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First look at One Willoughby Square, Downtown Brooklyn’s 500-foot office tower

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No glass curtain wall for this skyscraper


Two years after it was first announced, and just a few months after FXFOWLE signed on, the first renderings for One Willoughby Square—the 495-foot office tower that’s rising in Downtown Brooklyn—have appeared. The Commercial Observer was the first to unveil the images, which show off both the skyscraper’s exterior and its interior.

Developer JEMB Realty, which has been attached to the project from the get-go, finalized a deal with the city for the 3,132-square-foot parcel of land this summer, clearing the way for the building to move forward. JEMB had initially planned to construct a condo, but scrapped those plans after making a deal with the NYCEDC to gain air rights in exchange for building an office tower.

That’s not the only thing that’s changed: The building was initially planned as a 65-story, nearly 700-foot-tall tower, but was eventually trimmed down to a (relatively) modest 495 feet. KPF had initially signed on to design, but dropped out at some point.


Dan Kaplan, a partner at FXFOWLE, told CO that the tower will be “rooted in what I think are the most classical New York-type buildings”—notably, by not having a glass curtain wall facade. (“It wants to feel rooted in Brooklyn as opposed to something that is in Hudson Yards or Shanghai,” Kaplan explained.) Floor plans for its offices will be wide open, with few columns or other obstructions.

And according to CO, “Every other floor in the building will have an outdoor balcony. In addition, there are three ‘super floors’ that will have 18-foot ceilings heights and terraces and loggias.”

In addition to office space, the building will have a 300-seat school; the whole thing is expected to wrap by 2021.