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This one snuck right under our radar, since there were no For Sale signs: the former Kaye Billiards plant at 363 St. Marks is about to be gut-renovated and converted to 44 units of what looks to be nice, upscale condos.
The 30,000 sq ft, two-story industrial building that runs the entire block from 363 Prospect Place to 344 St Marks, just west of Washington Ave (behind Minor Arcana, Sit & Wonder and Bearded Lady), sold to Manhattan developer Eli Hamway back in June 2011 for $4.2 million. The space served as offsite storage for the Interfaith Hospital group until a few weeks ago, and was built in 1925 as a public parking garage. But its colorful history is from 1963 to 1981, when it served as the HQ and plant for Irving Kaye Co. – a somewhat legendary manufacturer of coin-op billiard tables, bumper pool tables, foosball tables, and coin-op arcade games founded in Manhattan in 1946.
Our hearts sank when we heard a rumor the building was to be demolished – but were pleasantly surprised to find the project is an adaptive-reuse from S3 Architects, a boutique shop that (unlike certain other architects working nearby) appears to specialize in tasteful, reverential conversions that retain as much character as possible while turning out an upscale finished product. At least that’s our take after browsing S3’s project gallery.
Billiard Factory Lofts will enlarge the existing space by 11,000 sq ft and adds a third and partial fourth floor to accommodate three triplex townhouses, seven duplex lofts, a gym, media room, and 22 indoor bike parking spaces. Looks like possible entrances on both Prospect Place and St. Marks.
No word yet on whether there will be a billiards room with a vintage Kaye table (but c’mon…they’ve just gotta put one of these beauties in there!).