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 2014, YIMBY revealed renderings for a mixed-use redevelopment of the buildings at 119-123 Kent Avenue, in northern Williamsburg, located three blocks from the Bedford Avenue Station on the L train. Now, Commercial Observer reports CW Realty and Joyland Group have acquired the three four-story tenement buildings for $15.9 million, which measure roughly 15,000 square all together and come with 5,700 square feet of air rights. The new owners plan to combine the three buildings through the first floor and create a 5,625 square-foot retail space. It’s not known if the old proposal is being built, but the properties’ existing 18 total residential units will be renovated. Only two of them are currently occupied (and they are rent-stabilized).
Han Soon Yom, doing business as a Fort Lee, N.J.-based LLC, has filed applications for a five-story, nine-unit residential building at 490 Lorimer Street, in central Williamsburg, located four blocks south of the Lorimer Street stop on the L train. The project will measure 7,964 square feet in total, which means units will average 885 square feet apiece. The building will have storage space available to tenants in the cellar, as well as an outdoor common area on the roof. Anthony Morena’s MORTAR Arch + Dev is the architect of record. Demolition permits were filed in December to remove the existing three-story brick building.
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.
After years of stalled sites and legal limbo sparked by a controversial rezoning, development has kicked into high gear in the former industrial patch of South Williamsburg known as the Broadway Triangle. Plans have surfaced for a six-story residential building at 54 Throop Avenue, around the corner from the Lorimer Stop on the J and M trains.