Last November, word got out that online retailing behemoth Amazon was renting a 40,000-square-foot warehouse on Kent Avenue in Williamsburg to create a facility for photographing the zillions of products it sells on its website. At the time, a spokesperson for the company did have this to say about the location: “We think of it as joining an emerging neighborhood that’s known for its creative talent and community. It’s going to be a mecca — we hope — for creative talent.” The exact location was not disclosed, but it won’t come as any surprise to anyone who’s ridden a bike up Kent recently and taken note of the construction project under way between North 11th and North 12th Streets to learn that the address for the project is 35 Kent Avenue. According to the building permits, the renovation is a “Type One application for change in use and enlargement from glass manufacturing to photo studio and offices.” The project cost estimate on the application is for $4.16 million, so it’s safe to assume the actual cost will probably be north of $5 million. GMAP
It looks like Whole Foods will not buy the historic Coignet stone building on the corner of 3rd Avenue and 3rd Street after all. The New York Daily News reports that a number of national retailers, local stores and nonprofits are eyeing the property, which hit the market this January. The 140-year-old year old landmark is asking $3 million. Whole Foods is still under agreement to restore the exterior of the rundown building and plans to finish the window and façade repairs after the store has opened, hopefully this fall. They have finished work on the roof. For good measure, the Daily News gets a comment from an upset resident who does not think retail space is appropriate “at the foot of a toxic waterway.” Whole Foods has agreed to build the store 8 feet above the 100-year flood plain.
Historic Coignet Building Attracting Interest From Retailers [NY Daily News]
3rd Avenue’s Coignet Stone Company Building up for Sale [Brownstoner]
Photo via PMFA
LES institution Max Fish is moving to Williamsburg. According to Eater, “The bar will close in late August and look to reopen in Brooklyn soon thereafter.” The owner, who ran through his three-year extended lease after previous issues with the landlord, is looking for a space on Metropolitan Avenue. Photo by russbengtson. A Korean restaurant called Little Dokebi will open in June on the corner of Driggs and Monitor. Also in Greenpoint, the American bar/restaurant Alameda is now open on Greenpoint Avenue.
Let’s Yo!, a yogurt chain, is coming to the retail space at the Barclays on Flatbush Avenue just east of Fifth. Starbucks is open in the old Five Guys space on Park Place and Flatbush Avenue. Forty Weight Cafe closed in the South Slope, but are looking for new locations in the same area. Hotly anticipated bar/cafe Supercollider had to delay its grand opening by one week. And a sushi joint put up signage at 847 Union Street — no official opening date yet.
Get your summer drink on: the Gowanus Yacht Club has officially reopened for the season. Mini chain Bare Burger opened in Cobble Hill, on Court Street, last week. Eater pins down the Red Hook location of Frank Falcinelli and Frank Castronovo’s latest restaurant: 372 Columbia Street. Also in Red Hook, restaurateur Erin Norris is trying to fund a sausage and beer garden after plans were derailed due to Hurricane Sandy.
The other week we posted the finished facade of 112 Emerson Place, noting “it’s nice to see this stretch of Myrtle continue to receive investment.” According to the commercial broker in charge of the building’s retail space, it won’t be long until the ground floor is full. He says, “Thus far, we have registered interest from several local operators as well as two national franchises. We are hoping to find a tenant that will address the needs of the immediate community and the residential tenants above.” The store is 1,100 square feet on the ground floor and asking $6,200 a month. Here’s the marketing flyer from CPEX. The development itself will a rental building, although there’s no date yet when residential marketing will begin.
112 Emerson Place Finishing Up [Brownstoner]
New Building for Myrtle and Emerson Corner [Brownstoner]
Tech firms have traditionally flocked to Dumbo and, more recently, the Navy Yard, but now they are embracing Downtown too, reported The New York Post. In the past eight months, 11 tech firms have set up shop Downtown, including four at MetroTech, said the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership. Six more have signed leases at 325 Gold Street and 33 Flatbush Avenue. Homer, which makes apps for babies, and MakerBot, the 3-D printing company, are among those who recently made the move. Tech firms are more willing to consider Downtown because Dumbo and the Navy Yard are full, with long waiting lists. It doesn’t hurt that the area has good transit options, too.
