Little Brother No More: 25 Kent Bringing Big Change To Brooklyn
Responding to a change in the neighborhood’s aesthetic and the desires of a young workforce, Williamsburg is set to welcome the neighborhood’s first speculative office property in 50 years.
On a brisk fall morning, developers Rubenstein Partners and Heritage Equity Partners gathered with elected officials and dignitaries for a ceremonial groundbreaking at the 500k SF mixed-use 25 Kent Ave, though construction is already well underway since financing was secured in late August.
"The opportunity we saw for office development was certainly built upon the base of the residential boom that’s taking place in Williamsburg and the borough as a whole,” Rubenstein Partners director for New York City Jeremiah Kane tells Bisnow.
“However, it’s not just the transformation of Williamsburg that sparked our interest,” he continues. “Office tenants were looking for different things 10 to 15 years ago. Their focus was almost entirely directed towards Midtown. Over time, TAMI tenants then began to look to Midtown South. Those locations have become quite expensive as a result, and many TAMI tenants are looking to Brooklyn, but not finding the product that they need. 25 Kent delivers it."
Jeremiah tells us today's workforce expects more amenities and a modern lifestyle to be included with their offer of employment. The change in taste is so drastic, that the once-standard-setting Manhattan address can be less of a priority for tenants interested in attracting young talent. In this context, new construction in this amenity-rich area of Brooklyn is a compelling proposition.
The president and founder of Heritage, Toby Moskovits, said 25 Kent helps fill a significant void in newly built commercial product here.
“This is a very important moment for Brooklyn,” Toby said.
Toby grew up working in her grandfather’s small business just a few blocks from the site. Furthering the commercial growth of a neighborhood that has already become known for its residential perks is a professional, and personal, success for her.
“This is a building that’s going to continue to perpetuate the deep roots of entrepreneurship, innovation and light manufacturing that is so critically a part of the fabric of Brooklyn," she says. "No neighborhood is whole without a place to work, as well as live and play."
Jeremiah and Toby were joined at the ceremony by Rep. Carolyn Maloney, state Assemblyman Joseph Lentol, NYC Council member Stephen Levin (above), Department of City Planning executive director Purnima Kapur and Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce CEO/president Carlo Scissura.
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