The Brooklyn Bridge Park isn’t the only project on the DUMBO waterfront getting some much needed sprucing up. Yesterday, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that the Brooklyn Bridge Park Board of Directors selected Midtown Equities, in partnership with Rockwood Capital and HK Organization, to redevelop seven vacant warehouse buildings that were built between 1869 and 1885 for coffee storage, as well as a large section of the surrounding parkland. The site includes seven four-and five-story historic structures that collectively cover approximately 347,000 square feet.
Midtown Equities’ larger proposed building plan for the Empire Stores buildings includes nearly 80,000 square feet of new space for restaurant, retail, and event space with an additional 300,000 square feet of office space. Midtown also hopes to achieve a LEED Silver Certification for the new development and will work with Studio V Architecture throughout the project. Construction on the DUMBO warehouse projects is expected to begin in early 2014 with a proposed completion of Fall 2015
Among the various projects, the renovation of St. Ann’s warehouse most prominently features a new 18,000 square foot roof that will be partially converted into a theater. The former tobacco warehouse’s new roof will serve as a flexible performance space. Inside, the 1,000 square ft. multi-use space will serve as a community room for artists as well as educational and civic groups. Meanwhile, another 7,600 square ft. triangle-shaped section of the area will be left roofless as a public garden space with a walled birch tree grove landscaped by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates.
Parks and Recreation Commissioner Veronica White says “[T]he transformation of these formerly vacant stores will open up usable space for the community, and help to ensure that the park will continue to be well maintained for years to come.”
The project will also create 0.86 acres of new parkland and will expand the lawn located on the northern section of the park. The new addition will add an improved entry plaza at Washington Street, a landscaped dog run, outdoor community space, and a bouldering wall. The new parkland, designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates and the Architecture Research Office, also includes a mixture of recreation space including a 1,700 square ft. indoor educational space with public restrooms, and park maintenance and operations space.
Renderings: Studio V Architecture