Sunday, April 15, 2012

Goldman Sach’s Investment in the Hood

A development group recently purchased the former Studebaker Service Station at 1000 Dean Street in Crown Heights for $11 million. They plan to convert the 155,000 square-feet of space into a commercial mixed-use development that will house artists and assorted creative types as well as a food hall—a $30 million project, to which Goldman Sachs’ Urban Investment Group will contribute $25.5 million.

A promising first step—bringing Selldorf Architects on board to design the space, which should be interesting given Selldorf’s success with high/low projects in the past: Manhattan galleries and penthouses, a renovation of the Plaza’s famed Oak Room and designing a Brooklyn recycling plant.

The former garage/storage facility is located in a small enclave of commercially zoned buildings, which makes it significantly cheaper than residential or mixed-use areas in the surrounding neighborhood, and a neighborhood that’s already significantly cheaper than Dumbo.

Another nearby building was recently purchased for use as a deluxe storage facility.

But it was other factors, especially the neighborhood’s growing population of young, creative professionals, the burgeoning number of businesses on Franklin Avenue that cater to them and the neighborhoods within a one-mile radius (Clinton Hill, Prospect Heights, Bed-Stuy and even parts of Fort Greene and Park Slope) that closed the deal.

Goldman Sach’s Urban Investment Group also thought 1000 Dean, and moreover Crown Heights, had a lot of potential—it’s their first investment in the neighborhood, although Margaret Anadu, vice president of the Urban Investment Group, said another deal for an affordable housing and community facility development is near closing.

A sidewalk shed is presently being erected around the property with renovations expected will commence shortly. Construction at the site expected to complete early next year.