Jumbo sale in DUMBO: Massive lot could become huge retail space

Jumbo sale in DUMBO: Massive lot could become huge retail space
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

DUMBO’s next retailer could be huge.

The Silverstone Property Group snatched up a block-wide warehouse on Jay Street for $25 million last month, according to the real estate company Massey Knakal, which handled the sale.

The massive warehouse building between Water and Plymouth streets — which boasts roughly as much floor area as two-thirds of a football field — is perfect for a major commercial player, like a supermarket or something even bigger, said a Massey Knakal spokeswoman.

It’s unclear exactly what’s in store for the site — as the Silverstone Property Group declined to comment.

But Massey Knakal director of sales Stephen Palmese suggested huge scale retail that could represent a paradigm shift in the neighborhood.

“This site has the largest footprint in [the neighborhood], and possibly in all of the greater Downtown Brooklyn market, which makes it so unique,” said Palmese. “The ability to offer big box retail could really change the landscape.”

Currently used as a three-story manufacturing structure, the property has lenient mixed-use zoning that could also allow retail or residential use — and, with permission from the Landmarks Preservation Commission due to its location in DUMBO’s historic district, be expanded into a five- or six-story structure.

Last month, developers successfully petitioned the Landmarks Preservation Commission to put a rooftop addition atop the 1913 building designed by Frank H. Quinby, alter its masonry openings, replace its windows, and install a storefront infill and canopy.

If the lot becomes a supermarket, it wouldn’t be the first in the area. A short walk away, on the corner of Adams and Front street, is Foragers City Grocer; a few blocks past that is a Pea & Pickles.

Neighborhood boosters are eager to see retail at the brick warehouse, which stands as a block-long interruption to the increasingly commercial strip of Jay Street.

“Jay Street is really becoming DUMBO’s second Main Street,” Sica said. “We envision a vibrant retail corridor.”

Reach reporter Jaime Lutz at jlutz@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-8310. Follow her on Twitter @jaime_lutz.