Dumbo-based home furnishings company West Elm will be the first tenant to open in the massive and neighborhood-changing 146-year-old coffee warehouse-turned-retail hub Empire Stores.
The grand opening of its new flagship is set for August 18 at 8 a.m., the retailer revealed in an email Wednesday. West Elm is leasing a third of the historic building and will also have its offices there. (more…)
Left: The Empire Stores in 1935, by Berenice Abbott, via New York Public Library. Right: Rendering of Empire Stores courtyard.
Empire Stores is the latest in a series of projects that have been turning the Dumbo waterfront into an attraction for both locals and tourists. Opening out onto the ever-evolving Brooklyn Bridge Park, the Empire Stores complex will be a 500,000-square-foot shopping and office complex with a projected opening date of the summer of 2016.
It’s not going to be a typical shopping center, though. It’s location in Brooklyn Bridge Park, so close to the Brooklyn Bridge and the Fulton Ferry Landing will make it a must-see stop for tourists visiting Brooklyn. Empire Stores will feature some of the best views in the city, especially from its rooftop beer garden, and a dedicated museum space, curated by Brooklyn Historical Society, will showcase the story of this historic building, as well Dumbo’s journey from a waterfront hub of industry to Brooklyn’s center for design and technology.
The complex, constructed inside a 19th-century warehouse that stood vacant since 1945, will include such destinations as the prestigious Vinegar Hill House restaurant, home furnishing store West Elm, watch and apparel company Shinola. There will also be space for local artists to display their works.