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The former coffee warehouses at Empire Stores will have a rooftop beer garden and an upscale restaurant, the Brooklyn Eagle reported. There’s a French brasserie slated for the ground floor, and developer Midtown Equities is in talks with a few well-known chefs who might open two other eateries in the huge brick building. Leases are out for all three food businesses, but they haven’t been signed yet. Ground-floor restaurants will face Brooklyn Bridge Park and its iconic views of the bridges and Manhattan. On the Water Street side, Midtown Equities is negotiating space with a yoga studio and a gym.

When construction on the landmark building finishes, Empire Stores will offer 430,000 feet of rentable space — 150,000 square feet of which has already been taken by furniture retailer West Elm and fancy coffee shop La Colombe. And the asking rents are high, even by Dumbo standards. Midtown Equities wants $90 per square foot for office space in a glass-faced rooftop addition, $65 a square foot on other floors, $150 a square foot on the ground floor facing the park, and $125 for the ground floor retail space facing Water Street, the Real Deal reported last year.

Eat, Drink and Be Merry – in Empire Stores’ Rooftop Beer Garden [Brooklyn Eagle]

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Last year Massey Knakal started marketing a ground-lease availability for the corner of Atlantic Avenue and Boerum Place, a deal that could theoretically involve a new building rising at the site. According to a lease agreement filed in city records, the site has found a taker: Midtown Equities, a firm that owns 205 Montague Street and plans to bring a stalled Williamsburg site back to life, complete with a Whole Foods. Massey’s listing was asking $1 million a year and noted that the property offers 172,500 buildable square feet. The owner of the lot is the William M Casey Foundation, owners of the adjacent 66 Boerum Place, which is better known as St. Vincent’s Services. One interesting point from Massey’s offering plan: “The Lessee is prohibited from developing, using or occupying the Premises for the purposes which are considered inimical to the doctrines or teaching of the Roman Catholic Church.” So we’re probably not going to be seeing a seminary to train women to become priests here or an abortion clinic, but a lot of other uses are possible. Click through for a sketch from Massey’s offering plan of what the massing of the building could look like. GMAP