Feb. 21, 2019 By Laura Hanrahan
Greenpoint’s famous Acme Smoked Fish factory is eyeing a major expansion project that would bring with it multiple stories of office space atop its existing production facility on Gem Street.
The company, with roots dating back to the turn of the 20th century, is teaming up with Rubenstein Partners, a Pennsylvania-based developer, to turn the one-story 30 Gem St. production facility and surrounding parcels into a new building with a larger plant and 500,000 square foot of office space.
Rubenstein Partners plans on purchasing and assembling four adjacent lots for the projects along with Acme that occupy the entire block bounded by Meserole and Wythe Avenues and Banker and Gem Streets, as reported by The Real Deal in January.
The reportedly $300 million project, which will total 583,000 square feet, will include an 80,000 square foot space for the smoked fish producer—15,000 square feet larger than Acme’s current production facility, where it prepares its well-known smoked salmon and lox, among other fish varieties. The Gem Street plant is one of the company’s three locations across the U.S.
Acme had been looking to grow its production capacity over the past few years, said Adam Caslow, Co-CEO of Acme, but the prior options had prohibitive concessions.
“A mutual connection introduced Acme and Rubenstein to solve our business problem and several iterations later, this plan was put in motion,” Caslow told the Greenpoint Post.
Acme will remain in its current facility until its new location elsewhere in the upcoming development is completed. The ground-floor production facility will be constructed first, at which point Acme will move in and their existing spot will be decommissioned, allowing the developer to complete the rest of the project, Caslow said.
Acme and Rubenstein Partners will require a rezoning of the manufacturing zoned sites to allow for commercial use. The development will go through a public review process with stops at Community Board 1, the Brooklyn Borough President’s office, and the City Council.
The project’s timeline will depend on the rezoning process, which is anticipated to wrap up in 2020. Acme expects that its facility will be completed by the end of 2021.
Rubenstein Partners is also behind another North Brooklyn development, having successfully rezoned 25 Kent Street in 2016 to allow for an eight-story office development.
Current zoning for the Gem Street assemblage of properties only allows for roughly 233,500 buildable square feet as of right. As with 25 Kent St., where the zoning change tripled the allowable size of the project, an approval of a zoning change will be essential.
Rubenstein Partners did not respond to requests for comment.