Demolition clears way for new arched storefronts on Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg

A rendering of the arched storefronts slated for Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg.
Rendering via L3 Capital

The last bits of remaining storefronts in a row of five on a prime stretch of Bedford Avenue were demolished in the last month or two, and a rendering has gone up on the fence. Three renderings on a retail rental listing for the development at 184-192 Bedford Ave. show a low-slung brick building with arches and big windows.

The large lot is now vacant with some equipment and supplies sitting on rocky soil behind the green construction fence. The lot abuts Dunkin’ Donuts at Williamsburg’s most-trafficked corner, the intersection of Bedford Ave. and North 7th Street where the L train stops.

Rendering via L3 Capital

The development has been in the works for over a decade. At least as far back as 2011, developer RedSky said it planned to replace the two lots at 184 and 186 Bedford (then home to now-shuttered bar Spike Hill) with a smaller but similar looking two-story retail space.

After acquiring three more contiguous properties, RedSky fell on hard times, and BlackRock and L3 Capital acquired the five storefronts along with some other properties in RedSky’s portfolio in 2020, The Real Deal reported at the time.

The empty lots at 184 to 192 Bedford Avenue next to Dunkin’ Donuts earlier this week.Photo by Susan De Vries
The site at 184 Bedford this week.Photo by Susan De Vries

A new-building permit was issued in November for a two-story retail building plus cellar and roof deck at 184 Bedford, city records show. Building Studio Architects is the architect of record and L3 Capital is listed as the owner.

The red-brick building will have six arch-topped bays with large openings and can work as a 24,000-square-foot flagship for one store or be divided into smaller spaces for a variety of uses, according to the listing. No target finish date is mentioned, but one to two years construction would be typical.

Behind the green fence at 184 Bedford this week.Photo by Susan De Vries

Williamsburg-based RedSky is a boutique developer that at peak had holdings all over the borough but especially in Williamsburg, where it has played an influential role in shaping the streetscape and retail scene. Known for high-quality designs and adaptive reuse of historic industrial buildings, it developed the Puccio Marble sites on Driggs and brought Apple to the borough with its first store further down Bedford.

The five lots originally held a mix of two- to four-story wood frame and brick storefront buildings, the majority of which were Italianate in style and appeared to date from the 1860s.

This story first appeared on Brooklyn Paper’s sister site Brownstoner.