A new commercial building recently opened in Coney Island with a ribbon cutting ceremony and a bold prediction by the developer that the building will become an important hub for the community.
The May 23 ceremony marked the grand opening of 626 Sheepshead Bay Road, a seven-story building that is part of Neptune/Sixth, a giant complex that will contain a combination of commercial entities, public spaces and residential housing.
“We wanted 626 Sheepshead Bay Road to be a catalyst for the neighborhood,” said Jacob Cohen, executive vice president of development at Cammeby’s, the real estate company behind the project.
Eddie Mark, district manager of Community Board 13, and Deputy Inspector Joseph Hayward, commanding officer of the 60th Precinct, were among the local officials attending the ribbon cutting.
Neptune/Sixth will consist of two buildings; the seven-story structure at 626 Sheepshead Bay Road and a 40-story tower at 532 Neptune Ave.
At 40 stories, the Neptune Avenue building will be the tallest structure in Southwest Brooklyn. The building, which is being designed by the firm S9Architecture, will boast floor-to-ceiling windows with views of Luna Park, the Cyclone, the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and the Manhattan skyline.
When it is complete, Neptune/Sixth will house a variety of services and retail options, while at the same time offering amenities that community residents could use, including a parking area, according Cammeby’s.
Meanwhile, 50 percent of the commercial space at 626 Sheepshead Bay has been leased. The tenants include DII Store, I & M Liquor, Krupa Card Store and Danny’s Café Express. The building also houses a U.S. Post Office.
During the design process, the architects kept in mind the extensive flooding Coney Island endured as a result of Hurricane Sandy in 2012, officials said.
The retail area of the Sheepshead Bay Road building’s first floor sits on a four-foot raised platform, a design feature that ensures that the structure is in compliance with building code regulations mandated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the New York City Department of Buildings in the wake of Sandy. The first floor is also protected by a ring of aquarium-style glass.
The architects also kept the look of the surrounding community in mind when designing the building, according to Cammeby’s. One of the walls employs a frit pattern made to resemble surrounding red brick buildings.
Borough President Eric Adams expressed confidence that the new building will help continue the ongoing revitalization of Coney Island.
“I welcome 626 Sheepshead Bay Road to Brooklyn’s rich economic landscape. As we continue the revitalization of Coney Island, the commercial and office tenants who will call this new building home will be joining a vibrant community that is on the rise,” Adams said in a statement.
The ribbon cutting ceremony marked only one step in the Neptune/Sixth development project, Cohen said.
“It has been a pleasure to work with the community to bring this project to life and we are looking forward to working together on subsequent phases of the Neptune/Sixth development as part of our commitment to South Brooklyn,” Cohen said.
Cammeby’s is deeply invested in Coney Island, according to Cohen. “We are Brooklyn-based and it’s been exciting to watch the area recover from Hurricane Sandy and flourish,” he said.
For more information about the Neptune/Sixth development, visit: www.neptunesixth.com.