Landmarks “troubled” by Empire Stores design

TRD New York /
Dec.December 27, 2013 01:29 PM

Designs for Midtown Equities’ Empire Stores project in Dumbo aren’t sitting well with the Landmarks Preservation Commission, which sided with unhappy neighborhood residents at a hearing on the plans last week.

At issue are designs for the building’s rooftop, drawn up by Midtown Equities and Studio V, which include a two-story glass wall and hefty bulkhead. LPC Commissioner Michael Goldblum said he was “troubled by its generic quality.”

The commission holds an advisory role in the project, and will deliver a report detailing its concerns as the State Historic Preservation Office gives its final ruling on the Empire Stores development. The LPC declined to comment to the New York Observer.

The Cayre family’s Midtown Equities, along with the White Plains-based investment firm Rockwood Capital and Brooklyn-based developer HK Organization, are redeveloping the warehouse building in Dumbo and have secured tenants for at least 80 percent of the site. Furniture retailer West Elm, with a 150,000-square-foot lease agreement, is to be the site’s anchor tenant.

Office rents are in the $90s per square foot, said to be a record for the borough, as The Real Deal reported. [NYO]Julie Strickland

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