8 Huge Projects That Will Benefit Big-Time If The Proposed Streetcar Line Gets Built
The proposal for an above-ground streetcar line that would run from Sunset Park to Astoria was recently endorsed by Mayor Bill de Blasio as a way to link several up-and-coming neighborhoods that are underserved by existing transit options, but set to boom thanks to a slew of high-profile projects coming online soon. While it remains far from certain the project will ultimately get off the ground, here are some of the biggest projects that could benefit if the BK-Queens streetcar does get built:
1. 25 Kent Ave
This 480k SF ground-up spec office project spearheaded by Toby Moskovits’ Heritage Equity Partners broke ground last year. The building’s two eight-story towers will be joined by a “bridge” to house communal space. The project, which is aiming for LEED Silver certification, will have views of the waterfront and Bushwick Inlet Park, and retail on the ground floor. It’ll join Vice Media’s HQ in a neighborhood that hasn’t had a historical presence as an office destination.
2. Brooklyn Navy Yard
This 300-acre mixed-use project is the most extensive makeover the Navy Yard has received since WWII. A variety of innovative tenants have already been announced, including a 50k SF tech hub run by the UrbanTech NYC program, a Russ and Daughters industrial kitchen, and Refoundry, a program that teaches former inmates how to build and market their own repurposed furniture. Some parts of the project have already wrapped, while others won’t be completely finished until 2025.
3. Industry City
If there’s a mother of all adaptive reuse projects, this has to be it. This 6M SF collection of former warehouses on Sunset Park’s waterfront was acquired in August 2013 by Jamestown Properties, along with Belvedere Capital, Angelo Gordon and Cammeby’s International. The ownership’s been on a tear to turn it into a mixed-use hub for creative office and industrial “maker” tenants, and just this past October hit the 2M SF mark in new leases since assuming ownership. If you head over to the site now, signs of a real transformation are afoot at the formerly derelict 30-acre site: outdoor courtyards now have picnic tables and lights strung overhead, and Brooklyn Flea and Smorgasburg have given the complex a new vitality.
4. Dumbo Heights
Built on the site of a former Jehovah’s Witnesses compound, this five-building mixed-use campus has already signed several high-profile tenants like WeWork and Etsy. Billing it as the “bull's-eye of the Brooklyn tech triangle,” developers LIVWRK, Kushner Cos and RFR Realty have turned the buildings into a tech paradise, with conference rooms booked via app and hip design touches like scratch-and-sniff wallpaper. Asking rents for the project are in the range of $50 per SF and $60 per SF for office space.
5. Domino Sugar Factory
It’s been just under a year since shovels first moved dirt at Two Trees Management’s $1.5B mixed-use development on the former site of the Domino Sugar factory on the Williamsburg waterfront. The project will include five towers when it’s all finished. The iconic sugar refinery will stay, and be repurposed as offices. Two Trees principal Jed Walentas duked it out with the de Blasio Administration over the number of affordable units before settling on 700—about 30% of the total of unit count of 2,300.
6. Empire Stores
This renovation of a former coffee warehouse, developed by Midtown Equities and Rockwood Capital, will include 85 acres of park space in addition to 500k SF of office space split among four different buildings. The going rate for the project’s primo rooftop office space is $85/SF—a record for Brooklyn—with rent in the rest of the building going for $65/SF. The project is slated to wrap up this spring.
7. Greenpoint Landing
This 22-acre residential and retail development will have 1,400 affordable units, out of a total unit count of 5,500. Ground broke this past June on 21 Commercial St, one of three 100%-affordable buildings at the site, which will eventually total 10 buildings. L+M Development Partners and Greenpoint Landing Associates are teaming up on the 93-unit building, which will be joined in the current phase by two additional buildings that’ll include 103 "deeply affordable" units. This past October, Brookfield Property Partners announced that it will develop two buildings at the site, and picked up a tract of land for $60M. When it’s all said and done, the mega-project will include a restored street grid, four acres of public open space along the East River and a new school that houses 640 students.
8. Hunters Point South
This massive 30-acre mega-project will eventually bring roughly 5,000 apartments to Long Island City, with over half of those earmarked as affordable. Mayor de Blasio broke ground on the project’s second phase late last year, and two towers with 925 affordable apartments—as well as three schools and a 2,300 SF urban farm—have already been wrapped up. City Hall has already committed nearly $100M to the project as part of the mayor’s Housing New York plan, and the mayor says when it’s finished, Hunters Point will be “the biggest affordable housing project built in a generation.”