Leasing launches for apartments at Brooklyn’s landmarked Empire State Dairy complex

February 27, 2024

Renderings courtesy of The Moinian Group and Bushburg

Here’s a chance to live in a modern apartment building within a historic and unique Brooklyn property. Leasing launched this week for 320 apartments at The Highland at 2480 Atlantic Avenue, the site of the landmarked Empire State Dairy Company complex in East New York. Developed by The Moinian Group and Bushburg and designed by Dattner Architects, the mixed-use development incorporates the early 1900s buildings with a brand new 14-story residential tower offering a mix of studios, one-bedrooms, two-bedrooms, and three-bedroom rentals.

Of the 320 apartments, 77 will be affordable. Details on the pricing have not yet been released for the apartments but were described as “mixed-income” in a press release.

The Highland will also contain an extra 21,000 square feet of ground-floor commercial space and an on-site charter school. Amenities include a rooftop terrace, a state-of-the-art fitness center, a co-working space, a tenant’s lounge, a children’s playroom, and on-site parking.

In addition to the residential component, the project includes adaptive reuse elements, including the complete remodel of the landmark and the incorporation of a newly restored facade. The project at 2480 Atlantic Avenue preserves the exterior facade while “maximizing affordable housing units and retail space,” according to the architect’s website. The adaptive reuse approach ensures that the development saves energy and reduces landfill waste.

“The Highland will offer a new and elevated experience to the quickly developing Cypress Hills market. These apartments will enjoy close proximity to Highland Park and are a stone’s throw away from some of New York’s most popular beaches,” Ford Sypher, CEO of Bushburg, said.

“Residents of The Highland will have an abundance of transportation options. Express train lines offer a 30-minute commute to lower Manhattan, on-site parking, and a short ride to New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport. The Highland will feature unbeatable views, amenities, and great unit layouts. This iconic landmark redevelopment stands to redefine the market and set the pace for what’s to come.”

Move-ins are expected in early March.

Constructed in two phases between 1906 and 1915 and designed by architects Theobold Engelhardt and Otto Strack, the Empire State Dairy Company complex consisted of industrial buildings spanning an entire block on Atlantic Avenue between Schenck and Barbey Streets. The complex was constructed to improve the safety and quality of milk as the company continued to expand.

In 2017, the city landmarked the buildings, citing their important role in the neighborhood’s history and the milk industry, in addition to its distinct architectural style which the LPC has described as “Abstracted Classicist with Secession detail.” The agency also noted the two large polychrome ceramic tile mosaics depicting Swiss folk scenes of cows, considered to be one of the largest remaining intact decorative tile installations from the American Encaustic Tile Company.

In August 2019, the LPC approved plans for a 14-story tower behind the historic Empire State Dairy Company building. According to Brownstoner, the initial proposal called for the tower to cantilever over the factory and to demolish the building’s historic chimney. However, the cantilever element was removed and designers chose to preserve the chimney instead of removing it.

The new development falls under a rezoning plan put forth by former Mayor Bill de Blasio in 2016 for 7,000 new apartments in East New York’s Cypress Hills neighborhood and the adjacent Ocean Hill neighborhood in Bed-Stuy by 2030.


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