07/15/15 8:00am

With both Dumbo Heights and Empire Stores Dumbo being developed for retail and commercial use, there has been announced commercial, retail, and restaurant in the past few months. Both are scheduled for occupancy by the end of 2015 or early 2016. And with the 74,000-square-foot supermarket Wegmans opening in 2017, there’s plenty of retail activity in and around Dumbo, Fulton Ferry, and Brooklyn Heights.

Dumbo Heights

Sands Street between Adams and Pearl Streets (rendering by Dumbo Heights)

Sands Street between Adams and Pearl Streets (rendering by Dumbo Heights)

Dumbo Heights has announced leases to restaurants Dig Inn, Dos Toros and Untamed Sandwiches. The restaurants are scheduled to open by the end of the year. Dig Inn is coming to 55 Prospect Street, where it’s taking 2,525 square feet, while Dos Toros and Untamed Sandwiches are moving into 117 Adams Street, where they’re taking 1,563 square feet and 1,459 square feet, respectively. Also, Bluestone Lane has been chosen as a coffee retailer, where the café will open a 2,500 square feet location in the 55 Prospect Street building.

In addition to the food and drink locations, the following commercial space were announced earlier this year: frog design (55 Prospect St), Etsy (117 Adams St), WeWork (81 Prospect St), Alexis Bittar (77 Sands St).

Recently announced and reported on NY Post, Hotelier Ian Schrager revealed plans to convert the 30 story building at 90 Sands Street into a 600 room hotel with another 60,000 to 100,000 square feet of food-and-beverage services and meeting facilities. “It will also include an observatory-like restaurant at the top, which has expansive Manhattan skyline views. “Maybe Brooklyn’s answer to the Rainbow Room,” Schrager suggested.”

Other commercial and retail tenants to be announced as deals get inked.

Empire Stores Dumbo

Rendering courtesy of Empire Stores Dumbo

Rendering courtesy of Empire Stores Dumbo

The Empire Stores have come a long way from it’s days when the building structure was abandoned since the 1970s. Technically in Fulton Ferry Historic District, the Empire Stores is being marketed as Empire Stores Dumbo.

West Elm, the home furnishings retailer establishd in Dumbo, has already signed a lease for 150,000 square feet at Empire Stores for its corporate headquarters and a store. West Elm will have space for a coffee shop in partnership with Brooklyn Roasting Co.

Earlier this year, we noted that Shinola (with Cafe) along with restaurants Vinegar Hill House and Pizza East were signed on as tenants. Vinegar Hill House plans a takeaway outpost. It’s aiming for an early 2016 opening. It took a 1,750- square-foot space with outdoor seating in Empire Stores’ courtyard.

Pizza East is aiming for a spring 2016 opening with 13,000 square feet in size with outdoor seating in the complex’s courtyard and on the Brooklyn Bridge Park waterfront.

{Dumbo Heights to become a major eats destination following leases by Dig Inn, Dos Toros and Untamed Sandwiches, NYDN}
{Bluestone Lane chosen for Dumbo Heights, NYP}
{New restaurant tenants for iconic Empire Stores, Brookly Daily Eagle}
{New Looks At Dumbo’s Empire Stores, Set to Open in 6 Months, Curbed}
{Vinegar Hill House and London’s Pizza East Coming to Empire Stores in Dumbo, Eater}

07/14/15 6:17pm
Baci at Pearl Street Dumbo

Baci at Pearl Street Dumbo

We received the following commercial real estate update from Chris Havens, Vice President of Commercial Property at aptsandlofts.com.

As you may have heard, another 120,000 RSF of office space is leased or lease out at Dumbo Heights. ETSY now has possession of their building, promising a stunning and innovative build-out at a level never before seen in Brooklyn.

Two Trees continues to get great numbers for their product. I showed a prime view space in 20 Jay last week asking $49/rsf. Brokers and owners get Manhattan calls as you know, almost all of which can’t be fulfilled. When WeWork opens in what I like to call D Heights, combined with Pearl Realty’s Green-Desk, DUMBO will have by far the most co-working space in one area of Brooklyn.

Retail supply continues to be tight, but without the kind of rents one sees in denser areas. I am guessing the best rent comes via percentage at the One Old Fulton Shake Shack facing the Park. Around the borough, where asking rents are often too high for the only product type with much space left – small retail – you see overreaching based on marquee deals not reflective of the typical market. In DUMBO there are some ambitious asks going begging. And some retailers here say the shopping population has changed greatly with the huge influx of tourists, with dry goods harder to sell.

Dumbo Heights is bringing food and service retailers to their campus, at affordable rents. Other new developments now under construction have little retail space due to the high value of ground floor residential and parking spaces. One John does have a super prime park and waterfront restaurant space. Starwood has leased space to a restaurant at the base of the hotel they and Toll NYC built.

185 Front, 51 Jay, 47 Bridge and One John are building, marketing and selling. As David Walentas predicted decades ago, DUMBO has become super prime residential.

Programming by the Park Conservancy and the Dumbo Improvement District bring both tourists and locals, giving a strong sense of life to the area. Area residents and tenants regularly say more restaurants are needed, yet the high cost barriers to entry, the lack of proper space or 10 year lease terms hamper that effort.

