Empire Stores, comprised of seven historic brick buildings nestled between the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges, were for nearly 150 years coffee “stores” or storage warehouses.
Today, they have been rejuvenated by a radical design that blends contemporary architecture and historic rehabilitation. Public space intermingles with private offices to reflect the new Brooklyn dedicated to culture and creative enterprise. On top of the building’s extensive green roofs sits a two-story glass and steel addition with garden terraces that offer stunning views of the adjacent bridges and Manhattan skyline.
A variety of tenants from the technology, media, retail, hospitality and cultural sectors inhabit over 443,000 square-feet and give this a site a unique identity that perfectly expresses the borough’s new creative ethos. The vertical courtyard, or creative commons, cuts through the building to expose office spaces and connect the professional community with the public. The revenue generated by these private creative spaces supports the programming of neighboring Brooklyn Bridge Park. What was once Fortress Brooklyn, now unifies the community and encourages an entire borough to re-engage with their waterfront.