May 29, 2012 | Short Order
Jacques Torres covets 40,000 sq.ft. in Brooklyn Army Terminal.
Jacques Torres signs his book “A Year in Chocolate” at Taste of the Upper West Side. Photo: Marie Scott
The minute he saw it, Jacques Torres lusted for a 40,000 square foot space for lease in the historic Brooklyn Army Terminal Building where three million troops and tons of supplies passed through in World War 11. “It would be the perfect place to consolidate all that we’re doing,” he says. “And to build our brand.”
Torres who launched his chocolate business in a small spot down under the Manhattan Bridge on Water Street in 2000, and now has a factory on Hudson Street, has been negotiating with the city. So far, he says they have not reached a price he can afford.
At one point he noticed the city’s lawyer staring at his pinkie which happened to be covered with gold nail polish. “Every week my assistant paints this nail a different color,” he told then “It’s fabulooos,” he added. Everyone laughed, he says, and the negotiation continued. It is still going on.
Madame Choclat, Jacques’s wife Hasty, has been commuting to Manhattan from her chocolate shop in Beverly Hills. But now she has trained a chocolate maker to take over and her parents will run the store so she can move to New York and focus on starting a family.
The federal government commissioned the massive five million square-foot BAT complex in March 1918 to serve as a military depot. The war ended and it didn’t get heavy duty use until World War 11.
New York City bought the Cass Gilbert-designed buildings in l981 and invested millions to renovate them for offices and light manufacturing.
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