Work Starts on Long-Delayed One-Story Shops on Long-Empty Lot in Fulton Ferry District

The site in January 2020. Photo by Susan De Vries


Work on a long-delayed small glassy commercial structure on a long-empty lot in the Fulton Ferry Historic District is finally under way.

A recent stroll past the site at 20 Old Fulton Street showed the concrete wall that once surrounded the empty lot has been demolished and foundation work has begun.

construction site

Plans for a single-story building designed by Snøhetta with three commercial spaces were approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission back in 2014, but the project, dubbed Ferry Market, never moved forward. Owner Fulton Ferry Enterprises LLC sold the property in January of 2018 for $3.5 million to 20 Old Fulton Holdings.

LPC records show that the entity submitted an initial application to renew the expired approval in February of 2018, but when no further materials were submitted the application was considered withdrawn. Another application was received in December of 2019 and is currently under review.


The 2014 proposal. Rendering by Snøhetta via Landmarks Preservation Commission via Yimby

20 old fulton

Rendering posted at construction site

The new-building permit, issued in November of 2019, shows that architect Ilya Korolev has replaced Snøhetta as the applicant of record. However, the rendering on the construction fence and an Instagram post from Korolev shows the new owners intend to move forward with the approved 2014 Snøhetta design. The building permit indicates plans for a cafe with cellar space below and two other retail spaces.

Snøhetta is an award-winning globally recognized firm based in Oslo, Norway, that designed SFMOMA and the cultural building at the World Trade Center. Brooklyn-based Ilya Korolev has worked with interior designer Billy Cotton on a house for Cindy Sherman that was featured in Architectural Digest.

1925 image of old fulton street

The block in 1924. Photo via New York Public Library

The design shows a black structure with a sloping, mostly transparent glass front and glass awning. Although permanent, it somewhat resembles temporary, semi-outdoor venues such as florist markets, beach-front food stands and greenhouses.

The lot is zoned for manufacturing (M2-1), which restricts FAR and use. The low-slung structure will use all its square footage allowed.


The 2014 proposal. Rendering by Snøhetta via Landmarks Preservation Commission via Yimby

brooklyn heights

The 2014 proposal. Rendering by Snøhetta via Landmarks Preservation Commission via Yimby

In the early 2000s the lot was home to hot dog stand The Landing operated by Richard Mauro, listed as the property owner in the initial permits for the project in 2014. The current filings list the owner representative for 20 Old Fulton Holdings as Shlomi Avdoo, co-founder of Level One Holdings. The development, construction and management company’s projects include apartment buildings in Bushwick, Clinton Hill and Bed Stuy.

the block in 2007

The block in 2007. Photo by Scott Bintner for PropertyShark

On one side of the property is the historic Eagle warehouse. On the other side is a co-op at 7 Everit Street, a converted industrial building that may date to the 19th century but was stuccoed over and altered to match the early 20th century industrial buildings nearby.


The original proposal rejected by the LPC in 2014. Rendering by Snøhetta via Landmarks Preservation Commission via Yimby

The lot has been empty for decades, well before the designation of the historic district in 1977. While used most recently as a parking lot, historic maps and photographs seem to indicate it has been empty since at least the early 20th century. In the 19th century there were three brick buildings occupying the block on Old Fulton between Elizabeth and Everit Streets, but by the 1920s only one remained.

[Photos by Susan De Vries unless noted otherwise]

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