Empire Stores, City Point and Ford Amphitheater Among Winners of 2017 Building Brooklyn Awards

May 8, 2017



Major Brooklyn developments Empire Stores, City Point and Ford Amphitheater are among the winners of this year’s Building Brooklyn Awards.

The awards, organized by the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, recognize development projects that enrich the borough economically, culturally, and aesthetically. This year, winners were chosen across 15 categories, including community arts, adaptive reuse, and affordable housing.


Empire Stores won the award for adaptive reuse. Empire Stores is a landmarked 1860s warehouse complex in Brooklyn Bridge Park that is being converted into retail, office and community space.


“Every year, we’re faced with a tough choice when it comes to picking the winners,” said Ofer Cohen, president of TerraCRG, a Brooklyn-based commercial real estate brokerage and a judge on the panel that selects the winners. “The last few years there’s been booming development in Brooklyn, and that’s created a situation where we had a lot of amazing projects that have launched within the past year. When we choose the winners, we’re not just looking for design and urban context, we’re looking for meaningful impact on the neighborhood or borough as a whole. This year’s winners had that factor.”


There were 15 award winners this year, up from last year’s 10.


Ford Amphitheater in Coney Island has already played host to music legends Peter Gabriel and Sting in its first year of existence. It won for Destination Arts. City Point, a huge retail and apartment complex under construction in Downtown Brooklyn, won for Economic Impact.

Other winners this year include NYU Tandon MakerSpace for the Education category, also in Downtown Brooklyn, and the Marcus Garvey Apartments in Brownsville, an affordable housing complex built in the 1970s that won for historic preservation.


As for Empire Stores, it’s a “testament to the power of adaptive reuse to bring new life to a historic building,” said Cayetana Nicanor, marketing director at S9 Architecture, which designed the redevelopment. The previously fortress-like building was adapted to connect Dumbo, Brooklyn Bridge Park and the waterfront.


Projects are eligible for this year’s awards if they were completed mostly in 2016. The winners are selected by a panel of independent architects, city planners and other business leaders. The winners will be honored at a reception on July 28.


Read on for more details about all the winners of this year’s Building Brooklyn Awards below. Award categories are in bold.


Adaptive Reuse: Commercial
Empire Stores
Address: 53-83 Water Street
Neighborhood: Dumbo
Developer: Midtown Equities
Architect: S9 Architecture
Builder: HH Builders
Structural Engineer: Robert Silman Associates
Empire Stores, part of the landmarked Fulton Ferry Historic District and Brooklyn Bridge Park, is a massive 1860s warehouse complex on the waterfront in Dumbo. It is being adapted to house stores, offices and community space.


Adaptive Reuse: Residential
51 JAY
Address: 51 Jay Street
Neighborhood: Dumbo
Developer: Adam America LLC and Slate Property Group
Architect: ODA Architecture
Landscape Architect: Steven Yavanian Landscape Architecture PLLC
Builders: Hudson Meridian Construction Group and Danya Cebus LLC
51 Jay Street comprises 75 condos in a converted and landmarked 1905 factory building.


Community Arts
Dwana Smallwood Performing Arts Center
Address: 857 Lexington Avenue
Neighborhood: Bed Stuy
Developer: Dwana Smallwood Performing Arts Center, Inc.
Architect: Jordan Parnass Digital Architecture
Builder: Supreme General Contracting
The Dwana Smallwood Performing Arts Center is a dance education center, located in an adapted industrial building, whose backers include the Oprah Winfrey Foundation. Inspired by dance, enhancements include an eye-catching modern red metal canopy and entrance, built-in seating and shelving, cloud-like sound baffles on the lobby ceiling and a mosaic tile mural.


Destination Arts
Ford Amphitheater and Seaside Park
Address: 3052 West 21st Street
Neighborhood: Coney Island
Developer: iStar Financial, Inc. and NYC Economic Development Corporation
Architects: Gerner Kroik & Valcarcel and Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates
Builder: Hunter Roberts Construction Group
Project Manager: Newbanks
Engineers: Arup, Cerami & Associates, CFS, Mueser Rutledge, Stantec, WSP Cantor Seinuk
Environmental Impact: Philip Habib & Associates
AV Designer: TADAssociates
Lighting Designer: Domingo Gonzalez Associates
The Ford Amphitheater, part of Coney Island’s Seaside Park, is an outdoor performance venue. It seats 5,000 and has played hosts to acts such as Peter Gabriel and Sting.

The NYU Tandon MakerSpace. Rendering via the NYU Tandon School of Engineering


NYU Tandon MakerSpace
Address: 6 Metrotech Center
Neighborhood: Downtown Brooklyn
Developer: New York University
Architect: Gensler
Builder: Skanska USA
The NYU Tandon MakerSpace is an engineering lab that helps students in engineering disciplines use the latest tools of the trade in a high-tech, collaborative environment. It’s a 10,000-square-foot, open plan, bilevel space with modern design.