Technically, Brooklyn’s Booming [NY Post]
Photo by Eugene Gannon
Although rumors go back to 2011, it’s been official news since early 2012 that T.J.Maxx was going to be setting up shop on the two lower floors of 505 Fulton Street, the 300,000-square-foot mixed-use building in Downtown Brooklyn. Owned by United American Land, the developer with multiple holdings on the Fulton Mall as well as the Municipal Building, the historic building will have more than 200,000 square feet of luxury residential space on the upper floors. When we passed by on Tuesday afternoon, it was apparent that work on the T.J.Maxx space was going full-bore, with windows out and portions of the lower facade temporarily removed for repair. The landmarked Romanesque Revival structure is also known as the Offerman Building. For some history on the building, click here. For a closeup of the current construction work, see below.
A T.J.Maxx Will Open on the Fulton Mall [Brownstoner]
505 Fulton Street Looking for Upscale Tenants [Brownstoner]
Development Watch: 505 Fulton Street [Brownstoner] GMAP
505 Fulton’s Transformation to Residential Begins [Brownstoner]
Popular Red Hook watering hole Sunny’s has been rebuilding since Sandy hit in October and is aiming for a June opening. They are holding a May Day benefit at the Bell House to help raise runds for the last of the work. You can buy tickets to the event, which takes place May 1, here. Photo by michele y. Last week, the liquor store Dry Dock quietly reopened at its original storefront on the corner of Van Brunt and Van Dyke; it had temporarily relocated up the street after Sandy. And in Coney Island, NY1 checks up on a Neptune Avenue body shop that needed a month and a half to reopen after the storm.
Williamsburg’s first med spa opened at 47 North 4th Street this week. Brooklyn Based posted the spa’s entire press release in all its glory: “After all, even hipsters want Botox,” it says, as well as, “So for the Brooklynite who may be regretting that full sleeve and in need of laser tattoo removal, or simply seeking a bit of pampering after a hard week doing the hustle and grind, N4 offers everything from organic seaweed leaf wraps to an Infinity Sun Tan, for a full spa and med spa experience.” Zagat checks out Isle of Skye, a new Williamsburg bar serving over 200 bottles of Scotch. The Scottish pub is located at 488 Driggs Avenue, with the owners already eyeing an expansion to Park Slope. And the plywood is down at Motorino Brooklyn, opening later this year at 191 Broadway.
Signage is up on the Flatbush Avenue Starbucks and the old Fornino space will likely go to a chain restaurant. Are chains taking over the Slope? Not entirely: The Brooklyn antiques/gifts shop Sterling Place will open its third location on Seventh Avenue between Garfield and Carroll. And South Slope bar Supercollider, under construction at 609 4th Avenue, will open up this Friday for biz. It’ll be a cafe/bar hybrid, although the bar won’t have its grand opening until May 4.
Cake Man Raven is considering Bed Stuy for his new Brooklyn location, after he shuttered the bakery in Fort Greene in November 2012. Upscale home goods store Dunham Home opened up shop in Cobble Hill, at 213 Court Street. A food truck lot opened up in Dumbo this week — you can follow @dumbolot on Twitter to keep track of participating trucks. Finally, Grub Street got an early peek at Glady’s on Franklin Avenue, Crown Heights‘ newest grilled cheese restaurant.
