Iconically Hip, 1000 Dean Street May Transform Crown Heights Offices, Workspaces for Creatives Carved From 1920s Studebaker Service Station

Really? THIS is Crown Heights? Airy Workspaces with Beer Hall at 1000 Dean Street

1000 Dean Street, opening in the summer of 2014, may be the hottest office building in Brooklyn. Why? Because it’s so cool.
Located in Crown Heights, 1000 Dean Street is a $30 million adaptive reuse project that repurposes a huge 1920’s Studebaker Service Station building. It offers newly renovated workspaces with a full cafe and beer hall on the first floor. It’s unlike anything available not just in Crown Heights but in Brooklyn in general.

The developers describe the building as not just standard-issue office space, but as having a higher social mission, too. They see it as a “revitalized hub for new businesses, the arts and culture,” and frame it as an opportunity for “creative and co-working companies,” and a chance for formerly poor-to-low-income Crown Heights to enter New York City’s 21st-century innovation economy.

Some of that is surely marketing hype. But in reality, the building might just become the single most visible icon of rapidly gentrifying Crown Heights. It won’t be iconic in the same way that yesteryear’sDomino Sugar

Factory or Williamsburg Savings Bankare iconic. These are physically impressive buildings, which 1000 Dean Street, while attractive, is not.

Office Space with Bells: In Synch with the BK Zeitgeist

But in hip Brooklyn it’s all about the zeitgeist.

And, 1000 Dean Street has fairly well lassoed the “BK zeitgeist.” It’s got:

    

  • location, location, location (up-and-coming neighborhood; bikeable);
  • a retro property with Brooklyn creds (recycled vintage); and
  • a pedigree (one owner, of Brownstoner, Smorgasburg and Brooklyn Flea fame, has already left a huge footprint on hip Brooklyn urban culture).

Further, in keeping with Brooklyn’s love affair with multifunctionality, 1000 Dean Street will house not only rental office and work spaces, but a food and entertainment space too, with a large beer hall/restaurant on the ground floor with a separate entrance. Berg’n Beer Hall, at the ground level of 1000 Dean Street, has its own entrance on Bergen Street. It is expected to be open for breakfast through dinner, and also offer neighborhood entrepreneurs and creatives an expansive meeting place.

Office tenants at 1000 Dean Street will have special keys to their own entrance to Berg’n, and, with the convenience of a suburban corporate office park, they can reach the onsite restaurant without ever setting foot outside the office building.

(All that’s missing to echo the Silicon Valley-like blurring of the lines between work and play is a pool table and some skateboards.)
Future bells and whistles include public spaces that can be used for community education programs, and a 7000 square-foot shed, currently not yet developed, that might, in the future, evolve into a music venue.

In short, if the breaks go their way, 1000 Dean Street could become Brooklyn’s first “destination workspace” — that is, the office building that everyone who’s anyone wants to work in.

Banking on Bikes

The nearest subways are four blocks away, and it’s an eight mile hike to the excellent Franklin Ave. subway hub — but there’s always lemonade or in this case, a bike.

1000 Dean Street is being marketed as not just an office space, but as a bike-able alternative to working in Manhattan for those who live close enough to Crown Heights to just hop on their bike to get to work. That universe of neighborhoods within a mile or so includes Bed-Stuy, Fort Green, Clinton Hill, and parts of Park Slope. And, of course, the boroughs’ classic cultural nexus — the Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, the Brooklyn Public Library and Prospect Park, with its zoo, merry-go-round and concert spaces — are just a sneeze away from 1000 Dean.

Rooms With a View

With a total space of about 150,000 square feet, and equipped with state-of-the-art facilities – including a communal kitchen — the offices enjoy a basic amenity that’s hard to find at decent rents in Manhattan: particularly good light.

And, views. Some spaces on the upper floors of this four-story building enjoy a panoramic view across a wide swath of Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan.

One can make out the Freedom Tower in Lower Manhattan, the striking Citibank Building in Long Island City Queens; and in Brooklyn, Woodhull Hospital, the Williamsburg Savings Bank at One Hanson in Fort Greene, and Boys and Girls High School in Bed-Stuy, among other sites.

A Nod to the 1920s

The project was designed by Selldorf Architects, known for the Neue Galerie on the Upper East Side. “The design restored the 1920s facade and many of the original building details, while introducing new architectural elements such as two new light wells in the center of the building,” they said.
The interior is designed for contemporary use, with high efficiency mechanical and lighting systems. It is not LEED certified, and a roof garden, while enticing, is not currently in the works.

Among the team undertaking the 1000 Dean Street project are Jonathan Butler of Brownstoner Media and Don Capoccia of BFC Partners, in conjunction with financial backers, the city itself, and the real estate agency aptsandlofts.com.

Pop Up Workplace Community?

As of this writing, prior to the opening of the building, nearly 30 of the available 100 or so spaces have been leased.
The list of first tenants runs a kind of Brooklyn gamut, from the influential Brooklyn Community Foundation to Jacks Gourmet Kosher, a yoga studio, online booksellers, video producers, architects, and e-commerce businesses. A mainstay tenant will be one of the projects’ own developers, Jonathan Butler of Brownstoner Media.

Until its sudden demise, the popular “maker” organization, Third Ward, was slated to move here bringing with it an entire community of creative entrepreneurs that would have ipso facto branded the site as part of the “new Brooklyn” scene.

The developers have a notion that the building’s tenants might generate creative synergy, forging a pop-up community or dynamic ecosystem onsite.

Public Private Partnership” “Build Baby Build”

The public-private sector partnership behind the 1000 Dean Street project was born during the Big Apple’s pro- development era under Mayor Michael Bloomberg. NYCEDC CEO Zachary Smith noted that the City “allocated $25 million in New Market Tax Credits through a partnership with United Fund Advisors, Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group, and Waveland Ventures” to the project.

What’s in it for New York City? “We look forward to seeing 1000 Dean Street transform this underutilized neighborhood asset into a venue that will spark new economic, educational and community activity,” Smith said.

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, attending the building’s ribbon cutting ceremony on June 3 2014, recalled that when he was a beat cop, he used to patrol that same block when it was down-and-out. He reiterated what has become, famously, his tag line, “build, baby, build,” and expressed hope that 1000 Dean Street would become a hotspot for entrepreneurship and job creation.

Crown Heights North, where 1000 Dean Street is located, “boasts a new generation of restaurants, bars and quick fine food, supported by hardware, cleaning and childcare services. Over three dozen new businesses have opened in the last few years, transforming the retail environment,” noted the press release distributed at the event.