WSJ excerpts -
A developer has been chosen to turn a collection of deserted Civil
War-era warehouses along the waterfront at Brooklyn Bridge Park into a
new office, dining and shopping destination.
Midtown Equities, a New York real-estate investment and development
firm, was selected over nine competing bidders to revitalize the vacant
Empire Stores warehouses in Dumbo, New York City officials said on
Midtown Equities will sign a 96-year lease for the site and is
scheduled to begin construction in early 2014 and finish in the fall of
2015. The city also announced a long-term lease with the performing-arts
group St. Ann's Warehouse to convert the nearby Tobacco Warehouse, a
19th-century tobacco inspection center, into a theater.
West Elm, a furniture-store chain that
already has an outlet along Front Street in the Brooklyn neighborhood,
is expected to become the anchor tenant of the Empire Stores
Nearly 80% of the roughly 380,000 square feet of space in the old
warehouses will be used for offices. The developer is also in talks with
the Brooklyn Historical Society to use about 3,200 square feet of space
A separate plan to build apartment and hotel towers near the park is also in the works.