Sam Boymelgreen wants to turn a Gowanus printing plant into an office building

Project would span about 95K sf and stand four stories tall
By Eddie Small | March 18, 2019 03:30PM

Sam Boymelgreen and 255 Butler Street (Credit: Google Maps)

Sam Boymelgreen is the latest developer to bet that Brooklyn office market will finally take off.

Boymelgreen, the son of controversial builder Shaya, on Monday filed plans to convert a former printing plant at 255 Butler Street in Gowanus into a four-story office building that would span 95,000 square feet.

It’s a big change from what he envisioned in 2014, when he filed for a 162-key hotel at the location, on which he has a triple-net lease.

The property is known as the R.G. Dun and Company building, and the Historic Districts Council is pushing to landmark it ahead of the neighborhood’s likely rezoning.

HDC Executive Director Simeon Bankoff said he was unclear on the specifics of Boymelgreen’s plans, but he did not think that designating the building as a landmark would get in the way of them.

“There have been many, many examples of former industrial buildings that have been converted into everything from food halls to residences,” he said. “Converting something into commercial space would be reasonably easy.”

Boymelgreen did not respond to a request for comment.

Though Thor Equities recently abandoned its plans for an office building in Red Hook, others are betting the market may yet break out, even without an anchor tenant. Rubenstein Development, for example, is spearheading an office project at 25 Kent Avenue and also plans to develop office space atop a smoked fish factory in Greenpoint.

Gowanus is also in the middle of a rezoning process, which, if approved, would span 80 blocks by the neighborhood’s infamous canal. The rezoning would allow for new mixed-use developments to go up along the water, some of which could stand up to 30 stories tall. Some residents have already voiced their opposition to the plan.

Several major deals have taken place in Gowanus ahead of the pending rezoning. All Year Management nabbed an eight-parcel portfolio last year for $61 million, and the Rabsky Group is buying 313-331 Bond Street from Yoel Goldman for about $95 million. EcoRise Development also recently put three adjacent parcels in the neighborhood on the market for about $43 million.