$400 million commercial building breaks ground in Williamsburg

Williamsburg will soon be home to one big, mixed-use building down by the East River.

A new, $400 million construction in the North Brooklyn nabe, called by some insiders, “biggest thing to happen to the Williamsburg market in over a generation,” broke ground on Friday, October 28.

According to Rubenstein Partners – a private real estate investment management and advisory firm which has secured the mortgage construction loan for the space to be built at 25 Kent Avenue, the eight-story, 480,00-square-foot “Class A” building will occupy an entire block adjacent to the East River waterfront and is aimed at the city’s creative and tech sectors, offering customizable and modern office and production space.

Among the uses envisioned for the building are light manufacturing and office space as well as retail (the latter restricted to the “as-of-right” space in the structure). The amount of office and light industrial space includes “bonus” space that the project earns through dedicating a percentage of its floor area to light industrial uses. Public open space is also included in the development.

 Rendering via Heritage Equity Partners / What the proposed building will look like.
Rendering via Heritage Equity Partners / What the proposed building will look like.

“We believe there is great anticipation in the market for 25 Kent Avenue,” said Jeremiah Kane, Rubenstein Partners’s Director for New York City. “Williamsburg is a dynamic, 24-hour neighborhood and we are expecting strong demand for new commercial space.  25 Kent Avenue will address an underserved need by offering a unique blend of office and industrial product under one roof.”

Together, Wells Fargo Bank, National Association and Natixis Real Estate Capital LLC committed the $197 million needed for the 500,000 square-foot property, whose development has been steered by Toby Moskovits at Heritage Equity Partners.

The project — the first to be constructed under a new type of zoning for commercial-industrial development that applies to six blocks along Kent Avenue — required approval by the City Planning Commission and the City Council. As a result of the changes, the building is denser and larger than what would previously have been allowed, and parking requirements are less stringent. Instead of requiring more than 1,000 parking spots, just 275 will be provided, along with 150 spots for bike parking.

“The idea of a community coming together is particularly apt here, because this project wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the community and the elected leaders here today,” said Kane at the groundbreaking. “We believe what we are building will in turn strengthen this community as well.  25 Kent will provide modern office space for growing companies and the first new light industrial space built in the neighborhood, specifically targeted toward the firms making and producing right here in Williamsburg.”

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