Red Hook Mega-Mall Plans Revealed!

Hold onto your hats, Red Hook. What we have here, in conjunction with our compadres at Racked, is an exclusive first look at the plans for the old Revere Sugar Refinery site on the Red Hook waterfront, the work of developer Thor Equities and its friends at FXFowle Architects. Meet The Hook, your newest most favorite shopping destination ever, maybe besides even Ikea!

Now, we've heard word of the plans for this site for awhile now; the most recent reports had 400,000 square feet of shopping with one major anchor tenant, rumored to be a BJ's Wholesale Club. Today's architectural reveal aligns on these details: a jaw-dropping 376,000 square feet of retail space—the five borough's largest retail development in over two decades. The space reputed to be BJs Wholesale occupies 118,000 square feet on the ground floor. (Caveat emptor: buy in bulk, eat in bulk.)

As for the site itself, which carries the address 280 Richards Street, the proposed design incorporates a good portion of the facade of the only sad, lonely building left standing on the site after the Revere Sugar Dome demolition swept the site clean in 2006. Judging from the renderings, it seems the plan is to keep the brick building's facade and turn the gutted interior into a food court of some sort. Good times.

Meantime, along the site's eastern side—formerly a docking slip for cargo boats—we've got a loooong parking garage offset with artfully stacked shipping containers. The shipping containers will serve as public space for enjoying the waterfront views and will be accessible from the parking garage; here's hoping they don't turn into high rise condos for the dispossessed. And if bargain hunting and a food court is not your thing, you may be more inclined to stroll the 75,000 square feet of esplanade along the waterfront. Keeping up with trends in building, we hear the mall will have a green roof and public space, though how exactly that works out isn't entirely evident from these plans.

Now, as to the million-dollar-question: will this thing actually get built as-is? Probably not: these are early-stage renderings subject to change. And as for the economic viability? Comes The Real Estate blog today with an interview with Thor Equities head-honcho Joe Sitt. Key passage:

Declining to comment further on Coney, Mr. Sitt was somewhat more forthcoming when it came to his planned developments for Red Hook and Shore Parkway in southern Brooklyn. While he hasn’t released many details about the two developments, it is expected both will be big-box retail, assuming he can get the city (which doesn’t seem to be all that happy with him these days on account of a perceived intransigence at Coney) to go along with needed zoning changes. While the city wasn't too keen on an earlier Red Hook plan that included residential, Mr. Sitt seemed more optimistic about his current plan for the former Revere Sugar Factory.

Mr. Sitt said he did not have any firm commitments from tenants for the developments, though he claims to already have financing in hand.

So, there you have it: a definite maybe! Either way, we're going to go ahead and get a tattoo of THE HOOK now. Meantime, enjoy the full photogallery of fun above.

Copyright @ 2009 Curbed

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