The massive warehouse in Williamsburg that houses the borough’s eponymous bowling alley and brewery is for sale for $50 million, putting both businesses’ long-term futures in Brooklyn in jeopardy.
Thankfully, both the Brooklyn Bowl and the Brooklyn Brewery have years left on their deals, according to their owners who say their roots in Brooklyn are deep, and they don’t intend on going anywhere anytime soon.
“We have a long term lease and no intention of leaving before it is over,” said Brooklyn Bowl owner Charley Ryan, who declined to say how long that lease lasts. “If the building gets sold, it gets sold. If the person who owns the building wants to sell it, it is a free country.”
Brooklyn Brewery, meanwhile, has a lease through 2025 on its space, giving legendary owner Steve Hindy plenty of time to find new digs in the neighborhood or elsewhere.
“We are not in any hurry,” he said.
The long leases mean both businesses are safe for the twenty-tens, but since they are both such large operations, they will have to start looking years in advance for relocation spaces.
The Brooklyn Brewery is already in the middle of a massive expansion project on bucolic Staten Island, where the company is building a larger brewery that will allow it to ship beer to the west coast via rail — something it can’t do now. Hindy said he will not have time to seriously work on finding a new spot for the Brooklyn operation until that is up and running, which will not be until at least 2017. But he has already started keeping an eye out, and has scoped some potential spots in Sunset Park and in northern parts of the borough.
“We are very confident that we will be able to find another space,” he said.
The half of the Brooklyn Brewery that houses the tasting room is in a different building owned by another landlord, so unless that building also sells, Hindy said he plans to stay on N. 11th Street for the foreseeable future.
Ryan first signed the lease for the Brooklyn Bowl in 2007, but spent two long years renovating the space, installing bowling alleys, bars, and a stage, before finally opening in 2009.
The Brooklyn Brewery moved into the building at 61 Wythe Avenue in the 1990s, when rent is the area was $3 per square foot and the building was worth less than a million.
“I could have bought a building then, but I did not have a million dollars,” said Hindy.
Hindy said he would not consider coughing up $50 million for the building now.
“For $50 million, you could not make money brewing beer,” he said. “It would have to be a hotel or a nightclub or something like that.”
The seller’s broker, David Schechtman at Eastern Consolidated, did not return calls for comment.