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New details emerge for 942-foot Downtown Brooklyn tower

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The project at 625 Fulton would include an elementary school as well as office and retail space


At a community board meeting last week, developers unveiled plans for what could become one of Brooklyn’s tallest buildings, Brooklyn Daily Eagle first reported.

Developer Rabsky Group and architects at Skidmore Owings & Merrill unveiled renderings for 625 Fulton Street at the Brooklyn Community Board 2 meeting. The mixed-use project is set to include event and office space, residential units, a school, and commercial space.

But developers are seeking a rezoning that would allow them to build the mixed-use project. The 942-foot tower is expected to have roughly 79 stories (without the zoning changes, it would rise up to 821 feet, documents say.)

The developer’s rezoning draft scope of work documents note that the project would have 739,000 square feet of commercial office space, 50,547 square feet of retail space, a 640-seat public elementary school of up to 82,500 square feet, 902 residential units or up to 843,346 square feet, 10,913 square feet of “outdoor publicly accessible open space,” and an “enclosed publicly accessible area” of 2,410 square feet.

Documents also say construction is expected to begin in 2020, to be completed by 2023 and that developers are looking to make up to 25 percent of residential units affordable.

“Downtown Brooklyn was rezoned to create a vibrant, mixed-use neighborhood, but what we all got instead in the intervening time was more than 9 million square feet of residential building,” Frank Mahan, associate director at Skidmore Owings & Merrill, reportedly said during the community board meeting, referring to the 2004 Downtown Brooklyn rezoning.

“We don’t have a mixed-use, well-functioning neighborhood. Large tenants don’t even bother looking in Brooklyn; they pass us right by.”

But advocates at the Municipal Art Society of New York (MAS) have expressed concerns on the proposal as it stands.

“MAS believes the project’s commercial development and proposed elementary school address a glaring need in Downtown Brooklyn,” a statement by the organization reads. “However, the project also needs to address the area’s lack of open space, public child-care facilities, and affordable housing.”

“A project of this magnitude should also implement LEED or equivalent design practices for reducing energy and water consumption, and apply appropriate mitigation strategies to address adverse impacts on child care facilities and shadows,” the statement adds.