(click on the photos above for a larger image)
Last Friday, ILFA took a walk around 1000 Dean Street, the former Studebaker Service Station site that was bought back in April by a group of investors led by Brownstoner's Jonathan Butler and including the Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group. They paid $11 million for the three-building, 155,000 square foot complex, and when all is said and done they'll have invested about $30 million in the project, which is slated to be completed sometime in the summer of 2013. Work on the facade (compare the first photo above to the one here) and preliminary demolition started almost immediately, but the floors inside remain much as they did in the days when the building served as a garage and service station: wide open, with those elegant mushroom columns and big windows (skylights, too, on the top floor, some of which will be extended through to lower floors during the renovation). The roof - which won't quite be large enough for a full-scale garden (might honey production fit?) - offers the impressive views you'd expect looking west and north to the skyline.
As for the plans for the space, they're proceeding in general accordance with those that Mr. Butler laid out in his post on Brownstoner back in April. The building will be a mix of commercial and creative spaces, sized from large (they're looking into a big tenant or two at the moment, so watch Brownstoner for any announcements of that ilk) to small (a place for a business built in a home to find its first 500 square foot office). On the Bergen Street side, in a low, one-story building (pictured looking down from the roof, above), the plan calls for a 9,000 square foot food and beer hall that will seat hundreds and feature food, coffee/tea, and beer vendors from the Brooklyn Flea and Smorgasburg (of which Mr. Butler is also the co-creator, with Eric Demby). The goal is to give these vendors a space to practice restaurateur-ing, as well as to add seats and space to a neighborhood nightlife scene that seems stuffed to the gills on a Friday or Saturday night.
The developers hope the buildings will house upwards of 200 new jobs in the area (hiring will be up to the businesses themselves, of which some will hopefully both be locally-run and hire locally). The development is unique as a non-residential project in what has been a residential boomtown (the blocks between Bergen and Atlantic from Franklin to Grand are zoned M-1, which allows for this), and it will be interesting to see what sort of impact it has on the surrounding blocks, both the existing commercial strips (might Franklin and Washington see more of a lunch crowd?) and the "Four Corners" zone in which it is located (and where many warehouses like it remain vacant or as-yet-undeveloped). The project benefits from community development funding in the form of New Market Investment Tax Credits from the US Treasury Department, which incentivizes development in low-income areas. If you're a local business owner or entrepreneur in need of a new place, they're currently accepting statements of interest.