Jonathan Butler, the man behind Brownstoner and a founder of the Brooklyn Flea, has entered the real estate racket, opening a creative complex—read: offices—in Crown Heights called 1000 Dean. A number of others are involved in the project as well, including unusual bedfellows Goldman Sachs and 3rd Ward (the Bushwick-based party and education hub). The big draw: the office space will be anchored by a massive food and beer hall.
We dropped by the buildings, which are still going through renovations, a couple of weeks ago (click through for your construction porn), and Butler told us a little about how it all came to be. "The development is a joint venture between me and BFC Development and Goldman Sachs that I put together two years ago, after becoming convinced that this small industrial area in the midst of so many booming residential neighborhoods was an ideal place to create a hub for the many creative entrepreneurs that live within biking distance of 1000 Dean. In the meantime, Franklin Avenue has undergone a pretty dramatic renaissance that has underscored the commercial potential of Crown Heights North."
The building itself is from 1920, built originally "as a service station for Dodge and Plymouth cars and trucks. In the 1940s it became the Studebaker Service Station and by the late 1950s it became a furniture warehouse." In the 1980s, things got way less interesting and it became a storage space.
In its latest incarnation, it will serve primarily as a creative hub—Butler tells us the "upper three floors will be creative office space, with units as small as 700-square-feet and lease terms as short as 1 year. It's the only building of this type and size in the area." And then there's the business of the food, and the beer.
"The 3rd Ward food incubator is on the ground floor of the Studebaker building and the Brooklyn Flea beer hall is in a one story building attached. The beer hall will feature four of the Flea's most popular food vendors and serve as a dining hall and meeting place for the office building as well as the neighborhood."
The beer hall and the food incubator are slated to open in 2014, and Butler is expecting office occupancy as early as October (they just started leasing spaces last week).