GOWANUS — The new owner of a popular wedding venue says he won't be turning the building into condos — and that plans are in the works for a waterfront expansion.
Akiva Reich announced this week that he bought The Green Building at 450 Union St. and the empty lot next to it after the property was put up for sale this past spring. Reich has operated a rental hall there since 2008.
News that the property was up for grabs in March sparked fears that the former brass foundry would be converted into apartments. Local blogger Katia Kelly urged her readers to "get involved" because the building was in danger of being demolished for residential development.
But Reich told DNAinfo New York he bought the property because he "wanted to maintain the commercial aspects."
"I just didn't want this place to turn into condos," Reich said. "I believe most local residents are looking for art and culture, and that's what we're excited to provide for the foreseeable future."
Reich said he's also planning to develop the vacant land surrounding The Green Building, including a 17,000-square-foot parcel overlooking the Gowanus Canal. He declined to provide details on the project.
Reich's Gowanus Hospitality Group has created a mini empire of venues along Union Street between Bond Street and the Gowanus Canal. In addition to The Green Building and the Show Room Gowanus art gallery next door, he's opened a rental hall across the street called 501 Union and has plans for a private social club nearby.