Thursday, November 5, 2015

Builder Plans to Construct Brooklyn's Tallest Building

Plans for a large commercial office building in downtown Brooklyn, the neighborhood's first in over a decade, have been unveiled by the city. It will be Brooklyn’s biggest building — and the first ground-up commercial office tower to be delivered to downtown through a 2004 neighborhood rezoning.

Manhattan-based JEMB Realty will construct a 40-story, 600-foot-high tower with 400,000 square feet of office space at 420-428 Albee Square, between Fulton and Willoughby streets, in the heart of downtown Brooklyn —a development the DiBlasio administration said is part of its goal of meeting the demand citywide for 60 million square feet of office space expected during the next decade.

The project, which is expected to break ground next year and be completed by 2018, would surpass a 590-foot-high residential tower at 388 Bridge Street in height — although other Brooklyn projects in the pipeline could potentially be taller, including a 1,000-foot-high mixed-use building proposed for 340 Flatbush Avenue Extension.

"This is a fantastic project that will stoke Brooklyn's economic engine and deliver the kind of high-quality jobs and careers we want to secure our place in the 21st-century economy," said Alicia Glen, Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development.

Original plans for 420 Albee Square called for a 65-story tower with 650 apartments and over 270,000 square feet of commercial space on the lower floors. After the city persuaded JEMB to scale the building down to 35 stories in March, the developer decided to switch the project to office space.

The city’s Economic Development Corp. agreed to sell JEMB 120,000 square feet of air rights to adjacent city-owned property to facilitate the deal and help ensure the development would be an office tower instead of a mix of apartments and commercial space, as was previously planned.

The transaction was part of the Willoughby Square project, which involves the construction of an underground parking garage nearby on Willoughby Street between Gold and Duffield Streets that will be topped with a public park.

The development will be the first ground-up commercial project in downtown Brooklyn since the area was rezoned in 2004. Instead of fostering more commercial square footage as intended, the rezoning has brought only residential towers so far.

Prior to the rezoning 11 years ago, the area’s 16-block core — including Fulton Mall, MetroTech complex and the Jay and Willoughby street corridors — was a struggling business district filled with 99-cent stores.

Developer Morris Bailey boasted his planned building – designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates – would be “iconic.”

Visit Our Sponsors

Page Views

Since October 1, 2011