Luxury car maker BMW’s offshoot MINI, an independent car brand within the BMW Group, is opening a 23,000-square-foot multi-use space in Greenpoint focused on design, innovation and food.
Styled as a “design destination,” the complex at 29 Norman Avenue, named Amalgamated Drawing Office (ADO), will include a “world-class” restaurant, design shop, digital fabrication studio, and both free and rentable desks. The space will also house URBAN-X, MINI’s “startup accelerator.”
“Our intention is to bring together designers from many different disciplines,” ADO managing director Nate Pinsley, a former McKinsey analyst and entrepreneur, told Brownstoner.
“The place is an experiment for us,” Pinsley added, noting it is intended ADO will become, “a hotspot for generating new ideas and solutions.”
The design-oriented complex will be created in an existing one-story factory previously housed the Brooklyn Night Bazaar, an evening market with music and food. The restaurant will take the place of a former machine shop.
It is expected to open late this summer.
The complex fits in with MINI’s brand and its “exploration of solutions that improve urban life,” according to a press release.
“At our roots, MINI is a design company,” MINI’s head of Brand and Business Innovation Esther Bahne explained in a prepared statement. “We’re opening a space dedicated to designers because we view design as core to our heritage and integral to our future. The first MINI was the vision of a free-thinking design team and their creative spirit inspired this space.”
Pinsley declined to reveal specific plans for the design shop or restaurant.
The spaces will not be leased to outside business but will be owned and operated by ADO, he clarified. ADO does, however, have a partner in developing the restaurant, although Pinsley declined to name the partner.
The space is being designed by Dumbo-based nARCHITECTS, whose previous projects include renovations of Park Slope brownstones and the Wyckoff House Museum in East Flatbush. The firm plans to convert the warehouse so it will be a more “conducive environment for creative work,” according to a press release.
The complex will also sport an outdoor garden, although it won’t be used for dining, according to an alteration permit filed with the DOB.
When locals first heard BMW would be taking over the spot from the beloved culture hall, they initially assumed it would be converted into a corporate office or dealership, but a BMW spokesperson quickly clarified this was not the case. Still, Bazaar-lovers were surprised by the sudden displacement of the party space, DNAinfo reported at the time.
The Brooklyn Night Bazaar said it plans to reopen, but 10 months later has not yet found a new venue.
While Greenpoint and nearby Williamsburg already have plenty of co-working spaces and restaurants, the ADO retail-commercial hybrid seems likely to offer the neighborhoods a quirky, yet-to-be-experienced type of complex that, while corporate, is also unique in its design focus.