Located along the East River waterfront in Williamsburg, 184 Kent was once home to Austin, Nichols & Co., the Wild Turkey distributors and the city’s largest grocer in the early 20th century. In 2010, the 7-story warehouse underwent conversion into a 338-unit, luxury rental building. Now, MA is converting the 1915 building designed by Cass Gilbert, of Woolworth Building fame, into to 338 luxury condos and 63 storage units.
Though it is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places, it has not been landmarked by the city. It was designated an official city landmark in 2005 when a developer planned to add towers to the existing building, whose façade was then patchy with many areas of missing paint, and then the City Council overturned the landmark designation, which led to the Mayor vetoing the action of the City Council, which subsequently voted to override his veto. A December 8, 2005 article by Robin Pogrebin in The New York Times said that “Simcha Fedler, chairman of the council’s landmarks committee,…[declared that] this building is a piece of trash, and it should be knocked down.”
Image Credit: ©Austin Nichols Hous