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New Looks at Huge Williamsburg Office Complex Designed By Gensler

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New renderings have emerged for the massive mixed-use development set to rise at 25 Kent Avenue —the first ground-up, largely office building to be built in Williamsburg in over a decade, according to the developers. The project is currently in the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) to request special permits for the construction of the new building. The co-developers, Heritage Equity Partners and Rubenstein Partners, are set to present their plans to the local community board for input as part of that procedure.

25 Kent Avenue is located within North Brooklyn's Industrial Business Zone, and as the zoning stands right now, the developers could construct their building as of right with retail and office space, but would also have to have almost half of it be a school, non-profit, religious or medical facility. The developers are trying to change that and add light manufacturing instead along with retail and office space.

"I am the third generation of my family to have a connection to this area, and I am very proud that we have brought this project to the point where it is ready to be heard by my colleagues on Community Board 1,"Toby Moskovits, the CEO of Heritage Equity Partners said in a press release. "New York City's production economy entrepreneurs and creative class want to grow their companies in Brooklyn, where their workforce lives and where the entrepreneurial spirit has thrived since the turn of the century. Our project will make a home for these job-creating industries in Williamsburg, the creative center of Brooklyn, diversifying and thus strengthening the local and regional economies."

In essence the developers want to create a space for start-ups between five and 25 employees —businesses that need to expand but often have to move to Manhattan or different parts of the borough due to lack of space. Jeremiah Kane, the NYC regional director of Rubenstein Partners used Blue Apron as an example of a business that was founded in Bushwick, but then had to move to Manhattan when it expanded.

This new project looks to prevent similar moves. Of the eight stories of the building, the basement will have space for parking and storage facilities. The ground floor is exclusively for retail. The second and third floor are divided between light manufacturing and commercial. And everything fourth floor upward is commercial space.

The developers have tapped Gensler to design the office space, in collaboration with HWKN. MPFP has been selected to do the landscaping, which includes a few public plazas on the ground floor. Joseph Brancato, a Regional Managing Principal at Gensler and the lead architect on the project, said the architects had chosen to focus on the industrial past of the neighborhood by using brick, but by also adding contemporary touches like a curtain wall made with glass.

If the ULURP is successful, construction on the site is expected to begin by the end of the year, and occupancy is expected by the end of next year. The developers declined to comment on the total estimated cost of the project, and also declined to divulge details on prospective tenants, though they said they have a few they are speaking with right now.


· All the 25 Kent Avenue Coverage [Curbed]