A revamped Empire Stores and Tobacco Warehouse going up in Brooklyn (photos)

The mayor's office announced plans to redevelop the Empire Stores and Tobacco Warehouse in the northern end of Brooklyn Bridge Park.

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  • Photograph: Studio V

    Rendering of Brooklyn Bridge Park with the new Empire Stores and Tobacco Warehouse

  • Photograph: Studio V

    Rendering of Brooklyn Bridge Park with the new Empire Stores and Tobacco Warehouse

  • Photograph: Rogers Marvel Architects

    Rendering of the new St. Ann's Warehouse in the Tobacco Warehouse

  • Photograph: Rogers Marvel Architects

    Rendering of the new St. Ann's Warehouse in the Tobacco Warehouse

  • Photograph: Courtesy Brooklyn Bridge Park

    Map of proposed additions and changes to Brooklyn Bridge Park

Photograph: Studio V

Rendering of Brooklyn Bridge Park with the new Empire Stores and Tobacco Warehouse

The redevelopment of Brooklyn's waterfront is plowing forward at full steam, for better or worse: Today, Mayor Bloomberg announced that Midtown Equities—a real-estate firm with a hand in the new World Trade Center site, among other properties—has been chosen to revamp the abandoned Empire Stores in Brooklyn Bridge Park. The announcement makes official what has already been known for several weeks; Midtown was one of several firms vying for the project, including Two Trees and Jamestown Properties. The firm has partnered with Studio V Architecture to produce renderings of the proposed space, which you can see above.


The Empire Stores, located in the Empire Fulton Ferry section of the park, are some of the park's most recognizable structures: Built in the 19th century to store coffee, the complex of seven buildings has been all but abandoned since the 1960s. Plans for the warehouses include retail (West Elm may open a store there) and more than 300,000 square feet of office space, as well as an exhibition space—Midtown is apparently reaching out to the Brooklyn Historical Society to plan borough-focused exhibits.


But that's not the only change coming to that section of the park: The adjacent Tobacco Warehouse is now officially in the hands of St. Ann's Warehouse, which signed a long-term lease for the space. As we reported earlier this year, St. Ann's will transform the beautiful brick structure into a performance space, along with community-oriented areas.


As with other developments in Brooklyn Bridge Park—including proposed fancy-pants condos at Piers 1 and 6, and John Street—the idea is to bring in new sources of cash flow to help maintain the park. Assuming everything goes as planned, construction on the Empire Stores would begin next year, and would be completed in 2015.



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