The New York City Board of Standards and Appeals has approved a collection of zoning text amendments to facilitate redevelopment of a dense four-story residential building in Bushwick, Brooklyn. The landmarked property is located at 71-83 Beaver Street, the site of the former William Ulmer Brewery, a complex of interconnected commercial and brew house buildings constructed between 1872 and 1890.
The brewery closed as a result of prohibition ordinances in 1920, sold, then converted soon after for light-manufacturing use. Since then, the building has fallen into disrepair and is largely vacant. The property was designated an official New York City Landmark in May 2010 and was purchased by the Rivington Company in 2017.
Led by DXA Studio, the scope of work includes partial replacement of the façade, expanded window and door openings, the installation of new HVAC and mechanical components, a single-story roof-level addition, a storefront infill, and new lighting systems throughout.
The building will be listed simply as 81 Beaver Street.
“The rejuvenation of historic buildings like the Ulmer Brewery, which embrace their narrative of transformation, have the potential to serve as models for a more thoughtful development approach, as Bushwick undergoes its larger shift from an area of light industry to residential neighborhood,” said DXA Studio co-founder Jordan Rogove. “The building was an extraordinary machine for making beer, complete with all kinds of split levels and incredible spaces that gradually step downwards, to allow gravity to drive the brewing process. These will make for incredibly unique apartments, and the ground floor and vast vaulted series of subcellars will live on as a commercial space, to connect to the lineage of the building’s first two acts.”
The building’s landmark status required the project team to acquire a Certificate of Appropriateness form the Landmarks Preservation before construction can break ground. The voting body granted the certificate on April 19, 2021, which will allow the project to proceed.
Construction will commence in two distinct phases. The first phase will involve the removal, replacement, and rejuvenation of exterior portions of the building.