Empty Storefront Owned by RedSky Collapses on Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg

A firefighter clears away debris. Photo by Todd Maisel

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A three-story building collapsed on Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg on Tuesday afternoon, covering nearby parked cars in debris.

The facade of the three-story structure at 204 Bedford Avenue, between North 5th and North 6th streets, came crashing down around 12:45 p.m. — but luckily the building was vacant at the time and no injuries have been reported so far, according to a spokesman for the police department.

Police, firefighters and other emergency responders came to the scene and cleared away loose detritus around 2 p.m.

building collapse

The facade of 204 Bedford Avenue collapsed on the afternoon of August 4. Photo by Todd Maisel

First responders also evacuated a nearby building at 208 Bedford Avenue; the restaurant at that building’s ground floor, Red Bowl, was closed at the time, according to reports on the scene.

The local 94th Police Precinct in a statement on Twitter urged people to stay away from the area and expect delays due to heavy police and fire department presence in the area.

The building collapse follows the arrival of tropical storm Isaias, which started battering the five boroughs Tuesday afternoon. The sky is visible through the top of the adjacent storefront at 206 Bedford as well as through the roof and windows of the collapsed building, suggesting parts of the structure may have been crumbling before the collapse.

An old wood frame mixed-use storefront building that had a fire in 1922, 204 Bedford Avenue and 206 Bedford Avenue are owned by local developer RedSky Capital. In 2016, the firm filed a permit application with the building department to construct a two-story-high, 8,000-square-foot retail space on the site, NY YIMBY reported at the time. It also filed a demolition permit.

On a well-trafficked stretch, the building that collapsed was at one time home to busy and well-known Williamsburg businesses Bedford Magazines & Smokes, Pinky Otto and Tai Thai. The adjacent building at 200-204 Bedford, on the corner of North 6th, houses Brooklyn Fox and Shoe Market.

A retail listing for the row by Good Space shows an architect’s rendering of the proposed new building with high ceilings and large expanses of glass between elegant thin molded concrete surrounds. The listing says more than 11,000 square feet of space is available.

Rendering of proposed new building at 204 Bedford Avenue via Good Space

RedSky has Monopoly board game-like holdings all over Bedford Avenue and other parts of Williamsburg and the borough, including the Bedford Avenue commercial building that holds the borough’s first Apple store, a swathe of storefronts on Bedford between North 7th and North 6th, the Puccio Marble buildings clustered around Driggs and Metropolitan — where new developments are quickly rising — and a large 19th century red brick factory-artist loft space at 3 Hope Street and Roebling.

brooklyn 204 bedford avenue

The buidling in 2005. Photo by Gregg Snodgrass via PropertyShark

— Additional reporting by Cate Corcoran and Susan De Vries

Editor’s note: A version of this story originally ran on Brownstoner sister pub Brooklyn Paper. Click here to see the original story.

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