Today we bring you the first of a monthly photo series documenting the huge, multi-year construction project under way at City Point. When completed, the mixed-use development will include more than 1.8 million square feet of retail, entertainment, food, office and residential space on the corner of Flatbush Avenue and Fulton Street. The first phase of the project, located at 1 DeKalb Avenue, opened this fall with an A/X Armani Exchange store. Construction on Phase Two started last year and should wrap in the fall of 2015. (No timeline has been set yet for Phase Three.) Phase Two consists of a 670,000-square-foot retail center — it will be Brooklyn’s largest — under two residential towers. Together the two towers will have 690 units, 125 of which will be affordable apartments. Right now workers are digging down two levels below grade to pour the foundation on the 90,000 square foot site. They are moving from south to north, and as excavation is completed on one part, concrete work follows. That’s the back side of Phase One of the project at the far end of the work site, above. Below, workers install rebar to reinforce the foundation.
Photos by Rick Sechrest for City Point (more…)
Here’s Park Slope spotted signage for the Brooklyn Skybox, a “sports viewing experience” near the Barclays Center. We hear that the exact location is 604 Pacific Street, right off Flatbush Avenue, where it will open by the end of this year. The owner, Michael Drummond, plans to set up a restaurant, rooftop dining, big-screen TV and arcade. He’s also in touch with the North Flatbush Avenue BID with the assurance that the venue is community friendly and will be a good neighbor. Here’s the Facebook page for the new space. Photo by Here’s Park Slope. Eladia’s Atelier just opened at 264 Flatbush Avenue. It’s a new dance, art, and music studio for children that also offers classes with parents and after school programs. Parents can register their kids for classes now. Kahawa Cafe, a bakery on the corner of 5th Avenue and 15th Street, reopened after a five month absence. Dragonfly Boutique, which sells men’s and women’s clothing, held its grand opening last weekend at 145 5th Avenue. Fusion City, a Chinese-Indian fusion joint, is open at 310 9th Street. This space near the subway has had an eclectic variety of restaurants come through in the past few years.
Grub Street gets the first look at newly opened Fatty ‘Cue, which is back after closing twice for renovations. The bar Over The Eight moved into 594 Union Avenue, the former Royal Oak space. Over The Eight is planning readings, art shows, dance parties, food and music. The dance club TBA has opened in a former auto repair garage at 396 Wythe Avenue, at South 6th Street. And La Villita, a Mexican bakery on the corner of Grand Street and Bedford Avenue, recently closed after the rent went way up. They had been at that space for 17 years.
New Ditmas cafe Coffee Mob will hold a soft opening this Saturday at 1514 Newkirk Avenue, on the corner of East 16th Street. And the under-construction Milk and Honey Cafe has taken down its scaffolding.
A reader got ahold of a flyer about commercial space available at 800 Union Street, a Park Slope rental conversion gearing up for a 2014 fall launch. Currently the building is a six-story parking garage; check out a picture of its current incarnation after the jump. As this Real Deal article noted last month, Midwood Investment & Development will convert it into a 28-unit residential building with eight one-bedrooms, 16 two-bedrooms and four three-bedrooms. The flyer says there will be 11,153 total square feet of retail space available, ready for occupancy in the fall or winter of 2014. As for the residential portion, the Department of Buildings has not yet issued permits for any conversion work. GMAP (more…)
Fornino has marked its territory in Greenpoint! Signage went up just yesterday on the second Fornino location under construction at 847 Manhattan Avenue. The first Fornino is located on Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg, and they will also operate in Brooklyn Bridge Park this summer. The owner told us that this Greenpoint location should be open by the summer. And over in Williamsburg, Old Fellows Ice Cream Co. will open this summer at the corner of North Third Street and Kent.
On Monday evening the new, larger Franny’s space opened at 348 Flatbush Avenue. The menu’s the same but there are twice as many seats and a downstairs room that can be reserved for private parties and larger groups. The owners will open an Italian joint, called Marcos, in the old Franny’s space this spring. Baluchi’s, the Indian restaurant on Fifth Avenue, was shuttered by the Department of Health. This is the second time it’s happened in a two year period. Here’s Park Slope hears a rumor that Brooklyn-born actress Debi Mazar and husband Gabriele Corcos are eyeing the old Fornino space to open a new restaurant. Popular microbew destination Beer Table is expanding to a unannounced larger location in the neighborhood, where they will have a full kitchen and more seats. And Tommy’s Famous Cheesesteaks and Pizza will open in the South Slope in the next few weeks.
