Touring The World’s Tallest Modular Building

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Touring The World’s Tallest Modular Building
461 Dean Street / © Max Touhey

After four years of delayed construction, financial missteps, and lawsuits, Forest City Ratner and Greenland U.S.A. are finally welcoming tenants into 461 Dean Street, currently the tallest high-rise in the world constructed with modular units. The 32-story tower on the edge of Prospect Heights and Park Slope offers sweeping views of brownstone Brooklyn, but its lengthy construction saga highlights the issues developers face when they build with modular construction in New York City.

The 363-unit building sits at the corner of Dean Street and Flatbush Avenue, next to Barclays Center and at the western edge of Forest City Ratner’s 22-acre Pacific Park megaproject. SHoP Architects, who also designed the arena, are responsible for the look of 461 Dean.

Forest City originally teamed up with construction giant Skanska to build the Dean Street tower. Skanska brought on dozens of skilled workers to assemble modular apartments in a factory at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, which I toured three years ago. But in 2014, construction had slowed to a crawl, and the building had only risen a few stories.[…]

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