The Box Factory Brings A Creative Office Complex To Ridgewood
Commercial and residential developments in Ridgewood are attracting creative types with cheaper prices.
If there is anywhere in Queens that suffers from an identity crisis, Ridgewood is it. Neighboring hipster-filled Bushwick, Ridgewood has townhouses, old industrial warehouses and funky neighborhood meeting places like ping pong/beer garden Nowadays. And nowadays, increasingly, it has Brooklyn transplants priced out of Park Slope and Williamsburg.
As if to cement its Brooklynification, it will also soon have its own BK-styled creative office complex, the Box Factory. A sprawling 67,000 square foot former warehouse that was home to Brick & Ballerstein, a manufacturer of boxes for perfume and jewelry, its new incarnation will, according to NY Curbed, host office space, retail, and food, all no doubt, with a creative and unique take.
The project has been a $20-million endeavor by developers Hornig Capital Partners and Brickman Associates, who acquired the building last year for $10 million and plan another $10 million in renovations. The building’s industrial history will be preserved by architects Fogarty Finger in the shape of its 18-foot ceilings exposed timber and steel beams, wood floors, and painted brick interior walls. The classic mixed with contemporary will be the general theme of the building with a restored brick facade coupled with a tall glass storefront.
Hipster spill-off courtesy of the L Train stop at nearby Halsey St can never be a bad thing for a new business. Three retail spaces—accessed through the glass storefront— will be positioned closest to the train. A food tenant is also being courted.
These type of hybrid creative hubs have become increasingly popular of late, particularly in Brooklyn where media, arts and tech start-ups have rented for up to $65 a square foot in Williamsburg and $45 a square foot in Bushwick. The Box Factor is hoping to lure creative firms priced out of elsewhere with rents estimated to be around $35 a square foot.
“We’re expecting small- to medium-sized tenants fresh from Manhattan and Williamsburg,” developer Daren Hornig of Hornig Capital Partners says.
Still, there will be significant competition, particularly from those who see the Brooklyn Queens border as some kind of invisible cut off point. Currently in the works is the Brooklyn Navy Yard, which will open a public food hall on the ground floor of Building 77 later open this year. The Empire Stores, along the Dumbo waterfront, opened to office tenants last year and includes 60,000 square feet of shops and eateries, including a rooftop beer garden. Similar in theme is the yet to open Williamsburg’s Domino Sugar redevelopment.
Development in Ridgewood has been rife recently. A five-story apartment complex at 803 Wyckoff Avenue will host 54 rental apartments and 43,004 square feet of residential space. There will be 29 duplexes and 26 regular apartments, plus a 1,000-square-foot indoor recreation space on the fifth floor and a second, 480-square-foot recreation room in the cellar. The close proximity to the L Train’s Myrtle-Wyckoff will be a big draw for commuters.
Nearby at 16-26 Madison Street is the mammoth, 90-unit residential building which is nearing completion. Also on the Bushwick border is a 17-story development at 3-50 St. Nicholas Avenue, between Palmetto and Woodbine Streets with a even stories of residential space on top of retail and commercial space including medical offices. All of which make Box Factory, for food and retail alone, a viable proposition.
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