The plans for Brooklyn today leave no space undeveloped. Luckily, the borough often does redevelopment correctly – with proper homage to the history of the place where the redevelopment occurs.
For years, the seven Empire Stores coffee warehouses, dating back to 1869, have been falling into disrepair along the 1.3-mile waterfront expanse of the Brooklyn Bridge Park. Rather than demolish these historic warehouses, the park and Empire State Development Corporation sought proposals to restore and makeover the warehouses and reappropriate them as a mixed-use development. They required that the proposals “respect the architectural and historical significance of the resource” in their plans to redesign and reappropriate its approximately 327,000 square feet of space.
Team Nine’s proposal for the renovation of the abandoned Empire Stores warehouses on Dumbo’s Water Street. Source: The Architect’s Newspaper.
The Architect’s Newspaper has shared the ten released proposals for converting the warehouses into office, commercial, and retail space. The president of Brooklyn Bridge Park hopes to grant the chosen proposal a 99-year lease, and use the money generated from the development for the park’s maintenance and operation.
View the possibilities for DUMBO waterfront in the slideshow below, courtesy of Brooklyn Bridge Park, and check out more renderings of each team’s proposals here. The contributing development firms include Jamestown Properties (the firm behind Chelsea Market), Two Trees (the firm behind the controversial renovation of the Domino Sugar Factory in Williamsburg), Robert A. Levine, Acumen Capital Partners, and Midtown Equities. We’re crossing our fingers for Team Eight; we love their airy, modernized interiors that somehow manage to keep in line with the buildings’ original facades. We’re also fond of Team Nine’s rooftop gardens – but, of course, we have to leave it up to Brooklyn Bridge Park to decide.
Get in touch with the author @laraelmayan.