No sense in ducking it: gbNYC is on record as fans of Brooklyn’s Toren, and it’s fairly easy to see why. Beyond the fact that gbNYC is admittedly something of a soft touch when it comes to super-green residential buildings, Toren just straight-up looks cool, even if the towering, futuristic Skidmore Owings & Merrill design is an exquisitely stylish sore thumb in the otherwise gritty-unto-grubby architectural environs of downtown Brooklyn. That Toren is both financially healthy — thus the FHA approval that occasioned our previous post on the subject — and green enough to pull down LEED Gold honors is impressive on its own. That it has managed to land an upscale retail tenant for its ground-floor retail space, in its odd way, might be more impressive. Even in the midst of this apparent discovery, there are plenty of luxury condominiums in Manhattan and Brooklyn with big, empty, skate park-looking spaces where a macro-retailer was supposed to be. Toren, despite passing the 50-percent-sold tipping point a couple months ago, was stuck with one of those echoing retail spaces until recently, but Crain’s reports that an as-yet-unnamed “eco-friendly” (let’s do something about that term, everyone) supermarket has inked a deal for the 11,000-square-foot retail space on Toren’s ground floor. It is, astonishingly, the first supermarket in downtown Brooklyn. Which I guess means that Buffalo Wild Wings doesn’t count as a supermarket? Because that actually totally makes sense, now that I think of it.
“It will be the flagship location for a new high-end supermarket brand being launched by the Goris family, which currently has a bunch of other supermarkets in the New York City area,” Brownstoner writes of the supermarket deal. “Presumably all the other residential developers that have sprung up in the area are cheering the news too, as it adds a major selling point (or at least plugs a major services hole) for the area.” And presumably gets gets those developers off the hook on trying to plug BuffWiWin as a bona fide food source. Yes, we know they have onions. That doesn’t count.
Friday punchiness aside, not enough good things can happen to Toren for us here at gbNYC. If you have to do develop a macro-scale residential building in a neighborhood that doesn’t generally have much in the way of luxury residential development, Toren is the model on how to do it. And if you need to have a retail tenant in said macro-scale luxury residential building, it might as well be a green supermarket. It’s not like the neighborhood needs another nationally franchised sports-and-good-times bar and grill, after all. (Relatedly: Ratner!)