Last week, Mayor Bloomberg broke ground on one of the Brooklyn waterfront's largest projects - the redevelopment of DUMBO's iconic Tobacco Warehouse into a dynamic cultural center and the new home of theSt. Ann’s Warehouse performing arts institution. The building, located on the Brooklyn Bridge Park grounds, will house a multi-use space for artists, schools, and community groups. Once the new center is complete, St. Ann’s Warehouse will be able to move from its transitional space at 29 Jay Street into its new and permanent home.
Currently, the Tobacco Warehouse is an 18,000-square-foot open space surrounded by four bare brick walls. With St. Ann’s Warehouse in mind, Marvel Architects PLLC re-imagined the barren area into a new enclosed building with a flexible performance space. There will also be a 1,000-square-foot multi-use community space to include artists’ support spaces, offices, and a waterside lobby with multiple archways leading to Brooklyn Bridge Park. The adjacent triangle structure connected to the brick walls will be left as an open space. Landscape architects Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates imagine it will be used as a walled birch tree grove.
The site will be just the first of many projects to reuse seven abandoned buildings and vacant lots along the DUMBO waterfront. Midtown Equities, the developer of the project in partnership with Rockwood Capital and HK Organization, will redevelop the long-abandoned Empire Stores. Along with new businesses, Alloy Development and Monadnock Construction will design and build a new residential building at the John Street section of the park. The new building will include 47 apartments as well as a cultural and retail space on the ground floor – including one for the Brooklyn Children’s Museum.
To tie all of these spaces together, new parkland is also being developed. Plans include a 13,000-square-foot gathering lawn located on the John Street site. The park will also feature tidal salt marshes and tree-lined pathways connected by raised pedestrian bridges.
Images © NYC Mayor’s Office
Renderings: Studio V Architecture