Empire Stores in Dumbo, New York has set a precedent for mixed-use development throughout the worlds urban centers. Clever planning and conscious design has resurrected a once neglected yet geographically prominent area of the city and introduced a creative, exciting and highly desirable buzz back to the once forgotten site.
Boasting one of the world’s largest built-up urban areas outside of Asia, New York City has been in the spotlight for a long time with regards to its urban development solutions. New York is also one of the world’s cities now heartily embracing mixed-use development plans for what were once bustling harbor and dockside areas that, although once vital as major commercial arterials into the city, have long since been surpassed by leaps in aircraft technology and international production takeovers and been largely left to decay.
Empire Stores demonstrates how mixed-use development can once again anchor derelict dockside areas to the remainder of their mother cities. Breathing new life and diversity into what were once undesirable areas.
Empire Stores, Dumbo, built in the mid-1800’s at the height of the industrial and shipping era, spans nearly 3 miles of prime waterfront real estate along the east bank of the Brooklyn River. Overlooking Manhattan on the opposite bank, the solid brick masonry warehouses fell into disrepair when the original tenants – a bustling coffee roastery that cemented Brooklyn as the world capital of coffee production during the late 19th and early 20th centuries – were sent out of business as international coffee production rose to prominence. After nearly 6 decades of abandonment, Empire Stores has been recently re-developed – a collaboration between S9 Architecture, Studio V and Midtown Equities – with design and planning parameters that pay homage to the history of the site whilst embracing hugely relevant mixed-use planning that renders it a highly desirable area for work, life and play.
25,000sq/ft of restaurant space spans the length of the waterfront site
Office space is large, open concept and attracts a diverse cross-section of commercial enterprise.
Empire Stores embraces open space and green concepts through the insertion of a large courtyard between the two original masonry buildings and ample rooftop development.
Words by Tiffany Jade.