The retail space in the old North Side Savings Bank — designed by architect Theobald Engelhardt in 1889 — at 33-35 Grand Street is empty no more. Rudy’s Barbershop opened December 11, a spokeswoman let us know. Before that, the Seattle-based firm had a popup shop there from November of 2013 to July 2014. That closed and Rudy’s renovated.

The new space has 10 chairs, a wall mural by Brooklyn artist Romon Yang and, at the moment, a popup shop from leather goods maker Tanner Goods. The espresso bar is no more.

Haircuts for men, women and children range from $17 to $60. The A.P.C. outlet occupied the space from 2008 until 2011. Click through to see the interior.

Building of the Day [Brownstoner] GMAP
Streetlevel: A.P.C. Expanding to Billyburg [Brownstoner]
Photos by Rudy’s Barbershop



New York YIMBY found two so-far-unpublished renderings for 247 Bedford, perhaps best known as the future home of Apple’s first Brooklyn store. The renderings shows an additional story at the north end and, notably, big square windows. The building previously had distinctive arched windows. These also appear in a previously published rendering.

It’s not clear which of the designs will actually be built — or if both sets of renderings are obsolete. BTW, Apple will occupy the southern corner of the building, closest to Metropolitan Avenue, at one time home to a bagel store. The late, lamented mom and pop shop Kings Pharmacy until recently occupied a large space on the northern end of the building.

Marin Architects is the designer. The firm has designed Duane Reade pharmacies and a Muji store, among other retail projects.

When we stopped by the construction site in late December, the unoccupied southern part of the building had been completely demolished. The part of the building that houses a Corcoran real estate office and former apartments above was still standing. A green construction fence and scaffolding covered the building.

Click through to see more renderings as well as a photo of the property we took in December.

First Look: Williamsurg Apple Store, 247 Bedford Avenue [NYY]
241 Bedford Coverage [Brownstoner]
First two renderings by Marin Architects via NYY; third rendering via The Real Deal

Update: We’re thinking the two new renderings may actually show the North 4th Street side of the building. That would explain why the smokestack is missing.



French eyeglasses maker Anne & Valentin opened last week at 200 Smith Street in Carroll Gardens, a spokesperson let us know. Its frames, which come in unusual shapes and colors, such as pink metal and two-tone acetate, are made in France.

Smith Street is becoming quite the district for high-end opticians. The store joins a growing number in the area, including James Leonard at 309 Smith Street and Moscot at 159 Court Street. Pardon Me For Asking was the first to write about the new store. GMAP

Photo by Anne & Valentin


As we’re sure you are all aware, there was a horrible fire at 265 Flatbush Avenue Wednesday morning. One man died, and at least eight were injured. The fire appears to have reduced the building to a shell.

Flatbush Hardware, on the ground floor, and the grocery store next door are both closed, according to reports in DNAinfo, The New York Times, and elsewhere. The fire was caused by faulty electrical wiring in the hardware store’s neon sign, they said.

A reader sent in this photo and said “Heartbroken about this. The building housed one of our last mom and pop hardware stores, Jamaican owned. I hope everyone got out safely.”


The massive, neighborhood-transforming conversion of the 150-year-old landmarked coffee warehouse Empire Stores in Dumbo should be ready in about six months, according to a story in Crain’s. After signing high-profile tenant West Elm in 2013, the leasing team at Jones Lang LaSalle is now looking to fill 250,000 square feet of offices and retail. Prices range from $65 to $85 per square foot, and firms who move to the borough are eligible for city subsidies of as much as a $15 per square foot discount.

To drum up buzz, Jones Lang LaSalle has been sending out “handsome coffee-table books detailing the project along with bottles of Brooklyn-distilled whiskey,” said the story.

Separately, Jones Lang LaSalle released a slew of new renderings today and also has a website where they can be seen in their entirety, along with historic photos of Empire Stores. Above is a revised and current rendering showing the outside of the building, which was released in 2013. Click through for the new renderings of the rooftop, interior and courtyard spaces.

Dumbo-born and based tech company Etsy was rumored to be looking at the space, but last year announced it will anchor another high profile Dumbo conversion, the Watchtower printing plant properties, as we reported at the time. In 2013, Brooklyn Bridge Park said construction would wrap in third quarter of 2015.

Drumbeating Begins for Empire Stores [Crain's]
Empire Stores [Official]
Empire Stores Coverage [Brownstoner]
Rendering above via Brooklyn Bridge Park, renderings below via Jones Lang LaSalle



Blue Bottle Coffee, Steven Alan Home and bookseller McNally Jackson have all signed long-term leases at 76 North 4th Street, the 1930s Lewis Steel building recently converted to a mixed-use rental by Cayuga Capital and Jacob Toll, son of Robert Toll of Toll Brothers. Blue Bottle will relocate from 160 Berry Street, around the corner, to a 2,100 square foot space with 20-foot ceilings in November, according to a press release we received from Lee & Associates NYC LLC, which represented the landlord.

