DUMBO

Come see Empire Stores, Brooklyn Bridge Park’s crown jewel

May 29, 2018 By Lore Croghan Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Welcome to Empire Stores, a cluster of red-brick coffee warehouses Midtown Equities has turned into a visitor magnet. Eagle photos by Lore Croghan

A cluster of post-Civil-War coffee warehouses stars in gazillions of selfies snapped in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

When visitors take photos from the DUMBO park’s pebble-strewn beach, the Empire Stores complex is often part of the backdrop along with the iconic Brooklyn Bridge.

The coffee-warehouse complex is also an imposing sight from other vantage points in Brooklyn Bridge Park like the walkway outside Jane’s Carousel.

The eye-catching cluster of landmarked brick warehouses was constructed between 1869 and 1885.

It’s now a thriving office, retail and restaurant complex thanks to a makeover by a joint venture headed by Midtown Equities. In 2013, the Brooklyn Bridge Park Board of Directors gave the joint venture the go-head to ground-lease Empire Stores for a 96-year term.

As summer approaches, Brooklyn Bridge Park visitors will notice 15-year-old girls dressed up for quinceanera birthday celebrations and brides posing in front of recently spiffed-up Empire Stores.

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J.Crew Is Coming to Empire Stores

In March, the New York Post and the Commercial Observer reported that Time Out Market New York will open a food hall with 20 restaurants, three bars and a stage on Empire Stores’ ground floor and rooftop.

Last week, the Commercial Observer reported that upscale clothier J.Crew plans to build its second Brooklyn shop at Empire Stores.

These new tenants will join restaurants Cecconi’s, Sugarcane and VHH Foods, retailers West Elm and Shinola and the Brooklyn Historical Society at 55 Water St., which is Empire Stores’ address.

Last year, Empire Stores debuted public space on its rooftop.

It is accessible from an atrium that’s now hosting a popular artwork called the DUMBO Reflector. The artwork consists of the letters “D-U-M-B-O” and a repeating sequence of bright, multicolored lights that flashes on them. Formerly the DUMBO Reflector was kept at the DUMBO Archway.

Empire Stores’ rooftop views are really something.

It’s best to head for the roof in the morning if you want to photograph the Brooklyn Bridge. In the afternoon, the pix you take of the Manhattan Bridge are sure to be winners.

 

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