For 6 years, developer Jed Walentas dreamed of turning sugar into gold on the Williamsburg waterfront. Now, the second of truth of the matter is at hand for the former Domino Sugar plant at 300 Kent Ave., an 1865 specified landmark which is been transformed at the rear of its weathered brick facade into a just one-of-a-form business office making.
The search begins this thirty day period to locate tenants for the Two Trees developer’s 460,000 sq.-foot business office block — a glass-wrapped building within just the building that is the centerpiece of Two Trees’ $3 billion Domino internet site advanced of flats, suppliers, offices and a well-liked park.
The Refinery, as it’s referred to as, is like no other adaptive reuse in the city. The arresting framework evokes a lost age of toil and sweat far more viscerally than do plan conversions of downtown warehouses to places of work.
When I to start with toured the place with Walentas in 2016, it was the spookiest void I experienced at any time seen. The labor of earlier generations seemed entombed in catacombs of pipes, girders, 30-foot-substantial vats and catwalks that finished in midair.
Sugar was refined there until eventually Domino moved to Yonkers in 2004. But the industrial-era grunge remained. As CBRE tristate CEO Mary Ann Tighe, the head of the office environment leasing staff, recalled, “Your ft caught to the floor from the sugar residue. It was black, icky and rancid.”
Today, immediately after a $250 million restoration and interior re-imagining, absolutely nothing stays of the earlier other than the 15-tale brick facade and the major Domino indicator. Taking the “cool factor” to a new degree, the office building is inserted, like a ship in a bottle, inside the brick exterior, its glass-wall perimeter set back again 15 feet from the facade. Observe for Architecture and Urbanism (PAU) is the structure architect for the whole job.
Walentas’ vision for The Refinery reminded Tighe of a line from Alexander Pope: “Consult the genius of the spot in all,” she reported, referring to architecture that “must healthy logically into the character of its spot.” (Tighe is definitely the only dealmaker who delivers 18th-century poetry to the desk.)
“What the Walentases do is make a neighborhood far more of what it intrinsically is,” Tighe claimed. “This creating couldn’t exist everywhere else in New York but in Williamsburg.”
Organic light pours by church-like arched home windows onto typically column-free flooring of 27,269 to 33,257 square feet with ceiling heights of up to 14 feet. A greenscape of hanging vines, plantings and 30-ft-tall sweetgum trees is staying put in between the inside glass curtain wall and the outer masonry.
Features will incorporate a shared amenities flooring with a health and fitness center, floor-ground retail, a three-tale atrium foyer and operable home windows — practically unheard of in a present day building. By upcoming 12 months, a 27,000 square-foot, glass-lined penthouse dome with stunning river and skyline views will increase on the roof.
Asking rents are predicted to range from $55 to $85 for every sq. foot. Tighe observed that the web page has no industrial lease tax and there is a tax benefit for organizations relocating from Manhattan.
Walentas produced The Refinery fully on spec — i.e., with out pre-signed tenants. I questioned Tighe if even cutting-edge inventive tenants could balk at going into so eerie-looking a framework fronted by a 250-ft-tall, 150-12 months-outdated smokestack. (Dencityworks and Bonetti/Kozerski developed the interior. James Corner Field Functions, of Significant Line Fame, is the landscape architect.)
But Tighe said that such a groundbreaking approach is standard of the Walentas family. Jed’s father, David Walentas, designed the neighborhood now referred to as DUMBO primarily on his own.
Like his father, “Jed has absolute clarity about what he wants,” Tighe reported. “He can do this mainly because he has no associates. His company spends only its own dollars.
“There’s no replicating Jed’s accomplishment if it’s a results,” Tighe said. “You just cannot say, ‘Let’s make another Refinery.’ ”