community that continues to maintain its roots around Monsignor McGolrick Park.
Today, the neighborhood’s dining scene is an illustration of the ways in which Greenpoint continues to juxtapose the old and the new. Along bustling thoroughfares like Manhattan, Lorimer, and Franklin Avenues, long-standing Polish restaurants and bakeries like the Polish & Slavic Center draw crowds alongside newer hotspots like Five Leaves, Paulie Gee’s, and Esme.
James Oates, co-founder of Dark Horse Studios, has lived at One Blue Slip since spring of 2019. Oates, whose studio is also based in Greenpoint, was drawn in by what he described as the neighborhood’s authenticity. “Greenpoint still has that wonderful charm that you think of when you think of old New York,” he explained.
Oates frequents restaurants like Le Fanfare for a traditional Italian menu, Oxomoco for upscale Michelin-starred Mexican, and Di An Di for a modern Vietnamese—once again, an homage to an old and a new New York.
“I love all the small shops—the fact that there aren’t giant chains here, the fact that it’s not all over built,” Oates said. “There are all these super sweet home stores and clothing boutiques that are well curated and really thoughtful. So much of New York is so mass, and the fact that these indie stores are alive and well in Greenpoint is great.”
Adding to Oates’ love of the neighborhood is his home: One Blue Slip. “The way the building blends into the neighborhood in a thoughtful way makes living here special,” he said. “While it’s larger than a lot of the buildings in the neighborhood, the architectural design, and the way they’ve incorporated public space really makes the building feel like it’s part of the community. I think that’s really lovely.”