The supposed site of Brooklyn’s first Apple store, under construction at 247 Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg, is starting to look like a finished building — on the outside, at least. After topping out in July, now the facade is up and the windows are going in.
It closely resembles the original building and a rendering published in 2013, except with better-realized details. The rendering and the original building both had big, square windows on the second floor, over big arched entrances.
(Later, a second rendering surfaced with square entrances like the ones on the North 4th Street side of the building.) Before construction started, a bagel store occupied this far corner.
The only major difference seems to be the divisions of glass inside the big square windows. Instead of large, vertical divisions, the windows have many tiny rectangular panes of glass. When Brownstoner stopped by recently, the metal frames were up and workers appeared to be preparing the frames to receive individual panes of glass — an old-fashioned and labor-intensive type of window construction.
But although the outside is looking close to done, inside — as one would expect — the construction site is still raw, dusty and chaotic.
The architect of record appears to be Marin Architects. The firm works on medium to large commercial projects for retail, healthcare, hospitality and education in the Tri-state region.
Developers RedSky Capital and Waterbridge Capital, who bought the building for $66,000,000 in 2012, have never denied or confirmed that Apple leased this corner space. Apple signed a lease for the 20,000 square foot space on the corner, according to a New York Post story in December.
In May a “for rent” sign went up on the corner construction site, leading one Brownstoner reader to wonder if the deal with Apple had fallen through. Brownstoner reached out to brokers Lee & Associates for comment but never heard back. The entire building is quite large at 75,000 square feet, according to Reonomy, so it’s possible the sign is advertising other spots in the building.
The retail mix in Williamsburg has changed significantly since the deal was supposedly signed. The Whole Foods construction site across the street at 242 Bedford is now nearly done, after being stalled for years. It will open in spring 2016.
A very prime retail spot has become available at 176 Bedford Avenue, at the corner of North 7th, where the Salvation Army store used to be. It is now owned by Thor Equities, and there has been no sign of construction there for months. Years ago, it was rumored Apple would open a store there.
In July, Trader Joe’s signed a lease for a space at 206 Kent Avenue, currently an empty lot, three blocks away.
The building in 2005, above, when it was home to the Bagel Store and a grocery. Photo by Gregg Snodgrass for PropertyShark
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