Goodbye, Rock Yard — hello, Freemans!
A vacant Wythe Avenue lot that was home to a concert series this summer, will be converted to a six-story apartment complex, including the first Brooklyn venture of Freemans, a hip eatery on the Lower East Side of West Brooklyn.
The restaurant’s owners, who declined to be interviewed for this article, are considering a new branch of its “rugged clandestine Colonial American tavern”–style outpost in an existing three-story brick building on S. Second Street in Williamsburg, according to the project’s architect.
The remaining vacant space will be converted to two buildings containing 59 units of market rate apartments and 18 units of below-market rate rentals with room for first floor commercial space — following the city’s approval of the site’s rezoning.
Architect Joe Vance, who presented the initial plan to Community Board 1 on Wednesday night, estimated that the affordable housing building would be constructed in three years and the market-rate building would be completed two years after that. Once completed, the project will feature a large backyard that tenants of both buildings will be able to utilize.
According to Vance, the property’s owner, Bruce Terzano, is looking to build apartments catered toward young couples interested in staying in Williamsburg after they have kids. Terzano has owned the lot since the 1970s, when it served as an auction space for used police cars for many years.
“My client is a regular guy,” said Vance. “This is something that he and his children hold onto long-term, and he plans on living there. He looks around and sees massive development going on — geared toward young people — and wants to create a family oriented building instead of a place with health club amenities and roof decks.”
The news was a surprise to JellyNYC, the Williamsburg-based music production company which organized the six-week summer Rock Yard series as it finished up its flagship pool party music series at nearby East River State Park.
A JellyNYC spokesman said that the promotion company was not deterred because “the Rock Yard can happen anywhere.”
“We turned an abandoned lot into a six-week summer series and we did that in about a month,” said the spokesman, Chris Goldstein. “We can do that on top of the building they build if they want us to.”
Community Board 1 will review Terzano’s request to rezone the lot during its Land Use Committee meeting on Oct. 27 and its full board meeting on Nov. 9. After the board makes its recommendation, the plan will be reviewed by Borough President Markowitz before being sent to the City Planning Commission for its review.