Brownstoner's Jonathan Butler has never been just a virtual borough real estate blogger. His founding of The Brooklyn Flea market, which started at a school yard in Bishop Laughlin Memorial High in 2008 and eventually graduated to One Hanson Place (in the winter) and outdoors at The Edge (in the summer), puts him firmly within the real life community of Brooklyn. Now the entrepreneur and some partners are trying their hand at commercial real estate development with the purchase of three adjacent properties on Dean Street in Crown Heights, which they plan to renovate and turn into a mixed-use space for Internet start-ups and light manufacturing. Construction on the $30 million project is expected to take nine to 12 months, and Butler told the Wall Street Journal that he and his partners hope to have 400-500 tenant-workers occupying the space in a few years.
The project is not a complete break from the Brooklyn Flea for Butler, who plans on turning a portion of the space into a 9,000 square foot food hall featuring five or six full-time vendors from the market. Butler's partners on the project include Toren builders BFC Properties to handle the renovations and Goldman Sachs' Urban Investment Group, which is putting up $25.5 million of the funding.
· Crown Heights Deal Puts Blogger to the Test [WSJ]
· Brooklyn Flea coverage [Curbed]