It’s not clear what Tankhouse intends to build. Existing permits suggest an 8-story, 80,000-square-foot structure is planned for the site, which touches the canal. But those permits were secured by the property’s seller, Pilot Real Estate Group, of Greenwich, Connecticut.
And Pilot likely landed the permits simply to construct foundations at the site. By breaking ground, which happened in April, Pilot managed to qualify for the key 421-a tax break with just weeks to spare. The tax break expired in June, when state lawmakers declined to renew it. The program, which abates property taxes and other fees for years, likely provided a tremendous boost in value to 452 Union.
Previously, Tankhouse purchased a development site at 219 Jay St., at Chapel Street, in Downtown Brooklyn. Its two tenement-style buildings have been bulldozed, and a 13-story residential building is planned.
The Dumbo-based firm was co-founded by Sam Alison-Mayne. He’s a son of architect Thom Mayne, whose New York credits include 41 Cooper Square, a curvaceous classroom building at Manhattan’s Cooper Union college.
Meadow Street Partners sold 452 Union, which is at Bond Street, to Pilot for $41 million in 2014, records show.
Other developers that are active or have recently owned in Gowanus include Avery Hall, Charney Cos., Tavros Crown Acquisitions, Domain Cos. and Property Markets Group.
But some took a time-out to see what would happen with a last-minute lawsuit to reverse the rezoning, which some critics said would lead to flooding problems and have other negative environmental impacts. A Brooklyn Supreme Court judge dismissed the suit on a technicality in July.
The single-story 452 Union, a former brass foundry on a 300-foot-by-80-foot lot, is home to several tenants. Among them is Pig Beach Barbecue, a seven-year-old restaurant that also has locations in Long Island City and Palm Beach, Florida. Also in the green-painted, 10,000-square-foot structure is Green Building, a 6,000-square-foot wedding venue.
Messages left for Alison-Mayne, and for Eric Schwartz, a Pilot principal, were not returned by press time.