Upgrading Brooklyn: A Fusion of New and Old

Red Hook Innovative District

Piece by piece, NYC is undergoing a transformation: modernization, to the tune of green, ultraluxe and amenities. Though most of the construction is brand new buildings, developers are also restoring older buildings to fit a new generation of architecture. These renovations are intended to maintain the former beauty of the buildings, match the prevalent characteristics of the neighborhood it resides in, and meet the current needs of society.

187 Seventh Avenue

The building at 187 Seventh Avenue in Park Slope is being restored and converted into a condominium with spacious apartments. The building was once known as the Landmark Pub, but much of the roof had been lost years ago. The crumbling building had become a public safety hazard, sitting across from an elementary school. Sugar Hill Capital Partners chose to restore it, costing $6 million. “We really appreciated the architecture of Park Slope and didn’t want to knock down the building to build some glass tower or structure that stands out,” Jeremy Salzberg, a partner at Sugar Hill, told the New York Times. “We wanted to restore it and bring back the original beauty of the building.” The restoration will clean and replace the light-colored brick and metal parapet, though the architects are also installing floor-to-ceiling glass windows in the turret and bay windows for a more modern look.


Red Hook Innovation District

Red Hook also has as an ambitious plan underway for a 12-acre, 1.2-million-square-foot-mixed-use project called the Red Hook Innovation District. The project will include offices, shops, performance spaces and a promenade. “The character of Red Hook was always that it was sleepy,” according to Jeffrey Unger, a commercial real estate broker with Dolgin Affiliates who has worked in the area for more than a decade. Though the Red Hook Innovation District will certainly stand apart from the neighboring spray-paint graffiti covered buildings, the designers were highly influenced by the industrial look of the neighborhood. The Red Hook Innovation District will include a brick facade for the lower stories, with the type of paned windows found in older factories as well as multi level glass additions from their roofs. “Red Hook will change - it’s just a matter of time,” Massimiliano Senise, an Estate Four partner, told the New York Times.


Empire Stores

The Dumbo waterfront is also getting a makeover. Crain’s reports that Midtown Equities, Rockwood Capital and HK Organization will be converting a 150-year-old coffee warehouse into 500,000 square feet of high-end office and retail space, to be named Empire Stores. The area was already gaining momentum as a hotspot since Brooklyn Bridge Park’s renovations have reached completion over the past decade. The project will fuse old and new aesthetics by preserving the landmark’s brick exterior, vaulted windows and interior wood beams. Empire Stores will have modern infrastructure like HVAC, back up power generation, a glass atrium, a rooftop beer garden and two additional floors of glass enclosed office space.