Fork in the Road takes a tour of just-reopened pizza joint Totonnos in Coney Island. Also in Coney, the New York Aquarium has set a date to reopen: May 25. Brooklyn Slate Company, a cheese board and coaster purveyor, has opened a Red Hook showroom at 305 Van Brunt Street. A tea and coffee spot called Teafee opened at 517 Court Street in Carroll Gardens. Their grand opening celebration will be Saturday, April 13 and Sunday, April 14. In Downtown Brooklyn, a pub and restaurant called the Brooklyn Brewhouse opened on Duffield Street just off Fulton Mall. In Clinton Hill, the Tibetan shop 21 Tara moved from Clinton Avenue to 388 Myrtle Avenue. And the Kohl’s department store in Bensonhurst reopened last Sunday after having to shutter from Sandy.
The unusually large development site at 300 Livingston Street downtown, currently being used for parking and retail, has been sold to developer TF Cornerstone for about $75 million, Crain’s reported. Under current zoning, the developer could build a residential tower of up to 600,000 square feet on the spot. “The deal is one of several development parcels to trade hands in recent months, as builders have become eager to get in the ground again with residential projects to meet rising demand and prices,” noted the story. Current tenants include Subway, IHOP, Papa John’s and Enterprise Rent-A-Car. What would you like to see in this location?
Developer Pays $75M for Downtown Brooklyn site [Crain's]
Huge Downtown Site up for Grabs [Brownstoner] GMAP
Photo by Massey Knakal
Yet another old industrial building in Brooklyn may soon be converted or torn down to make way for mixed-use residential, The New York Post reported. The 19th-century brick building at 835 Myrtle Avenue near Marcy that formerly housed the Cascade linen company has been purchased by an investor group for $27 million. The site is in the new Bedford-Stuyvesant North rezoning district, which means 251,505 square feet of residential development and 101,000 square feet of commercial space is allowed on the property, so the building could be converted to mixed use with apartments above and retail below. The parcel includes nine buildings comprising 137,386 square feet. The lead investor among the buyers, Alliance Private Capital Group, specializes in real estate financing but is not a developer, said The Real Deal. “The sale comes at a time when Bedford-Stuyvesant property values are rising, driven by young professionals priced out of other parts of Brooklyn and by Hasidic Jewish families moving from neighboring Williamsburg,” The Post story noted.
A New Century in Brooklyn [NY Post]
Bed-Stuy Poised for Major Mixed-Use Development [TRD]
Brooklyn’s Cascade Smokestacks Are Not Long for This World [Curbed]
Photo by Christopher Bride for PropertyShark
Yesterday Eater announced that the owners of Di Fara were planning on opening an offshoot of their pizza joint just a few doors away from the original location. A small takeout spot will be serving up pasta, heros, salad and more by mid-April. Photo by Aaron Landry.
Eater rounds up a lot of Williamsburg food news: Radish is closed on Bedford Avenue, Fatty ‘Cue should reopen after a year of being closed in two to four weeks, a huge new bar and restaurant called Shelter is in the works for North 7th between Wythe and Kent streets, and Kumar’s Classic Artisanal Chutney is setting up shop on the corner of North 3rd and Kent. Gothamist tours the second outpost of East Village ceviche bar Desnuda, now open at 221 South 1st Street. There’s a bar area serving up cocktails and a separate dining area. Bushwick’s Wreck Room was shuttered by the Department of Health due to rodent activity. And in Greenpoint, the No Name Bar at 597 Manhattan Avenue is now serving up Korean food and has expanded with additional seating downstairs.
