Looking at the hip-infused renderings for the planned office building at 430 Johnson Avenue, you can almost hear the architect working through a troubling dilemma: How to fit both a parking area and a flexible event space without displacing that must-have subterranean eatery?
Thankfully for 430 Johnson’s future tenants, a creative compromise was reached. Behold: the transforming parking garage event venue.
Over the next year, developer Astral Weeks will turn the site — currently a traditional parking lot — into a four-story creative office building designed by VAMOS Architects. The structure will have modern interior details and a glass facade covered by what looks to be a perforated metal screen.
The 2,822-square-foot below-ground space will accommodate a large restaurant or retail tenant.
But at street level, things get really interesting.
The open ground floor will serve as parking during the day. Once those cars scoot back to the streets, voila! The garage transforms into a dazzling venue for impromptu, post-work concerts or glitzy product launches.
Parking — especially street-level parking — is a hot-button issue for Brooklyn’s new developments, with a number of locals arguing that such use of ground-floor space damages the streetscape and is an eyesore. The wall of garages, air vents, and concrete walls that have sprung up along Brooklyn’s 4th Avenue serve as particularly contentious examples of parking requirements in action.
But the renderings of 430 Johnson paint its parking spots as more artful than annoying.
A triple-height void in the middle of the building gives the space a theater-like air. It’s a unique design, but one wonders whether oil drips and tire marks won’t mar the luminous effect of that central white floor.
The second and third stories are build-to-suit workspaces with kitchenettes and ceilings that can be as tall as 16.5 feet. The fourth floor has a very cool duplex office flanked on both sides by a pair of lush roof terraces with Manhattan views. Talk about swank.
The leasing packet from M Properties lists the building’s “ideal uses” as commercial offices, a museum or art gallery, creative space, or a tech hub. More and more developers are banking on making the area attractive for creative businesses.
Permits have yet to be filed for construction of the building, but its target completion date is Q1 of next year.
Astral Weeks purchased the site in 2013 for $650,000 under an LLC, public records show. The developer has another mixed-use building planned nearby on Harrison Place. Also with a glass-and-mesh facade, this 7,000-square-foot office and retail building doesn’t have the ground-floor parking.
430 Johnson is just the latest workspace development in a slew of planned event and office buildings in the Bushwick loft district. There’s the ODA-designed hotel and concert venue at 71 White Street, the 35,000 square-foot night club at 599 Johnson Avenue, and another mixed-use office building at 99 Scott Avenue with — you guessed it — an event hall.
The area is part of North Brooklyn’s nonresidential, protected Industrial Business Zone (IBZ). Without the option of building condos or rentals in this slice of Bushwick, it’s looking like developers think ultra-cool offices and event spaces are the next best thing.
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