By Faith Hope Consolo, chairman,
Retail Leasing and Sales Division
Douglas Elliman Real Estate
New York City has endless activity in terms of development. Boundaries have been broken; areas once dormant are front and center. Here are some of the latest and greatest:
The Brooklyn Navy Yard is reborn as a multi-faceted technology incubator. Hudson Yards is epic. Empire Outlets is Staten Island’s waterfront entertainment and shopping mecca, and American Dream in NJ has reinvented itself again. Every borough is bustling with headline news every day.
The Brooklyn Navy Yard is the massive industrial park created in what was once a thriving naval base comprised of 300-acres across Brooklyn’s waterfront. The Navy Yard included a hospital and once employed 70,000 people.
The federal government closed the Brooklyn Navy Yard in 1966, but private shipbuilding continued until 1979. New York City bought the 300-acre site after the Navy Yard closed, but did nothing with it for 20 years and it fell into ruin.
The new century saw the City begin to take interest again, and since then, $250 million has been invested from public/city funds and $750 million in private funds.
Opening in June 2016, Building 128 is the new 84,000 s/f facility where the American shipbuilding location once was and is now New Lab, a community of hardware-centric designers, engineers, and entrepreneur. 50 companies are set to open featuring private studios and co-working, lounges and open spaces, prototyping shops, event space, meeting rooms and cafes, all in open natural lighting.
Building 77 features one million square feet of space, and is slated to be unveiled in 2017.
Office and shared work spaces, private event spaces, and a massive ground-floor food hall that will be anchored by the first Brooklyn outpost of Russ & Daughters.
The legendary family-run Lower East Side store is taking 14,000 s/f and moving its bakery and food production operations from Bushwick. It will also provide shipping and catering services and a restaurant serving breakfast and lunch.
Workers and visitors will be able to watch Russ & Daughters’ behind the scenes magic through glass walls – a concept that will be used by many tenants of the food hall.
This all falls under the concept of making shopping and dining an “event” or “entertainment” center and the Brooklyn Navy Yard is all about that. The top two floors will be known as The Beacon, offering 140,000 s/f of commercial space. Building 77 has 16,000 s/f of usable rooftop space and eight 1,200 s/f private terraces.
Among the new Navy Yard’s list of amenities is a free shuttle service with Wi-Fi, seven additional Citi Bike stations, and 1,600 parking spaces.
Other massive projects include the Green Manufacturing Center, Dock 72, Steiner Studios and Admiral’s Row. Wegmans will be meeting the neighborhood’s need for affordable food shopping.
The Mast Brothers Chocolatiers are building a new factory and “chocolate brewery” at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, taking over a 65,000 s/f and also coming to the Yard; Brooklyn Roasting Company, and Kings County Distillery.
Hudson Yards — with its more than 100 stores, restaurants, and a massive Equinox gym concept with a hotel, fitness club, and spa — will be the site of NYC’s first Neiman Marcus.
The goal of Hudson Yards is to create an expanded neighborhood that will be of use to New York residents, and it appears to be on its way to accomplishing exactly that.
Empire Outlets New York City, at 55 Richmond Terrace on Staten Island, is a category-defining retail destination and New York City’s first and only shopping outlet.
It will host approximately 100 shops of the finest brands, an extensive array of waterfront food and beverage concepts and a 190 room boutique hotel with rooftop lounge offering unparalleled views of New York City.
Empire Outlets grand opening is set for November 2017.
American Dream in Bergen County, New Jersey has signed up over 450 retailers, including Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord and Taylor, Banana Republic, Gap, Lululemon, MAC Cosmetics, Microsoft, Pink, Uniqlo, and food and specialty shops.
It will be home to North America’s largest fully-enclosed indoor DreamWorks Water Park, Amusement Park and a 16-story Big Snow Indoor Ski & Snow Park; a 1,500 seat Performing Arts Theater; 285 ft. tall observation wheel; movie theatres by Cinemex; 70,000 s/f Sea Life Aquarium & Lego Discovery Center; NHL-size Ice Rink; a 18-hole miniature golf course.
The Collections is 460,000 s/f of luxury and fashion retail and The Dining Terrace with 15 full-service restaurants. This project slated to open by Summer 2017.
Development is the trending topic May 22-25 at ICSC ReCon, in Las Vegas; the global convention for the shopping center industry for networking, deal making and educational opportunities.
Be sure to attend the Asian Real Estate Association of America’s Commercial National Forum on May 21, The Cosmopolitan Hotel Las Vegas where I will be speaking on an Investment Trends Panel with Mahnaz Khazen, president, California Development Regional Center; Fred Schmidt, CEO, Coldwell Banker Commercial: Peter Kim, managing partner, StarBridge Commercial. Register at www.areaa.org/nationalforum/.