Acme Smoked Fish is seeking a new Greenpoint headquarters with the help of Rubenstein Partners, who unveiled renderings of the proposed 30 Gem St. development ahead of entering the city’s land use review process. The beloved fish purveyor has called Gem Street home since the 1950s and has outgrown it’s aging facility.
If the proposed rezoning is approved, a new mixed-used office, retail and manufacturing building spanning approximately 654,000 square-feet would replace the current fish factory and take up the entire block bounded by Meserole Avenue, Banker Street, Gem Street and Wythe Avenue. The Philadelphia-based developers are also behind the 25 Kent office and retail building just a few blocks away.
The 30 Gem St. development would include a four-story, 95,000 square-foot fish factory, and a nine-story, 545,000 square-foot office and retail building. 150 parking spaces and a pedestrian plaza on Wythe Avenue and N 15 St. are also part of the plan, which was presented to Brooklyn Community Board 1 in October, Brooklyn Paper reports:
“We’ve been able to get by with an aging facility, obviously we want to modernize and give ourselves a little room to grow, but as the neighborhood has changed, the cost and complexity of operating a food manufacturing business in Greenpoint is trickier and trickier,” said the company’s fourth-generation owner, Adam Caslow.
The new 95,300 square-foot fish factory — which developers would build first — is about 30,000 square-foot larger than Acme’s current facility and would allow them to process more gilled goods, according to Caslow, who said it would be too expensive for him to expand in the borough without the developer’s support.
“If we were to do this on our own it’s really less expensive for us to just do it elsewhere but we really want to stay here and that’s what this project is all about,” he said.
CB1s Land Use Committee members responded that they’re pleased to have Acme remain in Greenpoint, but raised questions about the height and scale of the building compared with the surrounding streets of low-rise buildings. Rubenstein Partners argued that 25 Kent is of similar height, and that the local economy would see a major boost from the development while preserving manufacturing space.
The land use review process will likely not be completed until next summer. If approved, the 30 Gem St. development is estimated to be completed in 2024.