When downtown Brooklyn was rezoned for high-density development 10 years ago, the city envisioned office towers along the hotels and residential buildings that are already rising. Unfortunately office rents in the area are still too low for that kind of new construction to pencil out, and the rezoning’s been a disappointment for those looking to see such development in the heart of Brooklyn.
Speculative office builders aren’t likely to descend on Livingston Street any time soon, but one group is planning to add a bit of new office and medical space to the neighborhood: the New York City Hotel and Hotel Trades Council’s Employee Benefit Funds.
The labor union’s healthcare and pension arm picked up a parking lot at 620 Fulton Street last year for $19 million (technically in Fort Greene), with the intention of building a $90 million medical center, with everything from doctors and dentists offices to a pharmacy for unionized hotel workers and their families.
Now, Francis Cauffman – an architectural practice that’s done a lot of work in the past for healthcare clients – has filed for a new building permit at 620 Fulton. According to the application, the 165,000-square foot building would rise 12 stories, but with generous ceiling heights that bump its overall height to 177 feet. The structure on the south side of Fulton, between Ashland Place and St. Felix Street, will be fairly bulky, occupying about 80 percent of its lot, but will include a 2,800-square foot open plaza area.
It would have 132,000 square feet of usable space, with retail on the ground floor to bring in a bit of income, walk-in healthcare facilities through the fifth floor, and then office space above, per the Schedule A filing.
The new building would presumably leave the Employee Benefit Funds’s existing downtown Brooklyn health center, at 68-80 Schermerhorn Street, available for other uses – potentially including redevelopment, with its generous zoning.
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