As founding partner and principal of S9 Architecture, John Clifford brings over 25 years’ experience in design and development. With an extensive portfolio of retail, mixed-use, residential, office, and adaptive reuse projects, John relies on his vast urban design and planning experience as well as a strong design aesthetic to inform and advise clients in development decisions, from concept development to site analysis to master planning. His expertise in real estate financials, tenant and landlord programs and operational issues has resulted in viable, large-scale urban and mixed-use projects throughout North America. Notable projects include Industry City in Brooklyn, Ponce City Market in Atlanta, and Lansdowne Park in Ottawa, Canada.
On November 2, the Urban Design Forum offered an exclusive behind the scenes look at the latest two development sites on the DUMBO waterfront.
Our tour began at Empire Stores, a historic coffee storehouse that Studio V and S9 Architecture are redesigning into a vibrant creative hub. New Forum Fellows and founding partners of S9 Architecture, Navid Maqami and John Clifford walked us through the site and discussed the retention of original features from its construction in the late 1800s: a brick masonry facade, schist structural walls, and heavy frame timber construction.
Then, David Lowin, interim President of Brooklyn Bridge Park, walked us through BBP while describing the details of the public-private partnership that is sustaining BBP, and why this particular partnership was necessary and is extremely successful.
On our final stop of the tour, AJ Pires, new Forum Fellow and President of Alloy, gave us an inside look into One John Street,a new 12-story, 42-unit condominium building that occupies the last waterfront development site in DUMBO. AJ spoke about how this site will be home to an annex of Brooklyn Children’s Museum Studio, restaurants, and retail shops, and will generate essential funds to maintain neighboring Brooklyn Bridge Park through its 99-year ground lease and PILOTs. Further on the tour, AJ described constructing a resilient building on the waterfront, especially after Hurricane Sandy, and their greater design flexibility because the site is on state land, and therefore not subject to city zoning laws.
Navid Maqami is a cofounder and a design principal of S9 Architecture. With over 30 years of experience, Navid leads teams of talented designers and architects on diverse projects, from large scale mixed-use developments to small interiors. His passion for better design coupled with his expertise analyzing social, economic and regulatory parameters, and working with developers and end users has resulted in an extensive portfolio of award-winning projects including the New York Wheel, Dock72 in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Lansdowne Park in Ottawa and 205 Water Street in Dumbo.
AJ has been practicing real estate development in New York City since 2004. He started his career as a project manager for Peter Walker & Partners on the World Trade Center Memorial in downtown Manhattan. In 2007, AJ became a founding member of Alloy Development, a boutique real estate development company based in Brooklyn, NY. At Alloy, AJ manages the acquisition, capitalization, design, construction and disposition of projects that seek to promote thoughtful design and add value to the built environment of New York City.
David Lowin is currently serving as the Interim President of Brooklyn Bridge Park. Prior to that David was the Vice President of Real Estate at Brooklyn Bridge Park. In that role he has been responsible for overseeing the real estate development program that will generate the funds to maintain and operate the Park. David also oversees the Park’s concessions program and the long-term strategic financial planning. Prior to joining Brooklyn Bridge Park, David worked for the Clarett Group, a private development firm.