In Park Slope, the Manhattan-based wine bar Pierre Loti will open its fourth outpost at the old Canaille Bistro space on 5th between St. Marks and Warren. The bar will also serve cocktails and Mediterranean tapas. Shanghai Spa opened over the weekend at 241 Fifth Avenue at Carroll Street. In Carroll Gardens, Pardon Me For Asking laments the closing of Good Food, an Italian superette at 431 Court Street. It’s been in the neighborhood for 85 years. In Crown Heights, a provisions and cheese shop called Wedge is opening in May right next to Little Zelda on Franklin Avenue. And on Coney Island, Shoot the Freak, evicted by Zamperla in 2010, has been reborn as Shoot the Clown.
Williamsburg office space: Good luck finding it. With all the noise around residential blowing up and the open house crowds feeling like a Bushwick nightclub at 2 am, the demand for, and consequent lack of, office space in Williamsburg is a real estate and policy problem that won’t go away. Everyone wants to be in “Double U Bee.” But the best buildings for offices, multi-story warehouses, have almost all gone residential. And the older stock is mostly low rise, without the density of downtown Brooklyn or Dumbo.
The highest New York City office rents outside of Manhattan are in Williamsburg, where they range from $30 to $60 a square foot. Look to pay $50 per square foot if you want typical space, which in Brooklyn is less than 2,000 square feet. That’s way more than Dumbo, which is also sold out. It is best to take retail space several blocks away from Bedford, and that is competitive too.
All this is a problem, as it inhibits job growth, prevents locals from living near work, and reduces the daytime population of the area. The newest factor of competition is the gorilla tenants in the market like Amazon and Google. Word is a large Northside site is preleasing to huge tenants already. The market needs small tenant space.
Otherwise, how will the small tenant space become available in the face of record high residential rents, international companies seeking large footprints, and population growth?
Famed pizza joint Totonno’s has reopened on Coney Island after Sandy. Grub Street, rightly so, calls this “great, wonderful, stupendous news.” The Neptune Avenue pizza restaurant was not sure they’d be able to reopen after having trouble with relief loans. We are glad they are back! Photo by roboppy.
Eater hears a rumor that Williamsburg BBQ joint BrisketTown may be expanding. Greenpoint party space CoCo666 reopened last Friday after getting shut down by the city. And Cafe Pistachio is open at 114 Nassau Avenue in Greenpoint, serving Turkish snacks and house-made baked goods.
In Fort Greene, popular neighborhood restaurant Lulu & Po will be adding a 14-seat outdoor cafe this summer. An upscale consignment shop is open and the “street culture” clothing boutique Impeccable Attire is closed, both on 5th Avenue in Park Slope. The Washington Avenue Key Foods on the border of Crown and Prospect Heights is under new management, and is staying relatively clean after failing a number of DOH inspections. In Carroll Gardens, classic French restaurant Pompette Bistro.Bar opened on Court Street at 9th Street. And art space Issue Project Room has reopened in Downtown Brooklyn after a building accident.
A new 16-unit rental building at 113 Kenilworth Place in Flatbush is for sale for
$3,995,000. The building started out as condos but turned rental after the units failed to sell in 2011, said Massey Knakal, which has the listing. Brooklyn College is one block away. Eight of the 16 residential units are two-bedrooms, two baths, and eight are one bedrooms with one bath each. The projected monthly income for the building, which also contains two commercial spaces, both vacant, is $30,430.
Photo by Nicholas Strini for PropertyShark
Fornino‘s Park Slope location is officially closed. The owner will operate a concession stand at Brooklyn Bridge Park this summer, as well as open a location at 849 Manhattan Avenue in Greenpoint. (Photo by jmoranmoya.) Here’s Park Slope wonders if Le Pain Quotidien is moving into the old Moutard spot, where paper has been up on the windows since early December. Grub Street checks out the new Franny’s on Flatbush Avenue and the Italian restaurant that’s moving into the old location, called Marco’s. An Indian/Chinese restaurant called Fusion City is moving into 310 9th Street, at 5th Avenue. A bar with a lounge feel will open in six to eight weeks at 223 7th Avenue. Landhaus left its popup shop on Union Avenue; it will be replaced by People’s Pops in April. Landhaus will sell at the Brooklyn Flea and Smorgasburg this summer.
