High-rise developer purchases Dutch Kills Bar building

High-rise developer purchases Dutch Kills Bar building
By Rich Bockmann

One of the luxury apartment builders hard at work remaking the Long Island City skyline recently inked a deal to buy the property that the trendy Dutch Kills Bar calls home, but the developer was staying tight-lipped as to what the acquisition will mean for the atmospheric cocktail spot.

Rockrose Development Corp., the luxe-rental builder that put up a 31-story tower at Queens West and is nearly ready to cut the ribbon on its 42-story Linc LIC, paid $4,636,125 last month for the property at 27-24 Jackson Ave., records show.

Dutch Kills opened in the space in 2009 and has since been one of the up-and-coming neighborhood’s hip draws, known for its elaborate cocktails served over crystal-clear blocks of “rock ice” that mixologists carve by hand behind the bar.

It is the only tenant in the two-story, 3,000-square-foot building adorned with a glowing neon “BAR” sign and sits between the gritty strip of Jackson Avenue and another Rockrose property.

Last year the developer laid down $48 million to buy the six-story, 320,760-square-foot factory formerly owned by the Eagle Electric Manufacturing Co. with plans to develop the site into a 700-unit, high-rise luxury tower in the same vein as the Archive, a historic warehouse Rockrose refurbished in the West Village.

The Eagle factory’s position on the back of its block next to Sunnyside Yards presented a challenge for the developer, however.

The building stretches between two side streets and is cut off from Jackson Avenue by a handful of properties stretching 100 feet deep, and in order to maximize visibility developers usually want to bring their properties out to the busiest thoroughfare.

A spokesman for Rockrose said it was premature to discuss what will happen to the bar.

“It’s still a little too early to discuss the plans for Dutch Kills,” spokesman Richard Edmonds said.

The bar’s owner declined to comment, but it is likely Rockrose will find a solution that keeps a neighborhood favorite from straying too far.

One Long Island City insider called Rockrose the definition of a patient company.

The developer has been invested in Long Island City since 1988, when it purchased the property that would eventually become the Linc LIC. The company plans to open its newest tower Nov. 25.

In 2011, the family-run business threw a monthlong series of Boca Raton-themed pool parties inside rubbish containers, and this past summer Rockrose installed the M. Wells Steakhouse inside a former auto repair shop, at 43-14 Crescent St. — all with the strategy of building up and maintaining the neighborhood’s cachet.

Reach reporter Rich Bockmann by e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at 718-260-4574.