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The old one-story Liberty Department Stores building that stood at 774-776 Grand Street for decades came down this summer, and construction has started on the foundation of what could be a game-changing building for this East Williamsburg corner.

The Meshberg Group-designed building will resemble a 19th century department store, with its tiers of large windows and arched openings at the top. But in fact the eight story building will offer a mix of retail and residential, with 64 apartments.

It is likely to be one of the taller buildings around in the mostly low-rise neighborhood, where three story row houses and four and five story apartment buildings give way to one and two story industrial buildings on the other side of Bushwick Avenue. With its large, factory-style windows and brick facade, the building looks like it will fit in well with the neighborhood’s existing buildings, unlike much of the rest of the new development Williamsburg.

When completed, the 82,000 square foot building will have an 800-square-foot fitness room on the second floor and a 3,500-square-foot roof deck.

Liberty Department Stores and adjoining properties were purchased last year by Jeff Kurtz of Kamson Corp. and Dean Marchi of Grand Street Development for $14,200,000 according to the Wall Street Journal. Meshberg Group is designing the exterior and interior, although Gene Kaufman is the architect of record on building permits.

Construction will wrap in fall 2015, according to a sign at the construction site.

More photos and a rendering after the jump. What do you think of the design?

Let’s Look at the New Rendering for East Williamsburg’s 774 Grand Street [Buzz Buzz Home]
Mixed Use Development for East Williamsburg [WSJ]
Rendering by Gene Kaufman Architect GMAP

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Prolific Williamsburg architect Gene Kaufman is designing a new six-story building at 100 Bogart Street in Bushwick with artist studios and retail, according to a new building application filed Monday. The commercial project will include ground-floor retail and five artist studios (one per floor) spread across 46,900 square feet.

The site at the corner of Bogart Street and Johnson Avenue is currently a 9,375-square-foot warehouse. No demolition permits have been filed. The developer behind the project is IBK Construction, which purchased the property last February for $3,472,000. GMAP

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BuzzBuzzHome spotted this DOB application for a new mixed-use building at 56 North 9th Street on the corner of Kent Avenue. Gene Kaufman Architects, one of the most prolific firms in Brooklyn, is the architect of record for the project. Demolition permits for the warehouse on the site, above, were approved in April. The plan exam application shows a seven-story, 53-unit mixed-use building with ground floor retail, enclosed parking and a rooftop terrace. A few other Gene Kaufman buildings in Williamsburg include The Lucent, The Decora, and the Residences at Williamsburg. They’re also working on the never-ending high-rise construction project at 85 Flatbush Avenue Extension.  GMAP

New Gene Kaufman-Designed Building for North 9th and Kent in Williamsburg [BuzzBuzzHome]
Permits Renewed for Tower at 85 Flatbush Extension [Brownstoner]
Photo by Nicholas Strini for PropertyShark