Developers are hopped up and ready to convert the old Schlitz beer-bottling plant in Brooklyn into Dumbo-style work lofts and retail space for the neighborhood’s tech-savvy newcomers.
The 65-year-old building dominates an industrial corner on Evergreen Ave. at George St. in Bushwick. The new ownership team just paid $33.7 million for the five-story brick behemoth, and has pledged to undertake a $20 million overhaul.
“They want to do with that property what’s going on at the Navy Yard, what’s going on with Bush Terminal and Dumbo,” said Berko & Associates Chief Operating Officer Lee Silpe, who helped broker the deal.
The top floor, a cavernous expanse with 35-foot ceilings and views across the borough, could become an entertainment venue, Silpe said.
Schlitz built the facility to house its canning and bottling operations, and the Brooklyn brewer began phasing out operations there in the 1970s. Moshe Gottesman bought it in the early 1980s and has rented to light industry during the past three decades. The sprawling plant now shelters a variety of tenants in textiles and distribution.
Gottesman and his investors sold to a three-headed partnership of Hornig Capital Partners, Savanna and Chelsea Village Associates, closing the deal on Monday.
The new owners are targeting the creative, media and technology tenants that have flocked to converted warehouses from Sunset Park to Williamsburg.
“Bushwick is emerging as one of the most popular neighborhoods in Brooklyn, and new developments are a sign of continued growth,” said Daren Hornig, managing partner of Hornig Capital.
The section of Bushwick, still covered in graffiti and the sheet-metal-wrapped fences of old tow lots, marks a horizon of rapid change. The former Rheingold Beer brewery across the street is being converted into a multi-building 977-unit housing complex, and 20-somethings peck at laptops inside the trendy Dillinger’s coffee shop a block away.
“We are looking forward to bringing an exiting new home to the companies who want to come to Bushwick,” said Savanna Managing Partner Christopher Schlank.