Williamsburg’s real estate success story has mostly centered on its residential boom—until now. With a new speculative office tower planned for the Brooklyn neighborhood and high-profile retailers preparing to set up shop, the former industrial area and hipster haven is becoming a hotbed of major league commercial activity.
The neighborhood has been abuzz over, and not always happy about, its residential development, which, with many more projects on the horizon, continues to overshadow the commercial market. There are more than 6,100 residential units in the pipeline, according to data compiled by MNS in January.
As jackhammers pound away at the future Whole Foods on Bedford Avenue, word is spreading that Apple is eying a building (once reportedly scoped out by J. Crew) just across Williamsburg’s main drag for one of the company’s attention-getting stores.
J Crew, the popular purveyors of all things preppy, are reportedly interested in taking a 35,000-square-foot retail space at 247 Bedford Avenue.
The Bedford Avenue building that is situated between North 3rd and North 4th streets is part of “the Bedford portfolio” that sold for $66 million and is expected to be developed into 55,000 square feet of retail space, according to The Real Deal.
Lee & Associates NYC are marketing the space and will be up for leasing in the next year. A partnership made up by Red Sky Capital and others bought the “Bedford portfolio” from The Backer Group in April.
The annual ICSC retail conference has kicked off at the Las Vegas Convention Center, drawing more than 30,000 real estate professionals, including some of the country’s largest retailers, developers and real estate services companies. The event is widely considered the industry’s Super Bowl of networking and dealmaking. Though the conference started officially on Sunday, by Monday morning the convention center’s sprawling floors—which make the Javits Center seem pint-size—comes alive in earnest with crowds of retail professionals. Here are a few observations from the opening hours of the conference. —Daniel Geiger
8:30 – The Commercial Observer steps out into the cab line at The Palms to head to the convention center. In the queue are several other ICSC-goers. A man quickly steps from the pack and offers to split a cab. He’s in his 30s, from New Orleans, and says he runs his own brokerage company. He looks incredibly bleary-eyed and wears dark sunglasses. “I was out till 4 a.m. last night at XS,” he explains, purporting XS (pronounced excess) to be the best club in Vegas. The cab driver chimes in that pool parties have become a popular destination for fun-seekers. “They’re top-tional,” he says. The broker takes note. Where are the best parties? he asks. “The Cosmo,” the cabby replies. He has taken several fares to the conference so far: “It seems like a busy year,” he says.