Monday, September 9, 2013

Union and North 10th

Reader Sam writes to us from Williamsburg, where the T Quick auto body shop has closed at Union Avenue and North 10th (leaving behind a nice telephone exchange sign, I might add: EVergreen-7). Moving into the little brick building, according to Sam's source, will be a new venture from the trendy restaurant Five Leaves.

Five Leaves was originally planned by Heath Ledger, and was funded by his estate after the actor's death. Hugely popular, they then opened a bar called Nights & Weekends, what the owners call "the Times Square of Williamsburg," and are expanding into the new Ace Hotel in Los Angeles. The restaurant also became the center of what Eater called the "Brunch Wars," fined--and later exonerated--for putting tables out on Sundays before noon and having their mobs of hipsters interfere with local churchgoers.

Sam heard the new project going into the former auto body shop will be "another restaurant, Five Leaves style, but with a bigger bar component." He calls the intel "unconfirmed gossip from a very reliable source."

Meanwhile, that little brick building has rapidly been surrounded by giant luxury boxes, a glittering sea of glass, welcoming hundreds of well-heeled newcomers to the formerly simple corner.

Dwarfing the brick building on one side, there's the brand-new 250 North 10th, a massive development offering 234 luxury rentals--it's "Brooklyn refined." On the other side, there's The Union at 568 Union with 100 units ("The ultimate lifestyle has arrived"), and then a third, 544 Union, with 84 new luxury units.

That's going to mean big, hungry mobs for the new restaurant and bar, should it move in.

click to enlarge panorama

But behind the brick building are lots of regular, old homes belonging to non-luxurious, apparently non-refined Brooklyn people. How will they deal with the crowds, the noise, the flood of new residents?

Sam says they may not have to for long.

He writes, "Rumors abound that a developer has approached the owners of all those little buildings on Union, all the way around the corner to include the 3 buildings on North 11th., to buy the rest of that block to do a giant project."

It could all be wild speculation, but it does sound awfully true the way things are going around there.

UPDATE: Reader Meredith did some sleuthing after this post and brings the news:

"Five Leaves is not doing a bar at Tony's garage. Tony's wants to do something like that, but they are waiting for better deals to come along. Five Leaves was being too squirrelly and procrastinating, so the deal is off. They are not selling the garage. Rappaport bottling (on N. 10th) was offered 15.5 million, and are getting offers pretty close to the amount they want; but they are not currently selling. Millie's cousin around the corner, Rosemary, is not selling and doesn't intend to. She painted her house in protest. Frank on the corner is not selling. He laughed at the 1.1 million dollar offer, and will stick around as long as he has to to make serious bank. The whole block has heard about Millie being in negotiations with the Hasids. Tony's son has cases of Cabernet for 45 bucks. I'll let you know how it is."


JAZ said...

That auto body building looks way too real-deal blue collar to not be seized, neutered and repurposed into an authentricated establishment that cashes in on the cache of the building's gritty past.

Anonymous said...

Good luck getting those people to all move out. I can tell you right now, money isn't all EVERYONE cares about. I suspect a lot of those people living in those homes have been there for many years and call those home. I hope they turn an ear to his development plans and continue to live their "simple" Brooklyn lives. Long live Brooklyn.

Crabby said...

I hope Anonymous is right. I live there and my landlord looks like she's getting ready to sell. Hasn't cashed rent checks in months, there were surveyors out yesterday, and now she's avoiding my phone calls.

Anonymous said...

To the families in those little homes please dont sell out to these developers. We are whats left of the real williamsburg. I want the old hood back. Go home hipsters.

Anonymous said...

Not sure how often you see this so here's hoping. The Auto shop on the corner of Union and 10th used to belong to my Great Great Grandfather Anthony Plonski. The business was originally a carriage shop in the 1910's. Went on to become Plonski's Auto Body the, Plonski & Sons. I know they were painting (possibly carriages) in that shop as early as 1919. I wish I had a pic of the building with my family name on it. I'd be ok with it becoming a cool restaurant though.