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NYC Invests $3.5 Million in Fashion Innovation Hub in Sunset Park

15 Dec 2014, 3:31 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

A City-financed innovation hub is about to revive the once thriving garment manufacturing industry in New York City.

Manufacture NY - rendering

Manufacture NY – rendering

Set to open at the Liberty View Industrial Plaza in Brooklyn’s Sunset Park section, the Manufacturing Innovation Hub for Apparel, Textiles & Wearable Tech is financed by a $3.5 million grant that was recently announced by the New York City Economic Development Corp. (NYCEDC). Another $4.5 million is available through NYCEDC’s Industrial Modernization Initiative, the city’s effort to foster the industrial sector by modernizing and subdividing industrial space across the five boroughs. The funds will be used to complete the fit-out, upgrades and spaces subdivision at the Liberty View Industrial Plaza, an eight-story, 1.1 million square foot building located at 850 Third Avenue in the former United States Navy Fleet Supply Base Storehouse #2 (also know as Federal Building #2).

The new fashion innovation hub will occupy the entire seventh floor at the Liberty View Industrial Plaza and offer easy access to the boroughs, all major highways and the three metro airports. The industrial facility, which is now owned by Salmar Properties, was built in 1920 and recently went through a $40 million renovation process that included a new roof, windows, façade and utilities.

US Navy Fleet Suppy Base Storehouse 2 in 2007 - via PropertyShark

US Navy Fleet Suppy Base Storehouse #2 in 2007 – via PropertyShark

As reported by the Brooklyn Eagle, the City paid $10 million to the state of New York to acquire the building in 2011 and then sold it to Salmar Properties.

The Manufacturing Innovation Hub for Apparel, Textiles & Wearable Tech will occupy 160,000 square feet of space, of which 110,000 square feet will be dedicated to active manufacturing. The space will house around 30 businesses and up to 50 fashion designers and is expected to create or retain about 300 full-time jobs. The fashion hub will also include a workforce development center, wearable technology research and incubator space equipped with private studios, sewing rooms and meeting rooms. Approximately 30,000 square feet of space will be occupied by privately owned Manufacture NY, which will relocate from Manhattan’s Garment District.

Ole Sondresen Architect, a design studio that has also worked with Etsy and Kickstarter, was selected to create the conceptual plans for the interior. Construction at the site is scheduled to begin in February, around the same time as New York Fashion Week, and take nine months to complete.

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Manufacture NY rendering via Ole Sondresen Architect



Madison, USAA Team Up to Construct $88.5 Million Mixed Use Property in Clinton Hill

8 Dec 2014, 2:40 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

Almost one month after taking ownership of the Beigel’s Bakery building at the corner of Waverly Avenue and Atlantic Avenue in downtown Brooklyn, real estate investment company Madison Realty Capital announced plans to reconvert the century-old structure into an apartment community with retail space.

551 Waverly Avenue - Clinton Hill, Brooklyn

551 Waverly Avenue – Clinton Hill, Brooklyn

Crain’s New York Business reported in November that Madison paid $23.5 million or around $250 per buildable square foot for the 43,350-square-foot facility located at 551 Waverly Avenue in Brooklyn’s Clinton Hill neighborhood. Crain’s noted that the seller was Broadway Equities, a real estate company based in Las Vegas. The transaction included the factory’s 50,000 square feet of development rights, as well as an additional $7.5 million for three adjacent sites and development rights from nearby properties.

“This was a unique opportunity to assemble a large site and develop an institutional quality multifamily development with tremendous growth potential in this popular Brooklyn residential neighborhood,” said in a prepared statement Josh Zegen, co-founder and managing principal of MRC.

Madison teamed up with USAA Real Estate Company to create the 171,000-square-foot multifamily property that was designed by HTO Architects. The eight-story building will have 191 rental apartments in a combination of studios, one- and two-bedroom units. According to an official statement from the developers, the residential project will be an 80/20 rental—which means that 20 percent of the units will be set aside for low-income residents according to a New York City sponsored housing program that offers tax exemptions to developers of multifamily rental projects.

Madison and USAA will invest approximately $88.5 million to complete the project, which will also include around 7,700 square feet of retail space along the building’s frontage on Atlantic Avenue, one of the most popular shopping corridors in Brooklyn. Additionally, the rental project will feature a below grade garage with 96 parking spaces, while more than 27,500 square feet of the building will be used as underground amenity and storage space.

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Image via PropertyShark

Harlem’s Crumbling Renaissance Ballroom to Be Replaced by 134-Unit Residential Building

29 Nov 2014, 5:34 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

The Renny - Harlem NYC

The Renny – Harlem NYC

In just a couple of years one of Harlem’s long-vacant and derelict properties, the Harlem Renaissance Ballroom and Casino that sits at the corner of West 138th Street and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard, will become history.

The 90-year-old dilapidated entertainment complex located at 2341-2349 Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard will be razed and replaced by a mixed-use property that is expected to revitalize this blighted section of Harlem. As reported by The Real Deal, the property was acquired back in 1991 by the Abyssinian Development Corporation—the real estate arm of the Abyssinian Baptist Church—with plans to reconvert the landmark property, but the project never materialized.

Earlier this year the crumbling ballroom was purchased by BRP Development Corporation in a $15 million deal. The new owner is only weeks away from demolishing the two-story structure to make room for a residential and commercial development dubbed The Renny in recognition of the former landmark building.

Side view of The Renny - Harlem NYC

Side view of The Renny – Harlem NYC

“This transformative project will bring new life to an area that has trailed behind prime areas of Harlem in development,” said in a prepared statement Meredith Marshall, managing partner at BRP Development Corporation. “This site has been crumbling for decades, providing no value to the residents of northern Harlem and, frankly, they deserve better. We look forward to working with community residents and local leaders to ensure that The Renny is a success,” she added.

