Fledgling developer LIVWRK buys in Gowanus, plans retail

Rendering of 68-80 Third Street in Gowanus
Rendering of 68-80 Third Street in Gowanus

LIVWRK Holdings, led by Asher Abesera and Aaron Lemma, bought two former industrial buildings in Gowanus with plans to convert them into office and retail space.

The vacant structures at 68 and 80 3rd Street, near Hoyt Street, once housed the New York Vitrified Tile Company. They feature a total of 80,000 square feet, the first two floors of which will hold shops.

Abesera told the New York Daily News he is looking at tailors, bread bakeries, J. Crew Liquor Store, Restoration Hardware or concept stores for national brands as possible retail tenants. Residents would prefer smaller shops, the Daily News said.

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“We want to keep the industrial sites intact (and) not just make it another big box store,” Marlene Donnelly of Friends and Residents of Greater Gowanus told the newspaper.

In July, LIVWRK partnered with heavyweights Jared Kushner and RFR Realty to buy a six-property portfolio of Dumbo buildings from the Jehovah’s Witnesses. The developers are planning to revamp the buildings into a campus that includes office space with asking rents running into the mid-$50s per square foot, as The Real Deal reported. [NYDN]Mark Maurer