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New Look: Williamsburg’s Futuristic 87 Wythe Avenue


87 Wythe Avenue, rendering by Cycle Cities

Last month, we got a peek at a rare office building planned for Williamsburg, at 87 Wythe Avenue. Developed by Cayuga Capital Management and designed by Cycle Cities, the 12-story office-and-retail structure at the corner of North 10th Street would be one of the first major ground-up private office projects in Brooklyn in recent years, signaling the ascendant desirability of Williamsburg as a neighborhood for both working and living.

Now, YIMBY has the full renderings of the project, along with a close-up of the cantilevers that will define the exterior.

87 Wythe Avenue, rendering by Cycle Cities

“We set out to design a building that was distinct from the kind of ‘faux-factory’ aesthetic that has characterized some recent Williamsburg development,” wrote Cycle Cities founder Tony Daniels. “You might find precedents for our approach in office buildings of the ’20s, with their setbacks and terraces that correspond to zoning envelope requirements, like the Bricken Casino Building, Squibb Building, the telephone buildings of Ralph Walker, etc.,” though of course 87 Wythe also adds thoroughly modern cantilevers to the mix.

“The form,” he continued, “also allows for each floor to have some dedicated outdoor terrace space and large shaded windows which frame views across the East River. The building aims to satisfy demand for office space in the neighborhood by tech, culture and media firms who could locate elsewhere, but choose to be in Brooklyn.”

Cayuga Capital has assembled three different lots for the project, whose M1-2 zoning – which allows commercial and industrial uses, but no housing – affords them nearly 60,000 square feet of net commercial floor space. The developer has yet to seek construction financing, instead waiting on the okay from the Department of Buildings. But, he told the Journal, “we’re not concerned about the marketability of the office space. There is a pretty drastic shortage of nice office space in the north side of Williamsburg.”

The other major office project in the works in this corner of Brooklyn is at Two Trees’s Domino Sugar Refinery site. There, Jed Walentas asked the Bloomberg administration and later convinced de Blasio’s team to let them swap out a certain amount of residential space for a much larger quantity of office space (which speaks to local politicians’ irrational distaste for new housing). The office space will be located mainly in the old brick refinery building, whose large floor plates and windowless expanses are less suitable for apartments. That project, however, is on Williamsburg’s south side, which has a grittier feel and has not (yet?) caught up to the north side in desirability.

New Look: 87 Wythe Avenue, Ground-Up Northside Williamsburg Office Project


87 Wythe Avenue, rendering by Studio 4D

Yesterday, Crain’s reported that Toby Moskovits’s Heritage Equity Partners is looking to build the first spec office building in Brooklyn since the Roaring Twenties, at 25 Kent Avenue, between North 12th and 13th Streets in Williamsburg. YIMBY previously featured a concept for the lot that will not be built, but it illustrates the site’s enormous potential.

Moskovits has secured a $70 million construction loan for her eight-story boutique office property, but she’ll be racing Cayuga Capital Management to be first to build the first mini-office tower in Northside Williamsburg.

Just a few blocks away, Cayuga is also planning to build a 12-story office tower at 87 Wythe Avenue, between North 10th and 11th Streets. YIMBY has a new look at the project, designed by Gowanus-based Cycle Cities, led by architect Tony Daniels. This shot is a high aerial one, showing the building towering over the nearby Two Trees-developed Wythe Hotel and the surrounding low-slung industrial properties, with 87 Wythe almost eyeing the Midtown skyline across the East River.

87 Wythe Avenue, rendering from Cycle Cities

The two proposed office projects signal the rise of Northside Williamsburg as a commercial destination, lagging slightly behind the neighborhood’s status as perhaps the premier destination for outer borough residential investment. The area is already flush with tourists and retail and hotel developers, and now rents on the waterfront for the most fickle type of commercial construction – class A office space – have risen to the point where ground-up development starts to pencil out.

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