Eater tours OTB, a Williamsburg tavern “with a racetrack theme.” It just opened at 141 Broadway. The fashion boutique Sword-Smith is holding an official opening party this Friday at its shop on South 4th Street. And in Bushwick, Fritzl’s Lunch Box is open and serving soups, salads, fish, pasta, wine and beer.
Over in Gowanus, a Checkers Burger Chain set up signage at 3rd Avenue between 13th and 14th streets. Brooklyn Flea fave PizzaMoto is seeking donations to open its first brick and mortar restaurant in Red Hook. The Kensington Food Co-Op is set to open by September 2014. It’ll operate as a “buying club,” much like the Flatbush Food Co-Op. The land on which popular Sheepshead Bay diner El Greco sits has been put up for sale, asking $17.5 million. The business is not part of the deal. Finally the fro-yo chain Orange Leaf will open at 345 Adams Street in Downtown Brooklyn. The commercial space in the building is now 100 percent occupied.
Greenpoint beer hall Tørst is now open and beer lovers should be really excited. There are 21 beers on tap and 200 bottles. A “flux capacitor” on each tap allows bartenders to calibrate nitrogen and carbon dioxide mixes and the compression levels. Grub Street has interior photos, as well as all the details about the selection of beer. (Photo by Melissa Hom via Grub Street.) Fatty Cue aims to reopen in Williamsburg after being out of business for almost a year. Burg record store Sound Fix is closing its doors on April 20th, which is Record Store Day. Umami Burger, a popular burger joint in L.A., aims to open by the end of the year at 156 North 4th Street. And a bar is planned for the 1,300-square-foot Bushwick building at 369 Troutman Street.
A Starbucks is moving into the old Five Guys space on Flatbush Avenue. As Here’s Park Slope notes, “With rents so high that even a national chain like Five Guys couldn’t turn a profit, it’s not surprising that a behemoth like Starbucks ended up taking over the space.” A Mexican taqueria will open in April at Sixth Avenue and Seventh Street, the old Lucky 7 space. Eleven Consignment Boutique, an upscale secondhand store opening at 70 5th Avenue, will be ready for shoppers on March 17.
An owner of Greek restaurants in Staten Island will take over Bay Ridge staple Hinsch’s. He plans to add some Greek dishes to the menu but mostly keep the diner menu, and interior, the same. Women’s boutique Ruby and Jenna closed its location at 130 Montague Street in Brooklyn Heights on Sunday. The Brooklyn Paper checks out new Franklin Avenue/Crown Heights biz Cool Pony, which is a thrift store by day and a music venue by night. Ditmas Park should have a brick oven pizza joint in about three weeks on Marlborough Road, right at Cortelyou. And the nabe will get a crepe cafe sometime in April. After extensive repairs due to Hurricane Sandy, the Bay Station Post Office reopened with limited service in Sheepshead Bay.
After many months of rumors concerning the demise of the Associated Supermarket on Myrtle Avenue between Hall and Ryerson, the supermarket will indeed close up shop by the end of the month. A store employee said that there are only a few weeks left for the store, which is the only active storefront on that particular strip of Myrtle. She said the building will be renovated and the supermarket will return once the new build is complete. A tipster also heard that work would last until the end of 2013, and stated a sentiment we’ve heard from many locals: “Sort of annoying, as this store is the most convenient for all those nearby Pratt.” What remains a mystery is if any housing will be added to this site. Recently, the building developer filed for two DOB permits: one to remove the roof structure and “readjust the existing structure height” and another to renovate and expand the existing commercial space. (The owners have not filed any demolition permits.) Public records show that Silverstone Property Group closed on all the buildings from 504 to 524 Myrtle Avenue this December for $5,557,500. The entire lot is zoned R7A, which allows for seven- and eight-story buildings. UPDATE: We’ve received confirmation that there will be residential development above the ground floor, although there are no more details beyond that. The Associated will likely reopen at some point during construction. Stay tuned!