Boarded up and covered in graffiti, the former Imperial Theater on the corner of Irving and De Kalb Avenue in Bushwick needs a serious facelift. Luckily it’s up for lease, and has been for the last two months, according to broker Justin Losh. “We’ve had a lot of interest, mainly from bars, restaurants and retail stores.” The real estate agent’s rendering shows light spilling out from an imagined “Irving Market,” with additional doors and windows having been added to the exisiting building.
According to the Nooklyn listing, 2,800 of the 5,000 square foot property is still available for $12,000 a month, with the potential for three or four storefronts in total. Though Losh is focusing on a commercial lease, additional space types have been listed as “creative/loft.” But “right now it’s not fitted out for residential use,” says Losh.The fortresslike building is something of a rough diamond, replete with geometric art-deco flourishes. Built in 1918, the theater closed in 1940 and is said to have become a knitting factory (yes, an actual knitting factory) before it was converted into a department store. For the last 15 to 20 years it’s been used for storage.
You can click here to see a photo of the Imperial back in the day. “Hopefully it’ll be something grand and beautiful once more,” says Losh.
So, can this largely residential corner of Bushwick look forward to a new hub? “It’s a very long process, but we’re hoping to lease it soon,” Losh says. “Hopefully we’ll see something open up by summer next year.”