Vans plans jams on Saturday in Greenpoint

The Brooklyn Paper
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The newest skateboard park in the city is set to open on Saturday in Greenpoint — but it’s only for professional skateboarders.

Vans Inc., a southern California-based global shoes and clothing company, will open its first East Coast skateboarding laboratory on a former beverage warehouse in Franklin Street, which it has already named “House of Vans.”

The one-story building will include an indoor concrete bowl and plenty of stairs and handrails outdoors to grind the days away.

“We’re really excited to have a permanent space in Brooklyn,” said Chris Overholser, a spokesman for Vans. “We’ve had one-off events in New York before and now we’re going to have two full-time people managing the space, which will be used as a hub for doing grassroots skate events.”

The building is welcome news for North Brooklyn’s professional boarders, many of whom practice their moves at Washington Plaza on S. Fourth Street near the Williamsburg Bridge and the recently opened skate park at McCarren Park on Lorimer Street.

But amateur skaters will have to hone their skills elsewhere.

The new Vans facility drew laid-back praise from Amy Gunther, owner of KDCD Skate Shop on N. 11th Street in Williamsburg. Gunther, who runs about one skating event per month for children and adults inside her cavernous store, looked forward to teaming up with Vans for special events, but will likely remain the go-to shop in the neighborhood for people learning how to skateboard and buy gear.

“It’s a marketing hub, not a retail facility,” said Gunther. “It’s great for us on a business aspect and Vans has been supportive of a lot of smaller projects such as skate clinics, and skate nights for adults in winter that we’ve done.”

Updated 5:21 pm, July 9, 2018
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