I am told that up to three different child play spaces are coming, the first called RECESS at 81 Washington in the old Pomme space. One or more gyms are close to a deal as well. 135 Plymouth, settled down as residential now, has much activity in their ground floor space.

55 Water/Empire Stores is well into its renovation, with the guts of the building visible now. Several excellent retail deals have been announced. The Dock Street building, feared for its proximity to the Brooklyn Bridge, couldn’t have a more subtle, light and lovely façade, in my opinion. And the new middle school will be much welcomed by area families.

{February 2015 Dumbo Commercial Real Estate Update, 25Feb2015}
{Spring 2014 Dumbo Commercial Real Estate Update, 16Apr2014}
{Dumbo Commercial Real Estate Update (December 2013), 16Dec2013}
{Dumbo Commercial Real Estate Update (June 2013), 02Jul2013}
{Dumbo Brooklyn Commercial Report (March 2012), 12Mar2012}
{Dumbo Brooklyn Retail Report (Jan 2012), 13Jan2012}
{Dumbo Retail Report (Dec 2011), 16Dec2011}
{Dumbo Commercial Real Estate Update (Nov 2011), 22Nov2011}

07/10/15 11:44am
Team 8 ARCHITECT: Marvel Architects

Team 8 ARCHITECT: Marvel Architects

The plans were unveiled for Brooklyn Bridge Park’s two new condos at Pier 6 last week. There are 14 submissions for review before the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation selects a winner in the fall. Pier 6 buildings will include 30% affordable housing, a pre-K facility, amenities on the ground floor for the park, like public rest rooms, some even include public indoor swimming pools, and a pedestrian bridge over the BQE connecting Columbia Place and the park.

Pier 6 of Brooklyn Bridge Park was opened in June 2010. While part of the Empire State Development Corp’s (ESD) overall plan, building condos near Pier 6 has been controvertial. The Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation has said that they are committed to minimize condo development on the park, but park officials maintain that the Pier 6 development is necessary to fund the park. ESD’s condo plans for Pier 6 development (since 2005) site “is permitted under the Park’s General Project Plan (GPP) for residential development with a maximum height of 315 feet on Parcel A, while Parcel B allows for residential, ground floor retail, and a maximum height of 155 feet.” However, a petition from savepier6.org argues that “parks are for “people and plants,” not skyscrapers and shadows from skyscrapers.”.

Per the Mayor’s Office:

“These are proposals to develop housing alongside Brooklyn Bridge Park near Pier 6 that will generate vital funding to maintain the park in perpetuity. They were submitted to the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation, which will make a selection in the fall. Consistent with the de Blasio Administration’s goals of maximizing affordable housing, 30% of the housing in the projects will be affordable to working families, with preference given to people from the nearby community, many of whom are being priced out of this corner of Brooklyn.”

To view each team’s proposal, go here: CAC Pier 6 design presentation 08.06.14.pdf (PDF file)

Architect photo renderings after the jump.

{Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 6 Condos REVEALED, Gothamist}
{Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Controversial Pier 6 Towers, Revealed, CurbedNY}
{ESD leaves door open to new environmental review of Pier 6 development, Brooklyn Daily Eagle}
{Opponents of Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 6 highrises: ‘Build only to support park!’, Brooklyn Daily Eagle}
{Brooklyn Bridge Park board presents figures to back its Pier 6 plan, Brooklyn Daily Eagle}
{Brooklyn Bridge Park Project Approvals & Presentations}


07/03/15 9:53am
(Photo by Jane Kratochvil from Flickr)

(Photo by Jane Kratochvil from Flickr)

The Macy’s Fourth of July fireworks will be over the East River for the second straight year. Great for Dumbo and Brooklyn Heights residents! Your best bet is to head to your rooftop for a clear view of the fireworks (and avoid the crowded streets). If you don’t have access to a Dumbo loft roof, walk over to Brooklyn Bridge Park or the Brooklyn Heights Promenade (at Montague Street and Pierrepont Place).

Brooklyn Bridge Park will be open on July 4 and this year will have a double barge south of the Brooklyn Bridge and barges between 23rd and 34th Street on the river. Like prior years, the streets in Dumbo will be closed to traffic beginning at 4pm on Saturday and security will be tight (Bags will be checked by NYPD at all entrances).

If you’re planning on watching the fireworks on the waterfront in Dumbo, you will have to walk from the subway stations (F, A/C, 2/3). East River Ferry service stops at 4pm. To enter the Brooklyn Bridge Park, use the park’s entrances at Old Fulton and Furman Streets, Joralemon and Furman Streets or Old Dock and Furman Streets (detailed info here).

Streets closed around Dumbo and Brooklyn Heights (NYPD weekend traffic advisory):

  • Area bounded by Atlantic Avenue on the South; Old Fulton Street on the North;
  • Hicks Street on the East River on the West (All Inclusive)
  • Old Fulton Street between Hicks Street and Prospect Street
  • Cadman Plaza West between Prospect Street and Tillary Street
  • Front Street between Old Fulton Street and Jay Street
  • Water Street between Old Fulton Street and Jay Street

Happy July 4th America!