Developers propose Brooklyn's largest office building to boost its booming market

Dive Brief:

  • Developer Greenland Forest City  a partnership between New York City developers Forest City Ratner and Chinese real estate company Greenland Holdings  have revealed details of their plan for the largest office tower in Brooklyn, according to Crain’s New York Business.
  • The deal depends on Greenland Forest City being able to secure 1.1 million square feet of development rights for the 1.5 million square foot building’s future site across the street from the Barclays Center. If successful, developers said the tower would serve as an office space complement to its massive Pacific Park mixed-use development, also across the street.
  • The Downtown Brooklyn Partnership supports Greenland Forest City’s plan, citing a 1.6% office vacancy rate in downtown Brooklyn, according to Crain’s. Downtown Brooklyn Partnership President Tucker Reed said the area risks "losing significant investment and further job growth" if there isn’t additional office space made available soon.

Dive Insight:

Brooklyn's popularity as a business destination is growing, Crain's reported, and investors and developers have converted warehouses into office space as well as built new space to meet demand. Another reason that the prospect of an office tower across from the Barclays Center is gaining support is because it is across from Brooklyn’s largest transit hub, where the building’s tenants would have access to nine subway lines and the Long Island Rail Road.

Currently, Greenland Forest City only has rights to construct a building as big as 440,000 square feet on the site but has pitched the concept for a larger one to neighborhood and state economic-development officials as a way to preserve the open plaza space in front of the Barclays Center. To secure rights, Greenland Forest City must go through the state review process with Empire State Development Corp, the state-controlled agency that oversees development in New York.

In addition to a burgeoning office market, Brooklyn is also seeing a boom in its residential sector as well. In December, research firm Axiometrics said the borough will add more apartments  6,073  in 2016 than any other submarket in the U.S. The research firm also said that 2,001 additional units are already scheduled for 2017.

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Commercial Building