The Real Deal New York

Rabsky planning 36-story DoBro office tower

Albo Liberis replaced ODA as architect of proposed building on ex-Forest City site at 625 Fulton

October 03, 2016 06:15PM
By Mark Maurer Twitter_logo_blue copy

625 Fulton

625 Fulton Street in Downtown Brooklyn (inset: Nicholas Liberis and Yohay Albo of Albo Liberis)

Correction: A previous version of this story stated Rabsky Group was not proceeding with its office plans for 625 Fulton Street after ODA’s involvement with it ended.

UPDATED, 3:18 p.m., Oct. 5: Despite changing architects, Rabsky Group is proceeding with plans for an office tower at the vacant Downtown Brooklyn site it bought for $158 million, sources told The Real Deal

Albo Liberis is currently serving as the architect of the project, which will rise 36 stories at 625 Fulton Street, according to sources familiar with the project. The site is zoned for about 618,000 square feet as-of-right. The developer is seeking approval from the Department of City Planning to take advantage of a zoning bonus for providing a public plaza, in an effort to build as much as 700,000 square feet of leasable space, sources said.

The tower would hold roughly 570,000 square feet of office space and an approximately 40,000-square-foot retail component at the base, sources said.

Albo Liberis replaced Eran Chen’s ODA New York, a frequent collaborator with the Williamsburg-based developer, as the project’s architect earlier this year. When ODA was last involved, the concept was a 35-story office tower, sources said.

MPFP is serving as the landscape architect.

The site is zoned for both residential and commercial. Rabsky has not yet filed plans with the city’s Department of Buildings.

Forest City  tore down the seven-story office building there in 2013, with plans to construct a residential tower. The real estate investment trust first sought a development partner, but ultimately decided to dispose of the property.

The former building on the site housed such tenants as the Department of Motor Vehicles and the Internal Revenue Service.

The purchase was Rabsky’s largest to date. The development firm, led by Simon Dushinsky and Isaac Rabinowitz, secured an $80 million acquisition loan from Bank Leumi at the time of the closing in January.

The project also marked the residential-centric developer’s move into office development. Other than the office-and-retail conversion project at 101 Varick Avenue in East Williamsburg and a former minority stake in the early stages of the ground-up Williamsburg office project at 25 Kent Avenue, Rabsky does not have a track record of building office product.

Rents in prime Brooklyn office markets like Downtown Brooklyn averaged $54 per square foot in the second quarter, according to Newmark Grubb Knight Frank.

Representatives for Rabsky could not be immediately reached, while Albo Liberis’ Nick Liberis declined to comment.