St. Ann’s Warehouse Approved by Brooklyn Bridge Park Board as Primary Tenant of Tobacco Warehouse
St. Ann’s Warehouse Approved by Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation Board of Directors as Primary Tenant for Cultural Reuse of Historic Tobacco Warehouse
Board also Awards Contract for Squibb Park Pedestrian Bridge that Will Connect Pier 1 and Squibb Park
Today, the board of directors of the Brooklyn Bridge Park voted to designate conditionally St. Ann’s Warehouse as the primary tenant of the Tobacco Warehouse, a Civil War-era structure located in the Empire Fulton Ferry section of Brooklyn Bridge Park on Water Street. St. Ann’s proposes to construct a flexible cultural space within the structure for its well-regarded arts programming as well as that of its local, national and international programming partners. The redeveloped structure will be open for year-round activity, including world-class theater and music, festivals and events as well as small-scale performances, meetings and educational activities to meet the needs of local community organizations. The 7,600 sq. ft. triangular section of the Tobacco Warehouse will be left open-air and is envisioned as a walled public garden with café tables and chairs, planting beds and the Tobacco Warehouse’s open arches leading to the Empire Fulton Ferry section of the park.
Robert Steel, Chair of the board of directors of the Brooklyn Bridge Park, said “With today’s vote, the Tobacco Warehouse is poised to become a thriving cultural amenity for the local community and a vibrant part of Brooklyn Bridge Park, as envisioned in the original park plan.”
Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz said “I commend St. Ann’s Warehouse for being a great cultural neighbor in DUMBO, and I’m thrilled that its plan for this historic space not only helps ensure Brooklyn Bridge Park is home to vibrant cultural programming in the days ahead, but that it also contains elements designed to honor the current open-air feeling of the structure as well as a commitment to keeping the site accessible to the public, schools and community groups.”
“We’re pleased that the long-term integrity of the Tobacco Warehouse structure will be enhanced as a result of this proposal,” said Peter Davidson, Executive Director of Empire State Development and member of the Brooklyn Bridge Park board. “In addition, this facility ensures evening and off-season use of the park and the surrounding neighborhood. Organizations like St. Ann’s Warehouse, with its art and culturally-based programming, are crucial to the revitalization of downtown Brooklyn and we welcome their contribution to the economic development of the borough.”
Board member Danny Simmons said “I am very pleased that St. Ann’s Warehouse has been chosen as the anchor tenant for the cultural center to be located within the framework of the historic Tobacco Warehouse. Brooklyn Bridge Park, Dumbo and Brooklyn can now look forward to a new, vibrant multi-use cultural space. I’m particularly excited that the space will be available to smaller groups and individual artists to mount productions and shows at reduced rental rates. The need for artists’ space has never been greater and this proposed jewel of an arts center will go far in helping to provide that.”
"Parks and arts organizations have a long history of working together in New York City, and we're so pleased that St. Ann's Warehouse will extend that tradition,” said Cultural Affairs Commissioner Kate D. Levin. “By featuring adventurous programming by local and international artists, and making a hub for a range of programming partners, this project will attract and serve audiences from across Brooklyn and beyond."
The Tobacco Warehouse Request for Proposals (RFP) sought proposals to rehabilitate and adaptively re-use the Tobacco Warehouse structure as a cultural, educational or civic year round facility. After a community consultation process in mid-August, several recommendations were incorporated into the final RFP. The RFP was released on August 24 by Brooklyn Bridge Park and distributed to over 1,400 cultural entities across the city.
The St. Ann’s Warehouse proposal includes two performance spaces, including a 10,000 sq. ft. theater that could accommodate an audience of 300-700 and a 2,100 sq. ft. flexible space that could accommodate a maximum 125-person audience. St. Ann’s Warehouse proposes to leave the triangular section of the structure largely uncovered, served by a park concession and open for public use during park hours. The remainder of the proposed facility includes a 2,500 sq. ft. lobby, public restrooms and performance support space.
The proposed cultural facility, by H3 Hardy Collaborative Architecture, is designed to respect the historic structure of the former Tobacco Warehouse. The terms of the lease require St. Ann’s Warehouse to maintain the Tobacco Warehouse, namely through a capital reserve fund.
After today’s designation, additional approvals will be sought to advance the proposed design and program, including review by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. It is anticipated that the General Project Plan that governs the Brooklyn Bridge Park Land Use and Civic Plan will require modification and necessitate a public hearing and subsequent votes by the Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation and Empire State Development Corporation boards. After approvals are secured, a lease would be executed with St. Ann’s Warehouse.
Brooklyn Bridge Park also received a number of subtenant proposals as a part of the Tobacco Warehouse RFP process. It will work with St. Ann’s Warehouse to review these proposals and determine which, if any, might be included. Brooklyn Bridge Park is still accepting responses for subtenants.
The Squibb Park Bridge contract with HNTB New York Engineering & Architecture was also approved by the board. This contract, representing a total contract limit of $445,148, will include design and engineering services, development of construction drawings and construction administration services. HNTB is a national firm with extensive experience in the design and engineering of pedestrian bridges. This pedestrian bridge will connect Brooklyn Bridge Park at Pier 1 to the western edge of the existing Squibb Park and allow access from Brooklyn Heights and a direction pedestrian link from the A/C and 2/3 subway stations to Pier 1’s pathways and main promenade. Construction on the bridge is expected to begin in Summer 2011. Capital funding for the bridge has been secured through allocations from Borough President Marty Markowitz and City Councilmember Steve Levin.
Regina Myer, President of Brooklyn Bridge Park, said “Today’s votes represent major milestones for Brooklyn Bridge Park. St. Ann’s will be a terrific steward for the historic Tobacco Warehouse structure and their programming and that of their partners will enrich the park immeasurably. The awarding of the Squibb Park Bridge Park contract is the final stage in realizing this vital amenity, further connecting the park to its adjoining communities and local transit. I’d like to thank Borough President Markowitz and Councilmember Steve Levin for funding the capital budget of the bridge.”
Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation, known as Brooklyn Bridge Park, is the not-for-profit entity responsible for the planning, construction, maintenance and operation of Brooklyn Bridge Park, an 85-acre sustainable waterfront park stretching 1.3 miles along Brooklyn’s East River shoreline. More information is available on the park’s website: www.brooklynbridgeparknyc.org
Brooklyn Bridge Park is one of the nine waterfront destinations that comprise NYHarborWay, an initiative of the Bloomberg Administration to make the New York Harbor a major recreational destination for New Yorkers and visitors. Spearheaded by NYC & Company, the initiative eventually will connect the nine major waterfront points of interest by ferry or bike greenways. In addition, NYHarborWay will develop a cohesive programming, marketing and communications platform which will drive visitation to the nine waterfront sites. In addition to Brooklyn Bridge Park, the destinations are Governors Island, Hudson River Park, The Battery, Ellis Island, Liberty Island, Atlantic Basin, the East River Esplanade and Liberty State Park.
For a PDF of the press release, cick here.
Click for larger images of the proposed exterior rendering and Triangle Garden rendering.
Mailing Address: 334 Furman Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
tel: (718) 222-9939
fax: (718) 222-9258