Next door, McNally Jackson will have a 3,600-square-foot store on the corner, and Steven Alan Home will have 1,200 square feet. Whole Foods is going in across Berry Street. 

76 North 4th Street Coverage [Brownstoner] GMAP


The property at 520-528 Atlantic Avenue in Boerum Hill, which houses Walgreens, has been sold to a developer for $8,000,000 and the drugstore will close, according to what we are hearing from readers who live nearby. No sale has been recorded and no building plans have been filed for the site.

However, there is no doubt the store is definitely closing: Management recently put up a sign saying it will close Wednesday, January 14.

In keeping with other developments on the street, we’d expect to see a taller, denser mixed-use building replace the store. Thanks to readers for the tip and photo.


The four-story brick building at the corner of Atlantic Avenue and Smith Street is undergoing a makeover and searching for a new tenant to fill the space vacated by the St. Clair Diner.

Permits filed in 2013 and 2014 show owner Thor Equities is turning the second floor commercial space back into residential and repairing the facade. Since Thor purchased the property at 292-294 Atlantic Avenue for $5,151,250 in 2011, a lot has happened in the area, including luxury condo and hotel development The Boerum breaking ground down the street.

What would you like to see in the retail space here?

294 Atlantic Coverage [Brownstoner] GMAP

1453 bedford avenue marche rue dix 122014

The couple behind Senegalese spot Cafe Rue Dix last week opened a clothing and housewares boutique with an unusual contemporary interior next door at 1453 Bedford Avenue in Crown Heights. Marché Rue Dix sells a variety of vintage items, including clothing, shoes, ceramics and jewelry.

It also offers new accessories and textiles designed by Crown Heights locals, such as jewelry designer Lisa Levine, candles, coffee and tea. Husband and wife Lamine Diagne and Nilea Alexander hope to sell their restaurant’s signature Senagalese hot sauce in the future.

The space, located between Park and Sterling, is open from 11 am to 9 pm Wednesday through Sunday. Click through to see the interior. GMAP



AB Architekten, not Karl Fischer, will design the mixed-use luxury building that will replace Clinton Hill’s White Castle drive-in at 531 Myrtle Avenue. We received the first renderings of the planned development, above and after the jump, from TerraCRG, which is marketing the retail space.

In September a family trust sold the property to an LLC for $4,500,000, according to public records. Developer Greystone & Co. has replaced Simon Dushinsky of the Rabsky Group, according to an item published in the Myrtle Avenue Partnership’s blog last week. Construction is expected to start in January.

Although no new building applications have been filed since we last looked at the property, the plans for the building described by TerraCRG sound as if they have not changed substantially. There will be 27 luxury apartments in the building with stores below. (No word yet on whether they will be condos or rentals.) The retail space on the ground floor will measure about 6,000 square feet with 14-foot ceilings and can be divided and built to suit, said TerraCRG. It will be ready for occupancy in early 2016.

“We expect to attract banks, food and beverage, pharmacies, and other uses targeting students and young families,” a spokeswoman told us. The development is across the street from Pratt, and the corner of Myrtle Avenue and Steuben Street will be part of the forthcoming Myrtle Avenue Plaza. The listing has not yet gone up online. Click through for more renderings and floor plans of the commercial space.

What do you think of the building design?

Clinton Hill White Castle Will Become a Karl Fischer-Designed Apartment Building [Brownstoner]
Renderings by AB Architekten (more…)


Work has started up again at the long-stalled site at 252 Atlantic Avenue, future home of the Atlantic Galleria, where Pier 1 Imports, Retro Fitness and others planned to set up shop. Crafts and framing shop Michael’s will replace Pier 1 as the anchor commercial tenant, according to new information on the sales site.

Other tenants will be TD Bank and Blink Fitness, according the site, leaving just one small spot of 663 square feet available.

We had noticed work had progressed on the foundation when we passed by a few weeks ago, although no workers were actually present at the time, on a weekday. Then a reader who lives nearby emailed us to say he noticed the site was buzzing with activity Friday.

The site has not been recently sold, according to public records, but the delay may have had something to do with financing. Last month, developer and owner Renaissance Realty Group took out a mortgage from Peoples United Bank for $15,100,000, according to public records.

Our tipster said he thought the foundation work was recent. “They are making a lot of progress quickly,” he said. He wasn’t as thrilled about the change of retailers, however. “Personally, I was more excited about Pier 1,” he told us.

Click through to see a shot from the street and the old rendering still posted on the construction fence.

252 Atlantic Avenue Coverage [Brownstoner]