DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) is a small enclave of industrial style lofts and mega views onto Manhattan. It has exploded from kinda shady to numero uno zip code in New York City. On Jay Street at the edge of DUMBO and Vinegar Hill is an unclaimed 135,000 square foot parking lot… with air rights.
It can be anything, and it can be yours for a mere $400 million dollars. Sure someone can build another condominium, but let’s dream big for a second. There’s no doubt that more living and work space will be eagerly filled above ground. How about ground level? More retail space? A grocery store? Dearest DUMBO, I have some ideas for you. Hear me out:
(1) Melrose Market East
Let us look to our neighbors in the west — in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood to be exact. Melrose Market in Seattle is a high-end assortment of wine and cheese shops, florists, and delicatessens — it’s not overwhelmingly large. Let us build a market dedicated to Brooklyn-made, New York-grown fare. Have an ice cream shop selling Phin & Phebes, not a Pinkberry. Involve the community with food pairing classes and provide more places to get good quality, wallet-friendly food in good vibes.
(2) 365 by Whole Foods Market
365 is the more affordable, yet still organic, subsidiary of Whole Foods Market. Let us make DUMBO the first NY home to one of these new concept stores. I think everyone in the hood would agree a full-size grocery store would be met with a great welcome.
(3) Sculpture Garden
At Stanford University, a park set among sculptures by Auguste Rodin is open to the public. Let us make an indoor sculpture meets botanical garden with free and fast wifi. Have rotating exhibits and use the space for private and public events. Whilst there are plenty of workspaces to be rented, sometimes a little green energy is all we need.
(4) Jardin du DUMBO
Dare not to build. Instead, make it a green space with curated gardens — our own Jardin du Luxembourg right here in Brooklyn.
Whatever it is, please don’t make it another bank or gym or CVS. I love to workout and banks and convenient stores are, well, convenient. But let us take this opportunity to give more people more access to the creative energy surging through DUMBO. Thanks for listening.