Private Developers and Local Officials Make Up Willoughby Park Missing Funds; 31 Penn Station Tower Sold to Savanna

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor The public park at Willoughby Square in Downtown Brooklyn will receive $8 million from private developers and local officials who teamed up to give a helping hand to this stalled project. According to the Brooklyn Daily [...]

The public park at Willoughby Square in Downtown Brooklyn will receive $8 million from private developers and local officials who teamed up to give a helping hand to this stalled project. According to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, the city had already invested $40 million in purchasing, relocating and designing the $70 million project. However, the Economic Development Corporation (EDC) decided to cut a $7 million capital budget that would have helped complete the one-acre park.

Courtesy of NY Department of City Planning

Residential developer Avalon Communities and the developer of City Point, a mixed-use complex near the park, have each agreed to contribute $2.5 million. Further funds coming from local officials will make up for the $8 million price tag. EDC spokesperson Patrick Muncie declared for the Eagle that the organization is looking for alternative financing options for this much-needed public open space and amenities.

In commercial real estate news, Crain’s New York Business reports that an 18-story office building located at 132 W. 31st Street near Madison Square Garden and Penn Station was acquired for around $130 million by Savanna, a New York-based real estate private equity firm. The company will spend another $26 million to renovate the 444,000-square-foot property. According to Savanna Managing Partner Christopher Schlank, the improvements should transform the Penn Plaza office tower into one of the top-tier buildings in Manhattan; according to Crain’s, the facility will have a new front entrance, upgraded lobby and interiors, as well as modernized elevators. For further details, read CPE‘s Nicholas Ziegler’s story here.