Construction site at sunset

From new hotels to creative office complexes, there are many changes taking place throughout the city. Here are just a few of the changes you will soon see.

Restoration Hardware to Become Concept Hotel

Restoration Hardware has received approval to move forward with plans to construct a concept hotel at 55 Gansevoort Street, an area that is just steps away from their flagship store in the Meatpacking District. The company initially presented its plans to convert the historic building to the Landmarks Preservation Commission over the summer, but was not initially granted permission to move forward. The commission reportedly took issue with plans for a glass screen encircling a roof deck and pools. The firm behind the design, Anderson Architects, was forced to come up with new plans for the glass enclosure before being granted permission to move forward. The final plans call for covernting the historic structure to a 14-room hotel.

Brick & Ballerstein Building to Become Creative Office Complex

A 67,236-square-foot warehouse located at 10-85 Irving Avenue in Ridgewood and previously occupied by Brick & Ballerstein will soon become the city’s newest creative hub. The developers, Hornig Capital Partners and Brickman Associates, purchased the industrial building for $10 million last year. The developers are now working toward transforming the space into the Box Factory, which will serve as a hub for retail, creative office and dining space. In doing so, they hope to lure companies from Manhattan and Williamsburg to the area.

According to initial reports, architectural firm Fogarty Finger had decided to retain the old-school and industrial feel of the building, which includes taking advantage of the exposed timber, 18-foot ceilings, wood floors, steel beams and painted brick interior walls. The original brick façade will be restored while the entrance will be given a facelift with a new double-height glass storefront meant to create a more modern appearance.

With its location near the Halsey Street L train, plans call for creating space for three retail spaces to be accessed through the glass storefront. Developers are also looking to obtain a food tenant whose space could face a back valley that could be transformed to an outdoor seating area. Meanwhile, those “creative” firms that have been priced out of the more developed neighborhoods might find the space they are looking for in the new building. Unlike Williamsburg, which has rents of $65 per square foot, or the $45 per square foot price in Bushwick, the Box Factory would offer rents at around $35 per square foot.

While the Box Factory will be significantly smaller than projects such as the Brooklyn Navy Yard or the Empire Stores along the Dumbo waterfront, it could still serve as a game-changer in terms of the area’s growing office and retail markets.

Brooklyn Heights Library Demolition Project Receives City Approval

Redevelopment plans for the Brooklyn Heights Library have finally received approval from the city, paving the way for a new residential tower. Before the tower can be built, however, the current two-story structure will need to be demolished. Many local residents have opposed the project, with some even suing developer Hudson Companies in an attempt to halt development, but a judge dismissed the suit in July 2016. The DOB then approved Marvel Architects plans for 34 stories of apartments in December. Plans also call for constructing a newer, though smaller, library with a dedicated STEM education lab. Retail space will also be included on the ground floor, while a 114-unit affordable housing component will also be included on Fulton Street and Atlantic Avenue. Demolition is scheduled to begin at the end of March with the project expected to be completed in spring 2020.

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