Historic Preservation: Affordable Housing
Marcus Garvey Apartments
Address: 353 Chester Street
Neighborhood: Brownsville
Developer: L+M Development Partners
Architect: Curtis + Ginsberg Architects
Builder: L+M Builders Group LLC
The Marcus Garvey Apartments were originally built in the 1970s. They were fully renovated to include modern amenities such as new appliances and common outdoor spaces, and are reserved as affordable.


The Williamsburg Hotel
Address: 96 Wythe Avenue
Neighborhood: Williamsburg
Developer: Heritage Equity Partners, Lichtenstein Group
Architect: Michaelis Boyd Associates, Karl Fischer Architects and Albo Liberis
Builder: Mint Development
Engineer: Eckersley O’Callaghan
The Williamsburg Hotel is an eight-story, 150-room boutique hotel constructed of brick, glass, and Corten steel. It has three bars, a restaurant and a rooftop pool. Rooms have high ceilings and industrial touches such as subway tile.


Neighborhood Catalyst
95 Evergreen
Address: 95 Evergreen Avenue
Neighborhood: Bushwick
Developer: Savanna Fund
Architect: Fogarty Finger Architecture PLLC
Builder: Sweet Construction
95 Evergreen is a retail and office development in the old Schlitz Brewery building — another example of adaptive reuse in Brooklyn.


Beyond at Liberty View
Address: 850 3rd Avenue
Neighborhood: Sunset Park
Developer: Salmar Properties and Bed Bath & Beyond
Architect: Zambrano Architectural
Builder: Phoenix Network LLC
Engineer: MG Engineering D.P.C
Lighting Design: Essential Lighting
Lobby Design: Nelson
Restaurant Design: Crème
Restaurant Equipment Engineering: Jacobs Doland Beer
Beyond at Liberty View is a shopping complex in Liberty View Industrial Plaza that houses Bed, Bath and Beyond and three sibling stores under one roof. The complex also includes event space. Other stores include Buy Buy Baby, Face Values, and Cost Plus World Market.


Residential: Affordable
Livonia Commons
Address: 491 and 491 Sheffield Avenue, 494 Georgia Avenue, 481 Williams Avenue
Neighborhood: East New York
Developer: Dunn Development Corp. and L+M Development Partners
Architect: SLCE Architects
Landscape Architect: NV5
Builder: L+M Builders Group
Engineers: De Nardis Engineering, Rodkin Cardinale, PC
Sustainability Consultant: Steven Winters Associates
Nonprofit Partner: Housing Partnership Development Corporation
Social Services: CAMBA, The Center for Family Support
Livonia Commons is an affordable housing complex that is home to a mix of 278 rental apartments, retail and community spaces.


Residential: Condominium
One John Street
Address: 1 John Street
Neighborhood: Dumbo
Developer: Alloy
Architect: Alloy Design LLP
Builder: Monadnock Construction
1 John Street is a 12-story, 42-unit condo building overlooking the East River adjacent to Brooklyn Bridge Park. It is a new, ground up construction with a glassy exterior.


Residential: Condominium
The Oosten
Address: 429 Kent Avenue
Neighborhood: Williamsburg
Developer: 421 Kent Development LLC
Architect: think! architecture and design
Builder: Wonder Works
Engineer: Edwards & Zuck
The Oosten is a condo development in Williamsburg, with design by well known Dutch designer Piet Boon. It’s an unusual hybrid development that features townhouses as well as apartments and lofts grouped around a central courtyard. Some of the units have private patios with mini pools, and the building sports floor to ceiling glass on all four corners.


Residential: High Rise
300 Ashland
Address: 300 Ashland Place
Neighborhood: Fort Greene
Developer: Two Trees Management Co.
Architect: Enrique Norten at TEN Arquitectos and Ishmael Levya Architects
Builder: Two Trees Management Co.
300 Ashland, also known as BAM South, is a 35-story, 379-unit apartment building notable for its unusual faceted front.


National Grid Award for Energy Efficiency
Pierhouse and 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge Park
Address: 60, 90 and 130 Furman Street
Neighborhood: Brooklyn Heights
Developer: Toll Brothers
Architect: Marvel Architects PLLC
Builder: Hudson Meridian Construction Group
Pierhouse is a condo and hotel development in Brooklyn Bridge Park. The complex, notable for controversy it stirred over blocking views from the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, has a stepped facade of limestone piers, copper-toned metal panels and glass.


Economic Impact
City Point
Address: 445 Albee Square
Neighborhood: Downtown Brooklyn
Developers: Acadia Realty Trust, Washington Square Partners, The Brodsky Organization, BFC Partners
Architects: COOKFOX, Gensler, SLCE Architects LLP
Landscape Architect: Diaz Weintraub
Builder: ZDG
Engineers DeSimone and Cosentini
City Point is a massive, borough-changing retail and residential development in Downtown Brooklyn. Tenants include Target, Alamo Drafthouse, Century 21, Trader Joe’s and DeKalb Market Hall.

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