Pressure Increases For Brooklyn Store

August 20, 2010

A three-year search by Brooklyn (NY) officials to find retail tenants for empty space in a municipal building has now dovetailed with the borough president’s recent lobbying efforts to bring an Apple store to Brooklyn, resulting in an architectural rendering that suggests how the 1920s building could be modified specifically for the computer company. The building at 210 Joralemon Street at Court Street houses various city offices, but 44,000 square-feet on two levels at the corner could bring the city $20 million in a sale, a local business group determined. So in October 2007 city officials began exploring how to lease or sell the vacant space. To assist potential buyers, the city had an architectural rendering created that showed larger windows and brighter lights that would illuminate the interior retail space. Earlier this year borough president Marty Markowitz posted a too-cute YouTube video pitching the Joralemon Street location for an Apple retail store. Now, in the latest move, a second rendering has appeared, showing an even more radical renovation of the existing building—removal of nearly all the exterior walls over two floors, large two-story display windows, a spiral glass staircase inside, and an enormous back-lit Apple logo. Insiders say Apple’s retail team has been scouting Brooklyn for at least three years, but has not found a suitable location. Real estate broker Robert Greenstone says he has shown Apple execs several potential store locations in Brooklyn. The Racked Web site reports that Greenstone knows the location of the future Brooklyn Apple store, possibly in the Atlantic Yards area, about a mile southeast of the Joralemon Street building. However, Greenstone won’t reveal the location.

This is the first architectural rendering produced by city officials to promote the empty space at the municipal building. (Studio AMD)

This is the August 2010 updated rendering, showing a possible Apple store inside the municipal building. Typically for Apple, the corner streetlight is removed in this view. (Studio AMD)

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