At 480 Van Brunt Street at Beard Street stands a block long red brick warehouse that is now home to a Fairway supermarket on its ground floor and residential and commercial tenants on the upper for floors. It was built for William Beard in 1869, the developer of Erie Basin, as a waystation to store goods coming and going from ships.
The building was acquired by the Brooklyn Wharf and Warehouse trust in the late 1800s, and after that quickly went bankrupt, by the New York Dock Company in 1901. It was a bonded warehouse, meaning that it was a secured building in which the government allowed goods to stored or manipulated duty free - the duty, or tax, was paid when the goods left the building.
The building, which has had several names over time, was used early on as a place to sort and store cotton. The building was built with thick brick walls to be fireproof, and has withstood several large cotton fires. In 2006, after a renovation by the O'Connell Organization, Fairway opened its doors.