New York Works: NYCEDC Announces 450,000-Square-Foot Office Building and School in Downtown Brooklyn
One Willoughby Square Creates a Building within a Building to Bring 380,000 Square Feet of Commercial, Ground Floor Retail and over 300 School Seats
One Willoughby Square Will Create over 1,100 Jobs as Part of Mayor de Blasio’s New York Works Plan
NEW YORK, NY— New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) today announced the sale of 420 Albee Square to JEMB Realty Corporation (JEMB). The development at 420 Albee Square, which was recently unveiled by JEMB as One Willoughby Square (One Willoughby), will bring over 380,000 square feet of commercial space, including ground floor retail, and over 300 school seats to Downtown Brooklyn. The project marks the first ground-up office development in Downtown Brooklyn since the neighborhood’s 2004 re-zoning. One Willoughby is expected to create over 1,100 permanent jobs and over 1,000 construction jobs.
The School Construction Authority (SCA) and NYCEDC worked with JEMB to establish a public school with over 300 seats within the first six floors of the new development and a dedicated entrance on Albee Square West. JEMB has also committed to a 25 percent Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprise (MWBE) participation goal for the project and will participate in the City’s HireNYC program to help New Yorkers access jobs in connection with One Willoughby.
As outlined in NYCEDC’s New York Works plan, One Willoughby is critical to the de Blasio Administration’s efforts to create good jobs by investing in new office space across the city. The City will create over 25,000 jobs by investing in emerging commercial centers in neighborhoods like Downtown Brooklyn and Long Island City, and by supporting office space growth in Manhattan. NYCEDC first announced the selection of JEMB to develop One Willoughby in 2015.
“This is a big win. We’re bringing long-awaited office space and a school to Downtown Brooklyn, complementing the swell of City investment and new development the neighborhood is seeing. This is a critical part of our jobs strategy – investing in new office space in neighborhoods like Downtown Brooklyn and Long Island City to create good jobs for more New Yorkers,” said NYCEDC President and CEO James Patchett.
"We are excited to be a part of this unique development and bring needed school seats to the Downtown Brooklyn community," said Lorraine Grillo, President and CEO of the New York City School Construction Authority. “With over 300 seats, this project is a meaningful investment that supports our growing neighborhoods."
"My administration has long advocated for additional office space and school seats in Downtown Brooklyn, recognizing the critical importance of supporting the neighborhood's development with a comparable level of infrastructure to sustainably support a growing 24-hour community,” said Borough President Eric L. Adams. “420 Albee Square is a positive response to that call and to the recommendations of a report I released last year emphasizing the need for investment in these areas. I commend the City, particularly the leadership at NYCEDC and SCA, for sharing our community's focus on addressing these post-2004 rezoning issues."
“This project is a win for local families and a boost to inclusive economic development in Downtown Brooklyn,” said Council Member Stephen Levin. “I’m grateful EDC, working with SCA, was able to seize the opportunity to provide over 300 school seats in a community with great need for additional educational capacity. A steadily growing economic center, Downtown Brooklyn will also be served by much-needed office space for local businesses. Let’s keep growing, learning, and working together.”
"It is important for our government to invest in industries and innovations that create pathways into the middle class. It is critical that we create opportunities for New Yorkers to connect with good jobs this project is another important step forward. I am happy to see that the children in this community will also be served and look forward to welcoming over 300 much needed public school seats to my district as well,” said State Senator Velmanette Montgomery.
“We are thrilled to be part of the redevelopment of Downtown Brooklyn, said Morris Bailey, Chairman of JEMB. “Public-private partnerships can produce catalytic projects and it was a pleasure to work with the de Blasio Administration to move this important project forward.”
“Brooklyn’s growing commercial and industrial sectors are not slowing down anytime soon, and 420 Albee Square is a perfect example of that momentum,” said Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Andrew Hoan. “This project goes beyond the workforce needs of today – it is helping to create more public spaces, enhance transit infrastructure and support education and creation for the future. Thanks to the hard work of Mayor de Blasio, Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen, NYCEDC President James Patchett and JEMB Realty, we are one step closer to expanding Brooklyn’s innovation coast.”
“It’s great to see the City substantively following through on the vision it laid out for Downtown Brooklyn as part of its New York Works plan,” said Regina Myer, President of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership. “With this project, the City is using all the tools at its disposal to address key infrastructure needs such as new school seats and Class A office space. We're thrilled to see this project take shape, and applaud the City and JEMB for their unique vision and commitment to this critical milestone.”
"Adding commercial space in the Brooklyn Tech Triangle is exactly what we need to be doing. The cluster of companies that exist in DUMBO and Downtown Brooklyn will only become stronger with this development and we are excited to see it coming to fruition," said DUMBO BID Executive Director Alexandria Sica.
"The Tech Triangle brings together innovators working across the fast-growing Brooklyn sectors of manufacturing, tech and design, allowing for endless collaboration amongst businesses,” said David Ehrenberg, President and CEO of the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation. “420 Albee will provide sorely needed space to support these sectors and further build on the Tech Triangle’s track record of high-quality job creation.”
NYCEDC sold JEMB a 3,132-square-foot parcel, with 150,000-square-feet of transfer development rights. JEMB will combine this property with an adjacent site, forming a development site of over 18,000-square-feet to bring long-awaited commercial space and school seats to Downtown Brooklyn.
Downtown Brooklyn is the largest office district outside of Manhattan, with over 23 million square feet of office space served by a dozen lines of transit service. The neighborhood is expected to see over 2 million new square feet of office space to be added or reactivated through 2018.
Announced last month, the New York Works plan will create 100,000 good jobs over the next 10 years to pull more New Yorkers into the middle class. As outlined in the plan, the City will invest in industries with high wages and growth potential, including cyber security, advanced manufacturing, freight, life sciences, and virtual and augmented reality, among others. Read the full plan here.
New York City Economic Development Corporation is the City's primary vehicle for promoting economic growth in each of the five boroughs. NYCEDC's mission is to stimulate growth through expansion and redevelopment programs that encourage investment, generate prosperity and strengthen the City's competitive position. NYCEDC serves as an advocate to the business community by building relationships with companies that allow them to take advantage of New York City's many opportunities. Find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, or visit our blog to learn more about NYCEDC projects and initiatives.