Brooklyn Brewery ordered up another round at its Williamsburg digs, ditching plans to move to the Brooklyn Navy Yard when its lease expires.
The company, which announced plans to move to the Navy Yard last year, backed out of that move after its current landlord offered to extend the brewery’s lease beyond 2025, the New York Times reported.
“This was a big surprise,” said founder Steve Hindy. “We get like 3,000 to 4,000 visitors now on the weekends from all over the world… We love the neighborhood.”
The brewery signed a lease at the Navy Yard’s Building 77 in May, and was planning to move 115 employees and its brewery operation. Plans also called for a new rooftop restaurant.
But in October, private equity firm Rockpoint Group and Atlas Capital Group paid $37 million for 61-71 Wythe Avenue, a two-story, 33,000-square-foot warehouse that houses Brooklyn Bowl and Brooklyn Brewery. Atlas went into contract earlier in 2016 to buy the property from the Nastro family, which owned the building for 15 years.
In recent years, Hindy was a vocal critic of zoning changes under the Bloomberg administration that prompted a wave of gentrification in Williamsburg, which he felt was squeezing the brewery out of its longtime home. But current city officials have pushed for the brewery to remain in place.
“From where I sit, keeping the brewery at its home in Williamsburg would be a coup,” said Alicia Glen, deputy mayor for housing and economic development. “It means the Navy Yard can use its scarce space to grow the next multimillion-dollar Brooklyn brand.” [NYT] — E.B. Solomont