There were some rumblings on the Curbed tipline that work had come to a standstill at Empire Stores in Dumbo, but a visit to the site this week revealed that the conversion is still on track. Since the shell of the old coffee warehouses will remain, most of the work happening right now is going on inside, so it's not very visible to passers-by. New concrete floors have been poured in some of the buildings, and others have had excavation work completed and some pilings driven. Shafts are also being dug for the new elevators. David Beare of Midtown Equities, who served as escort, gave assurance that the retail and office complex is still on schedule for an October 2015 opening.
Eventually, the construction will be more apparent on the exterior, as part of the buildings will be sliced away to create a courtyard and two STUDIO V-designed rooftop additions will be constructed. When work is complete, the 1869 and 1885 buildings will hold restaurants and retail on the lower levels and offices above, as well as a public rooftop terrace and beer garden.
—Evan Bindelglass is a local freelance journalist, photographer, cinephile, and foodie. You can e-mail him, follow him on Twitter @evabin, or check out his personal blog.
· Inside Dumbo's Abandoned Empire Stores Before Its Makeover [Curbed]
· All Empire Stores coverage [Curbed]