Assemblyman Joseph R. Lentol (Williamsburg/Greenpoint) this week threw his support behind the first new privately-financed manufacturing/industrial space in Brooklyn in 40 years.
Co-developers Heritage Equity Partners and Rubenstein Partners are proposing a 480,000-square-foot project at 25 Kent Avenue between Willamsburg and Greenpoint as the first ground-up speculative commercial building as something along the lines of the Brooklyn Navy Yard or Industry City. Under the plan, the square block development will be bounded by North 12th and North 13th Streets, and between Wythe and Kent Avenues near to the soon-to-be-expanded Bushwick Inlet Park.
“At the heart of a resilient community is a diverse and vibrant atmosphere. Neighborhoods must have varied uses, from residential and recreational space to manufacturing and commercial space. When the Williamsburg/Greenpoint waterfront was rezoned one of the most crucial facets of a mixed-use community was forgotten – commercial space. Along the waterfront, which was primarily manufacturing, shipbuilders would walk to work and walk home for lunch,” said Lentol.
“But times changed. Now we have more advanced technology. Manufacturing has largely shifted to a new form of light innovative manufacturing. We must provide space for these new creative economies, while also ensuring that we have much-needed commercial space to encourage a new WALK2WORK, mixed-used community. I am in full support of the 25 Kent Avenue project and I look forward to my district’s vibrant future,” he added,
Lentol’s comments came just before Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams held a public hearing held tonight as part of the official land use review process known as ULURP (Uniform Land Use Review Procedure) to move the project forward.
Deputy Brooklyn Borough President Diana Reyna presided over the hearing which reportedly drew mixed reactions. The hearing was called as part of the developers plan to get a zoning text amendment to increase the square footage for office use in development projects because light-industrial space would be included.
“If approved, the proposal for 25 Kent Avenue will achieve something that hasn’t been done in decades: private sector creation of both office and industrial space for the creative and tech companies that are fueling New York City’s economic resurgence,” saidToby Moskovits, CEO of Heritage Equity Partners.
“We are encouraged by the support the project continues to receive from a broad cross section of people who live and work in Williamsburg and care about New York’s future. We look forward to the Borough President’s recommendation and ultimately to bringing this project to fruition,” she added.
Adams’s office is expected to give their recommendations for the project by April 8.