It was only last summer that the latest major addition to Williamsburg’s nascent office development boom had received a special permit from the City. Now, construction on 25 Kent Avenue is well underway, with the latest from 5B Films showing the first floor beginning to rise.
25 Kent Avenue
North Williamsburg is one step closer to getting its first new office building in half a century. Yesterday, the full City Council approved a special permit with a new kind of industrial and commercial zoning for the eight-story project at 25 Kent Avenue.
In early January, the city’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) kicked off for Heritage Equity Partners’ planned eight-story, 400,000-square-foot office/manufacturing building at 25 Kent Avenue, in northern Williamsburg. Now, the City Planning Commission is expected to support rezoning the block for the project, Crain’s reports. But the approval comes at the expense of the proposed neighborhood rezoning, which would establish an “Enhanced Business District” over most of the North Williamsburg Industrial Business Zone (IBZ), allowing for the surrounding blocks to be developed similar to 25 Kent Avenue. The rezoning would grant developers a boost in allowed commercial FAR in exchange for the inclusion of light manufacturing space, identical to a normal community facility FAR bonus. City Planning is expected to approve the application later this month, at which point the City Council will vote on the project. Mayor Bill de Blasio will complete the ULURP review if he decides to sign off on City Council’s pending approval. Rubenstein Partners is partnered in the project, and Gensler and Hollwich Kushner Architecture (a.k.a HWKN) is designing.
Just as the MTA considers a lengthy L train shutdown to repair flood damage from Hurricane Sandy, the Department of City Planning has kicked off the approval process for Williamsburg’s first new office building in decades. But the rezoning for the development at 25 Kent Avenue includes a policy that could shape industrial areas throughout the city. It would create a special district that allows developers to trade light manufacturing space for extra office space.
In the spring of 2015, Heritage Equity Partners was preparing to file for a special permit that would allow it to build a nine-story, 480,000 square-foot office building at 25 Kent Avenue, within northern Williamsburg’s manufacturing zone. Current zoning requires half the building to be community facility space, but the permit would eliminate such mandate so the entire structure can be used for office or light manufacturing space. According to Crain’s, the Department of City Planning certified the application, which means the city’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) has officially begun. The building would take up an entire city block and include a public plaza. The site’s old warehouses have already been demolished. In related news, Philadelphia-based Rubenstein Partners is purchasing an undisclosed stake in the project.