A restaurant called Bill Baker’s is prepping to open soon at 364 Grand Street in Williamsburg, near the BQE. It will serve American food, and the bar will have lots of beers on tap, whiskies and bourbon.

The interior will channel a traditional circa-1900 establishment, with a big marble bar, bentwood chairs and exposed brick, according to some sketches and construction shots on the eatery’s Facebook page.  Click through to see a drawing of the interior.

Bill Baker’s is hiring now, according to its website. GMAP

Sketch via Bill Baker’s (more…)

domino sugar site e 316 kent avenue williamsburg 3192015

Two Trees has put up construction walls and started excavating Domino Sugar Site E, a former vacant lot the developer turned into a temporary community space, park and garden called Havermeyer Park. The inland site sits across the street from the main factory on Kent Avenue, between South 3rd and South 4th streets.

Two Trees broke ground there earlier this month, kicking off construction of the first building in its huge redevelopment of Domino. As reported, the building at 317 Kent Avenue will be a SHoP-designed, 16-story tower with 522 rentals, including 105 affordable units. Construction is expected to finish in 2017. The developer has also promised to rebuild the park next door to Domino and open it this summer. Yay!

Meanwhile, across the street, workers have finished carting away the remains of the demolished buildings on either side of the landmarked Domino factory. The abandoned cranes have also been pulled away from the water’s edge, and they’ll eventually be incorporated into a five-acre waterfront park with a High Line-style “artifact walk.” Click through to see what’s behind the fence at the main Domino site.

Domino Coverage [Brownstoner]


249 wallabout street bed stuy

Developer Rabsky’s push to rezone two blocks in the Broadway Triangle area could have some very interesting unintended consequences, according to an article in Crain’s yesterday. Development there has been all but frozen for years, thanks to clashes between various stakeholders, controversy and lawsuits. Rabsky’s request will reopen that debate and, although Rabsky is only asking for 12-story buildings, could pave the way for the entire area to be covered in massive low-income towers, according to Crain’s.



When we dropped by what used to be the White Castle at 781 Metropolitan Avenue in Williamsburg yesterday, all that was left standing of the building was the frame. As you may recall from our past stories, this is where Issac and Stern are designing an eight-story 80/20 mixed-income building with 81 units for developer Adam America.

White Castle Coverage [Brownstoner] GMAP



The bar and restaurant at the corner of Metropolitan and Union, across from Kellogg’s Diner, is now a cafe as well and open in the mornings. As of Tuesday, Sugarburg has a full espresso bar and Brooklyn Roasting Coffee coffee, the head bartender told us. Pastries from nearby Brooklyn Patissaries are coming next week. There is free wifi “and a spacious comfortable atmosphere to work,” he said.

Sugarburg, which is located at 519 Metropolitan Avenue, now opens at 7 am weekdays. It also serves dinner and a weekend brunch.

Bar and Restaurant at Union and Metropolitan in Williamsburg Prepping to Open [Brownstoner]  GMAP


The exterior of 59 Frost Street, an affordable housing development in Williamsburg, was looking good when we passed by Sunday. Almost all the windows were in and the facade appeared to be finished.

In fact, it looks better in person than in photos because the 3-D effect of the recessed windows is more apparent. You’d never guess from the outside this is an affordable building.

Unfortunately, it sits across from the BQE and all its exhaust fumes, as does the recently built luxury rental LeonardPointe next door. They used to be on one tax lot and were both developed by Rabsky Group. The building has 47 units, and Curtis & Ginsberg is the architect of record, according to permits.

What do you think of the design so far?

59 Frost Street Coverage [Brownstoner] GMAP



We were excited to read in Grub Street and DNAinfo that ice cream maker Van Leeuwen plans to open a huge flagship store at 204 Wythe Avenue in Williamsburg. The 1,200-square-foot space will have seating for 50 people. This is in the recently opened rental building 50 North 5th (formerly site of Western Carpets, if anyone remembers that far back).

They will have lots of room for experimental flavors and vegan ice creams. They hope to open in mid April.

Van Leeuwen, which started selling out of an ice cream truck in Williamsburg and now makes all its ice cream in its Greenpoint factory, has four stores, including two in Brooklyn. The one in Boerum Hill is always crowded when we go by. 

Van Leeuwen Opening Huge Flagship Ice Cream Parlor on Wythe Avenue [DNA] GMAP
First Look at Van Leeuwen’s Newest Ice-Cream Shop [NY Mag]

285 grand street williamsburg rendering

The Passive House condo craze has come to Boerum Hill, Prospect Heights, the Columbia Street Waterfront and now Williamsburg. We discovered this design for four stories of eco-friendly condos at 285 Grand Street on the website of developer Blue Zees.

There will be two large apartments spread across 5,416 square feet of residential space, in addition to 4,600 square feet of retail, according to building applications disapproved last week. And a restaurant will occupy the ground floor, according to Schedule A filings.

