Heritage Equity Wins Go-Ahead for Brooklyn Mixed-Use

The 480,000-square-foot pilot project in Williamsburg just obtained two critical authorizations.

By Barbra Murray, Contributing Editor

25 Kent, Brooklyn, New York City
25 Kent, Brooklyn, New York City, rendering

New York—Approval by the New York City Council Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises? Check. Approval by the Committee on Land Use? Check. Heritage Equity Partners and Rubenstein Partners are moving closer toward kicking off development at 25 Kent. The 480,000-square-foot mixed-use project in the Williamsburg area of Brooklyn has just obtained critical authorizations for the office and industrial development from the two city agencies.

More than a few local leaders are throwing their backing behind Heritage and its partner. “We’re very excited and grateful for the support of elected officials working on this for over three years,” Toby Moskovits, CEO of Heritage Equity Partners, told Commercial Property Executive. “25 Kent is described by the City as a pilot project, including both office and light manufacturing, and hopefully it will encourage others to follow in our path and increase the stock.”

Rubenstein joined the project when it acquired a $132.4 million stake in the development from Simon Dushinsky and Yoel Goldman in December 2015, according to a report by JLL.

25 Kent will be the first ground-up speculative commercial development to sprout up in Brooklyn in four decades, and it will feature the first light industrial square footage built by the private sector in more than a generation. Designed by architectural firms Gensler and HWKN, the eight-story building’s Class A office space will cater to the technology and creative sectors, providing accommodations that will come not a moment too soon.

25 Kent, Brooklyn, New York City, rendering
25 Kent, Brooklyn, New York City, rendering

“There’s a huge demand and it’s continuing to go grow,” Moskovits said. “What’s very unique about Brooklyn is it has a really educated tech workforce. It’s crucial for companies in the knowledge economy to get access to the best employees, and these employees are wanting to work where they live, and that is driving the phenomenon. The creative economy and knowledge workers are making the choice to live in this borough.”

And with the transformations occurring in Brooklyn, office and industrial space can reasonably go hand in hand. A growing number of innovative companies have taken industrial space in the area and more are coming. Amazon signed on for space at Liberty View Industrial Plaza last year. The 180,000-square-foot Manufacture New York’s Manufacturing Innovation Centeroffering space for apparel, textile and wearable tech manufacturers and suppliersfor example, is a sign of the times in Brooklyn. So 25 Kent fits the bill.

“We believe that there’s an opportunity to create a diversified building that’s integrated with companies across the spectrum, as well as light manufacturing, that are capturing a lot of interest using new innovation, which is really the backbone of what’s happening,” added Moskovits.

Once Heritage and Rubenstein garner the approval of the full City Council, all requisite hurdles will have been cleared. The partners hope to commence initial site prep in August and move forward on fuller remediation during the fall.