Empire Stores – 55 Water Street
Location: Brooklyn – DUMBO
Project Type: Commercial Retail / Office / Restaurant / Public Park
Architect: S9 Architecture
Scale: 500,000 SF
About this Project
Located in Brooklyn Bridge Park, and just down the block from 10 Jay street, the Empire Stores project is likely the highest profile job currently on the MJM roster. Situated right in between the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges, this former coffee factory was originally constructed between 1869 and 1885 when the then nascent coffee industry was first establishing its foothold in New York City. Its design – by S9 Architects –focused on retaining and displaying the structures’ historic architectural features including the heavy timber frame construction, brick facades, and countless small details and artifacts evocative of the industrial economic boom of the late 1800’s. Simultaneously, the designers seamlessly integrated touches of modern style like glass curtain walls, seemingly floating staircases and expansive green roofs and terraces, ushering the structure to the 21st century. As the general contractors on the job, MJM expertly coordinated and concisely communicated all aspects of construction, working through challenging structural, environmental and social issues that arose along the way. Being an historic site, MJM worked closely with architects, the LPC (Landmarks Preservation Committee) and Brooklyn Bridge Park to bring to life this exciting project. Not only is the Empire Stores project a magnificent coalescence of historic and modern architecture, but once MJM completes construction, it will serve as a center of commerce and activity for the neighborhood, making it MJM’s second significant economic development on the DUMBO waterfront.