David Berridge Architect will design the project. It looks like the facade will be clad in metal siding, a feature we’ve come to expect on Passive House buildings. Both condos will have terraces, and the upper unit will be a duplex with double height windows. Blue Zees paid $2,850,000 for the property in 2012, and demolished a one-story garage last year.

What do you think of the design?  GMAP



East Williamsburg is finally getting a few interesting buildings, between this small one and the HWKN-designed Yotel just down the street. At 630 Lorimer Street, ODA Architecture has replaced Gerald Caliendo as the architect of record, and we found this rendering attached to the fence.

It doesn’t look like ODA’s work, but it doesn’t look like the usual small ‘Burg building either. We see large, multi-paned windows, a green wall, and balconies hidden behind a masonry (concrete?) screen covering the front of the building.

Permits call for four stories and eight units. Inside, it looks like the foundation is under construction, though we couldn’t get a good look. (The photo after the jump shows only a fraction of the site.) The sign on the fence said construction should wrap in December 2015.

In January, a lis pendens was filed on the property — hope that doesn’t scuttle these new plans. What do you think of the design?


247 north 7th street interior rendering

North Williamsburg’s already crowded luxury rental market is getting a new addition at 247 North 7th Street, where 169 rentals will hit the market soon, the New York Daily News reported. The two seven-story buildings between Roebling and Havermeyer streets will have studios, one- and two-bedrooms ranging from $2,575 to $6,700 a month for a penthouse. Amenities include a 13,000-square-foot landscaped courtyard, two roof decks, fitness center, lounge, pet spa and parking.

Developer Adam America successfully resurrected the long-stalled project after acquiring it from Silverstone Property Group in 2013. Permits were first filed nine years ago, and the site sat empty until work began last year.

The story noted that rental inventory in the area increased 18 percent in January, vs. December. But average monthly rents also increased during the same period, so the new inventory doesn’t seem to be depressing asking prices, at least. At the same time, the median price for one-bedrooms condos in the area dropped 6 percent over the year, the story said.

A Break for Billyburg: More Rental Projects Spur Price Competition [NY Daily News] GMAP
Work Starts Again, Rendering Posted for Long-Stalled Williamsburg Site [Brownstoner]

Renderings by Craft Studio via NY Daily News


249 wallabout street bed stuy

Developer Rabsky Group has filed an application to rezone two blocks in Williamsburg’s Broadway Triangle, both part of the former Pfizer campus, to make way for two big mixed-use buildings with nearly 800 apartments, The Real Deal reported. Rabsky paid $12,750,000 in July 2012 for two properties there, which occupy the entirety of both blocks and are currently zoned for manufacturing.

The vacant properties, whose addresses are 249 and 334 Wallabout Street, total about 150,000 square feet. One of them is used for parking, and the Flushing G stop stops on the block.

If the rezoning were to go through, the properties could accommodate 622 market-rate units, 155 affordable ones and 32,000 square feet of retail, according to TRD. Back in 2012, the mammoth former Pfizer plant next door at 630 Flushing Avenue was converted to light industrial space, and the building is now home to a fashion accelerator, small food businesses, furniture makers and Brooklyn Grange.

Rabsky is also building on the next block, at 376-382 Wallabout Street, and is one of the partners developing apartments at the nearby Rheingold brewery complex in Bushwick, among other projects in Brooklyn. The Broadway Triangle has a contentious history, as various groups have clashed over building housing there.

Dushinsky’s Rabsky Group Plans Nearly 800 Units on Former Pfizer Site [TRD]
Pfizer Coverage [Brownstoner]
Broadway Triangle Coverage [Brownstoner]

Photo by Christopher Bride for PropertyShark


It’s been about two years since Chetrit Group broke ground on the long-stalled — and also big and ambitious — mixed-use hotel/apartment/retail complex at 500 Metropolitan Avenue in Williamsburg, and not much has happened since. But when we stopped by yesterday, we saw hardhats working on the foundation. Last time we peeked, it was just dirt, so this is a major advance.

In the meantime, after already changing once before, it seems the architect has switched again, from Gene Kaufman to Kutnicki Bernstein, and the design has also changed – we are now on Version No. 5. About a month ago, Curbed dug up interior renderings on the website of Raad Studio, which appears to be handling the inside.

The renderings are pretty mind blowing. How do you like the sexy siren hanging out at the indoor-outdoor fire pits, above? There’s also a babe in a pool — and a pretty good looking bathroom — with a shower that strikes us as roomy enough for two. (See them all here, in full size glory.)

Click through for lots of construction-site photos and to see a progression of exterior renderings over seven years. This should be quite the development, if it ever gets built. What do you think of it?

500 Metropolitan Avenue Coverage [Brownstoner]
502 Metropolitan Avenue Coverage [Brownstoner]
Rendering by Raad Studio