First Two Floors of 345 Adams St. Readying for Retailers; Panera Bread To Open in Early 2012
By Linda Collins
DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — The new look is emerging as the building at 345 Adams St. in Downtown Brooklyn is transformed.
As the Eagle has reported, Muss Development is doing the work, having acquired the first two floors of the building in a unique contract arrangement with the city and is converting them from offices and courtrooms into 40,000 square feet of retail space.
“Two weeks ago we moved out the Department of Finance,” said Jeff Kay, chief operations officer for Muss, adding that the city department has been relocated to other floors.
The exterior wall on the southern end of the building has now been completely removed and arches similar to those along Willoughby Street have been recreated.
Additionally, large openings have been cut out (“just this week”) for the new modern-looking windows and storefronts on the northern end of the building nearest to Morton’s The Steak House.
“On Willoughby Street you can see a number of arched windows,” said Kay. “We’ve now duplicated these on the southern end of the Adams Street side.”
Arched openings existed on the inside but not on the outside in that corner double-height space, he added. Architect Barry Rice, who designed the conversion, is recreating those arched windows.
As the Eagle has also reported, Panera Bread, a popular eatery and bakery chain, was the first to sign a lease in the row of retail stores. That lease was arranged by Bob Greenstone of Robert Greenstone Realty.
Currently, Ariel Schuster, executive vice president at Robert K. Futterman (RKF), is handling the retail leasing for Muss.
“We’re looking for a nice mix of tenants that will keep the momentum going,” said Schuster. “It is unbelievable the transformation that is taking place on that street — from the hotel [the Brooklyn Marriott], the true anchor, at one end to the Shake Shack that is coming soon at the other.”
He added, “We want more of these exciting retailers, ones that will complement and feed off each other. Muss is very good about getting the right ones.”
Schuster would not comment, however, on a pending lease with a restaurant for the corner double-height space at Willoughby and Adams.
“Maybe in a couple of weeks,” he said.
Kay, too, would only say, “We are close, very close, we are in final lease discussions for a very cool restaurant.” Panera, where interior work has already begun, will probably open sometime in the first quarter of 2012, he added. Kay anticipates that all construction work on the exterior will be done by the end of February, “weather permitting.” Except for Panera’s space, the inside will be left alone for now until all the retailers are in place.
Both Kay and Schuster said that work will depend on who the retailers are and what size space they want.
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