According to BRP, The Renny will rise eight stories and will include 134mixed-income residential units, 20 percent of which will be affordable, as well as 17,500 square feet of street-level retail space, 20,580 square feet of community facility space facing West 138th Street and an underground parking garage for 67 vehicles. Designed by GF55 Partners, the 200,000-square-foot building is expected to receive LEED Silver certification in recognition of the list of green features that the project will incorporate: solar panels, green roofs, water saving plumbing systems, and energy-efficient boiler. Construction at The Renny is scheduled for completion in 2017.

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Renderings courtesy of GF55 Partners

New York City’s Iconic Payphones to Become Free Wi-Fi Hotspots

21 Nov 2014, 8:27 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

LinkNYC Hotspot - rendering

LinkNYC Hotspot – rendering

After Superstorm Sandy left entire blocks in the city with no power for several days, a partnership between the Bloomberg administration and AT&T resulted in an environmentally friendly solution to keep New Yorkers connected. Remember last year when more than two dozen solar powered charging stations were installed in various public parks across New York City? Each charging unit has three, 15-watt solar panels on top and is able to fully charge 30 mobile devices before running out of power. The charging stations can be used free of charge by anyone, no matter what telecom company they use.

But what if the city took connectivity to another level? A new partnership, this time consisting of the DeBlasio administration and CityBridge, will reinvent New York City’s iconic public payphones into wireless internet hubs. Currently there are only 6,400 payphones left in the city, according to Crain’s New York Business, down from around 35,000 in early 1990s.

CityBridge—a private consortium including outdoor advertisement company Titan, digital consulting firm Control Group, chip maker and internet technologies provider Qualcomm, and hardware manufacturer Comark—was selected by the city to develop the $200 million project called LinkNYC, the fastest and largest municipal Wi-Fi network in the world. LinkNYC will cover all five boroughs and will be implemented at zero costs to taxpayers. Citybridge plans to finance the project by selling digital advertising space at each internet hub, and the wireless internet network is expected to generate more than $500 million in revenue for New York City over the next 12 years.

LinkNYC Hotspot in Manhattan - rendering

LinkNYC Hotspot in Manhattan – rendering

Construction of the free internet network will begin in early 2015. As reported by CNET, the first 500 Wi-Fi hotspots called Links will become operational by the end of the year, and CityBridge is expected to build around 4,000 Links over the next four years, with the remaining 6,000 Links to be installed in the following years until the contract expires.

Apart from offering non-stop, free and super-fast internet access, the Links will allow free phone calls to 911 and anywhere in the country. Each hotspot will be 9.5 feet tall and will come with a 150-foot Wi-Fi radius, a built-in Android tablet to access City services, a cell phone charging station and digital display for advertising and public service announcements.

“It is fantastic that New York City is moving our communications infrastructure into the 21st century. With lightning-fast free Wi-Fi, mobile phone charging ports, free local calling and more, public payphones are transforming into a neighborhood asset. With real community input to select site locations, this new technology will reach New Yorkers where they need and want it,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer in a prepared statement .

Click here for more market data on New York City.


Renderings via LinkNYC

Harlem’s Abandoned P.S. 186 Coming Back to Life as $48.6 Million Mixed-Income, Mixed-Use Building

16 Nov 2014, 6:30 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

A development team is breathing new life into the dilapidated Public School 186 building, one of Harlem’s architectural beauties that has been sitting vacant for nearly four decades.

The Residences at PS186

The Residences at PS186

An official event held at 549 W. 145th Street in Harlem’s Hamilton Heights neighborhood last week celebrated the start of construction of the long-awaited reconversion of the century-old Italian Renaissance-inspired structure. Designed by architect C. B. J. Snyder, and the city’s most famous Superintendent of School Buildings, the former Public School 186 was completed in 1903 and served as an elementary school until 1975, when it was shut down. The building was acquired by The Boys and Girls Club of Harlem for $215,000 in 1986, but the non-profit organization failed to secure enough capital to redevelop the property.

Earlier this year, Crain’s New York Business reported that a development trio consisting of Monadnock Development, Alembic Community Development and The Boys and Girls Club of Harlem had closed all the financing for the $48.6 million reconversion of the former school building.

Dubbed The Residences at PS186, the adaptive reuse of this site is one of the first affordable housing projects financed under Mayor Bill de Blasio’s “Housing New York: A Five-Borough, 10-Year Housing Plan” which aims to create and preserve 200,000 units of affordable housing across New York City.

The Residences at PS186 - entrance

The Residences at PS186 – entrance

“The team has done exceptional work to maintain this historic building, and the result honors the past while addressing current needs. We’re excited to help the Boys and Girls Club complete a journey they started 28 years ago, while also celebrating another step forward in creating safe and affordable housing for more New Yorkers,” said Kirk Goodrich, vice president and director of development of Monadnock Development, in a prepared press statement.

The former school will be transformed into a mixed-use building with approximately 100,500 square feet of residential space, as well as more than 11,000 square feet of commercial space which will serve as a new clubhouse for The Boys and Girls Club of Harlem. According to conceptual plans by Dattner Architects, the project’s residential component calls for 78 rental units—19 studios, 47 one-bedroom units, and 12 two-bedrooms—that will be rented through an open lottery system to ensure fair and equitable distribution of housing to income-eligible applicants.

The five-story reconverted building will welcome its first residents in summer 2016, but the application process for the lottery will begin when the building is approximately 70 percent complete.

Click here for more market data on New York City.

Renderings courtesy of Dattner Architects

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