Brooklyn's First New Spec Office Building in 40 Years
It’s been 40 years since a ground-up, spec office building went up in Brooklyn. The drought will end when Heritage Equity Partners and the Rabsky Group open a 400k SF office project at 25 Kent Ave, catty-corner from the Wythe Hotel.
Set to start the ULURP phase in the next few weeks, it’s being dubbed the Williamsburg Generator and is being spearheaded by Heritage Equity Partners. No tenants are lined up, but Newmark Grubb Knight Frank tri-state president David Falk, who’s heading up the leasing team, says he’s in early talks with multiple prospective tenants. “So many people working in Brooklyn are working under a rock,” David says—in small offices, at home, and without the Class-A amenities the building will bring. David says the Generator will change that, bringing tenants that could go anywhere but choose Brooklyn.
David says he’s looking for an anchor tenant that would take as much as a couple of hundred thousand square feet but also leave room for several smaller ones that’d take 30k SF or 40k SF each. David says he’d like to zero in on a mix of light manufacturing tenants and creative or tech tenants. As the broker who brought Twitter to its 140k SF Chelsea HQ last year, he’d know where to find them. “We know there’s demand to be in Brooklyn,” he says. “We’re going to find out the level of that demand.”
One design challenge, says Gensler regional managing principal Joe Brancato, who's heading up the design, is giving small and large tenants some identity and a way to interact. The building’s two eight-story towers will be joined by a “bridge” to house communal space that Joe says will give folks from different firms a seamless way to bump into each other or just chill out. It’ll have 16-foot ceilings that’ll give the space the kind of loft-like feeling found in converted office buildings that house the sorts of tenants the project hopes to lure. “it’s not just about the square foot but also the cubic foot,” Joe says. The project, which is aiming for LEED Silver, will have views of the waterfront and Bushwick Inlet Park, and retail on the ground floor. Ground's set to break in the next couple of weeks.