Skip to Content
CityRealty Logo


All renderings credit of MNS Real Estate / The Umbrella Factory) All renderings credit of MNS Real Estate / The Umbrella Factory)
While not so pronounced today, New York City was once the commercial emporium of the world, employing its bustling port to distribute countless products — from Shellac to Animal Crackers — around the globe. We did invent toilet paper, cardboard, and air conditioning after all (among many other things). We even made umbrellas until recently, when the Embee Sunshade Company churned out parasols, rain, beach, and garden umbrellas on the ground floor of their three-floor factory building at 722 Metropolitan Avenue in East Williamsburg.
Founded in 1933 on the Lower East Side by Polish immigrant Morris Brickner, Embee Sunshade Company's multi-colored umbrellas were a common sight around the boroughs: shielding lifeguards, hot dog carts, and sidewalk cafes from the sun and unpredictable weather. After being run by a third generation of the Brickner family, the business shuttered nearly a decade ago as it became increasingly difficult to compete with cheaper markets abroad. Moreso, giving in to the pressures of Williamsburg's eastward-bound gentrification proved too hard to resist for building owner Barnett Brickner, and after evicting artists from other spaces in the building, sold the three-story structure to SL Development for $23.25 million in 2017.
SL Development with the guidance of Rawling Architects conceived a plan that would preserve the early 20th-century exterior brick walls while reimagining the interiors with residential condos framed by heavy timber construction. According to the developer, there are no other heavy timber buildings in New York City at this scale, and large quantities of structural wood had to be sourced from Alabama. Utilizing unused development rights, four new floors were added on top of the former horse stable building (they really don't build them like they used to). While the addition's metal and glass appearance breaks from the historic building below, the rhythm and proportions of the massing complement the heterogenous small-scale buildings that define the neighborhood.

The Umbrella Lofts (Credit: MNS Real Estate / The Umbrella Factory).

“With its original brick facade, the new heavy timber construction, and thoughtful modern design interiors, this beautiful and unique building will represent the spirit of the charismatic neighborhood as a beacon for years to come" - Page Leidy, Managing Principal, SL Development

After a half-decade of meticulous construction, the next chapter for the storied site has finally arrived. Sensibly named The Umbrella Factory, 69 studio to three-bedroom apartments have risen out of its preserved brick walls. Sales are being led by MNS Real Estate with asking prices starting from an approachable $595K for studios, $995K for one-bedrooms, and $1.595 million for two-bedrooms.
Typical living room showing the project's timber-framed construction
Typical kitchen finishes
Typical baths
Typical living room of a penthouse unit
"The entire development team has been committed to embracing the integrity and history of the Umbrella Factory while modernizing it for today's sophisticated buyer,” said Page Leidy, Managing Principal of SL Development. To that end, envisioned as industrial-chic lofts, the residences are completely modernized but embody a stylish industrial aesthetic with exposed heavy timber beams complemented with matte black accents. All homes feature high ceilings, wide-plank floors, energy-efficient soundproof windows, central air, and a Bosch washer and dryer. Kitchens are outfitted with top-of-the-line appliances from Bertazzoni and Bosch and paired with custom cabinetry and Marra Blanca quartz countertops and backsplash.
THe Umbreall a Lofts The Umbrella Lofts common roof deck (Credit: MNS Real Estate / The Umbrella Factory).
Residents will have access to beautiful amenities including a roof deck equipped with a BBQ station, private and communal dining areas, lounge seating, and views of the Manhattan skyline. A dedicated doorman is on staff, and amenities include a fitness center, bike room, and on-site parking. The building's pet-friendly attitude comes through in the amenities as well - they include a dog-washing station and a rooftop dog run.
The Umbrella Factory sits on a quiet block in a primarily residential area of the neighborhood, albeit one blocks from the Williamsburg waterfront, McCarren Park, and the dining and nightlife of Graham Avenue. Conveniently located on the same block as the Graham Avenue L train stop, residents can be in Manhattan in less than 10 minutes. Other commuting alternatives include the BQE, the NYC Ferry, CitiBike docks and the G, J, M and Z lines only minutes away.
722-Metropolitan-Avenue Google Earth aerial view of The Umbrella Factory

Schedule an Appointment
To tour this property, just complete the information below.
  1. Your message (optional)
  2. Your name
  3. Your phone
  4. Your email address
Or call us at (212) 755-5544

Additional Info About the Building

Book a Tour or get more information about any of these properties