As Dumbo has become one of New York City’s most desirable and upscale neighborhoods, the hulking Empire Stores complex has been a persistent reminder of the neighborhood's industrial past—before the boutiques, multimillion-dollar apartments, and Brooklyn Bridge Park. The complex—a series of seven buildings—dates back to the 19th century and was originally used to store dry goods, primarily coffee. For decades, it has been positioned in Dumbo like an impenetrable fortress—a barrier between the cobblestone streets and the landscaped waterfront. But that's about to change. https://youtu.be/Bzhb1WBUNps In 2013, after many failed attempts to revive the Empire Stores, Midtown Equities (with Rockwood Capital and HK Organization) was selected by the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation, to transform the warehouses into a mixed-use facility. (To fund the park’s upkeep, development sites along the park are being leased to developers.) Plans for the transformation were originally drawn up by STUDIO V which proposed exposing much of the buildings’ original details, creating a rooftop addition, and cutting an open-air courtyard through the complex. In Spring 2014, S9 Architecture, a Perkins Eastman affiliate, was brought onto the project as well. While the architectural plans have changed throughout the process, the signature moves like the central courtyard and rooftop addition (with some tweaks) have been preserved. "I'm especially excited how closely the soon to be finished building remains true to our design from the original competition to the final details: the dramatic vertical slice of the courtyard with its bridges and suspended stairs, sharp profiles of glass and steel at the courtyard and addition, to the explosion of space and views of the rooftop park overlooking the Manhattan skyline," said Jay Valgora, founder and principal of STUDIO V, in an email to AN. The restored Empire Stores will include restaurants, offices, retail, a food hall, event spaces, and a rooftop beer garden. The full complex is scheduled to be completed in the spring. As construction continues at the Empire Stores, The Architect’s Newspaper got a look inside the site with Navid Maqami, a design principal at S9.
Posts tagged with "Midtown Equities":
Proposals galore! Brooklyn Bridge Park (BBP) is moving full speed ahead with its plans to develop parcels of its 1.3-mile waterfront expanse. In September, the Park released a Request for Proposals seeking a developer to restore and makeover the crumbling Empire Stores warehouses into a lively mixed-use development consisting of office, commercial, and retail space, while also preserving the integrity of the massive historic structure. Ten prominent developers submitted proposals to overhaul the brick and timber building made up of seven connecting warehouses. And now Crain's has revealed about half the list of developers vying for this project with heavy hitters such as: Jamestown Properties (behind Chelsea Market and Milk Studio), Two Trees (run by the Walentas family who has transformed DUMBO and is redeveloping the mega Domino Sugar Refinery site), Acumen Capital Partners, Robert A. Levine (of colossal residential building, One Brooklyn Bridge Park), and Midtown Equities (Crain's reported that their proposal is the current front-runner). The proposals envision a variety of uses for the Empire Stores buildings from cultural and artisan office space to a rooftop urban farm and terraces. Regina Myer, president of Brooklyn Bridge Park, is hoping to grant the winning proposal a 99-year lease. This development, like the Rogers Marvel-designed Pierhouse residential and hotel complex, will generate money for the maintenance and operation of the park.