BY: NIKOLAI FEDAK ON SEPTEMBER 25TH 2014 AT 3:15 PM
420 Albee Square, currently empty parking lots, via Google Maps
Downtown Brooklyn continues to gain serious height, and the neighborhood’s largest filing of the Great Permit Frenzy of 2014 has come in for 420 Albee Square, which JEMB Realty is developing. The new building permit lists SLCE as the architect of record, and the tower will stand 65 stories and 620 feet tall, becoming one of the tallest buildings in the borough.
As-is, 420 Albee Square will rise higher than either 388 Bridge — Brooklyn’s current tallest — or the Avalon Willoughby Square, which will soon eclipse it. Both of those towers crest just under the 600-foot mark.
Permits for JDS’ 340 Flatbush Ave. Extension would make that building the tallest by far, standing nearly 800 feet tall, and the third phase of City Point could also rise to a similar height. While 420 Albee Square is major compared to the current skyline, it will actually be fairly contextual to the Downtown Brooklyn of the 2020s, which will become increasingly prominent from perspectives across the region.
Per The Real Deal, JEMB picked up the site for $38.5 million in April, though additional air rights must be part of the assemblage, as the tower will measure 751,548 square feet. That will be split between 271,203 square feet of commercial development on the lower levels, and 480,435 square feet of residential space, divided amongst 620 apartments.
Downtown Brooklyn’s residential development boom continues to accelerate, and buildings like 420 Albee Square are necessary en-masse to solve the city’s affordability crisis. The only remedy is increased supply in areas with adequate transit capacity, and while many neighborhoods face restrictive zoning that eliminates otherwise prime opportunities, Downtown Brooklyn serves as a model for how transformation can occur. New units — likely rentals — will still be relatively expensive, but the sudden surge in inventory is likely to mitigate future increases, as thousands of apartments will soon be rising simultaneously.
Whether construction is around the corner or not remains to be seen, as JEMB could not be reached for comment today.