The Real Deal New York

Ranking Brooklyn’s most active developers

Two Trees topped the list, followed by the Chetrit Group
By Eddie Small |
Research by Adam Pincus
March 29, 2018 07:00AM

From left: 325 Kent Avenue, Jed Walentas, Joseph Chetrit and 9 DeKalb Avenue (Credit: COOKFOX, Michael McWeeney and SHoP Architects)

Trendy Brooklyn neighborhoods like Dumbo and Williamsburg are still seeing plenty of new projects, but as the borough’s explosive popularity continues, its most active developers are coming to less heralded neighborhoods as well, ranging from East New York to Flatbush.

Two Trees Development and the Chetrit Group took the top two spots, respectively, for Brooklyn’s most active developers, according to a data analysis by The Real Deal. Two Trees is working on more than 1.7 million square feet of development, while Chetrit is working on more than 1.2 million square feet of development.

The amount of development in the borough still trails Manhattan by a fairly wide margin, as the top developers there — Related Companies and Brookfield Property Partners — are respectively at work on 9 million and 3.8 million square feet of development. Most of that volume is comprised of office building skyscrapers being developed in Hudson Yards.

TRD got its numbers by compiling a list of new buildings and major renovations filed with the city’s Department of Buildings since 2005 that have not yet been issued a temporary certificate of occupancy or, if a condo building, declared effective as of mid-January 2018. Here are the top 10 developers by square footage:

1) Two Trees Management | 1.74 million sf
Two Trees has become synonymous with Dumbo over the years and has arguably done more than any other company to turn the neighborhood from an industrial hub into a prime spot for luxury developments. However, the firm is now focusing more on Williamsburg, where it is developing the $3 billion Domino Sugar refinery site on Kent Avenue along the waterfront. In that 11-acre project, the firm’s overall plans call for 2.9 million square feet of development. The company opened the first building on the site last year at 325 Kent Avenue and is seeking a $175 million construction loan for its building at 260 Kent Avenue. It also recently bought a pair of neighboring sites in Gowanus at 1-37 12th Street and 118 Second Avenue for more than $100 million.

The largest of its three buildings under construction is site B, where DOB plans call for 785,888 square feet and 680 residential units. (Two Trees describes it as a 1.1 million-square-foot structure, and at times DOB data deviates from a developer’s figures.)

2) Chetrit Group | 1.23 million sf
Chetrit Group’s largest Brooklyn project is the 556,164-square-foot development in Brooklyn Heights at 9 DeKalb Avenue, also known as 340 Flatbush Avenue Extension. The site is the former headquarters of Dime Savings Bank of New York, and Chetrit is planning a 73-story, 417-unit rental and condo tower there with JDS Development. Chetrit is also at work on the long-delayed Bossert Hotel project with Clipper Equity in Downtown Brooklyn 98 Montague Street.

3) Arker Companies | 1.12 million sf
Arker Companies took the No. 3 spot largely due to the multiple projects it has in East New York. The company is working on a 422-unit project at 894 Fountain Avenue, a 267-unit project at 911 Erskine Street and a 200-unit project at 10 Schroeders Walk, among others. Its Fountain Avenue project is its largest at more than 400,000 square feet and was the largest filed throughout the city in January. It will be split between 356,172 square feet of residential space and 55,148 square feet of commercial space.

4) LIVWRK | 1.06 million sf
LIVWRK’s biggest project is its joint effort with Kushner Companies and CIM Group at 85 Jay Street, which will span just over 878,000 square feet. The project will stand 21 stories tall and include 732 apartments, as well as more than 60,000 square feet of commercial space. The companies paid Jehovah’s Witnesses $345 million for the site in December 2016. LIVWRK is also working on projects at 200 Kent Avenue in Williamsburg and at 109 Montgomery Street in Crown Heights.

5) All Year Management | 1.03 million sf
Yoel Goldman’s firm had projects located all throughout Brooklyn, from Bushwick to Brooklyn Heights to Bedford-Stuyvesant. Its largest project is the 315,032-square-foot development at 123 Melrose Street in Bushwick, the Rheingold Brewery site, where it is planning a development with 468 residential units. Other projects include a five-story, 43-unit building at 261 Skillman Street in Bed-Stuy and a 28-story, 150-unit building at 436 Albee Square in Brooklyn Heights.

6) CIM Group | 1.01 million sf
CIM Group came in at No. 6 thanks to a pair of large projects in Crown Heights and Dumbo. The Los Angeles-based private equity firm has partnered with LIVWRK and Kushner Companies — also both on this list — for the massive project at 85 Jay Street in Dumbo, and it has partnered with LIVWRK on their large project at 109 Montgomery Street in Crown Heights as well. The firm is based in Los Angeles and is well known for buying 432 Park Avenue from Harry Macklowe’s lenders in 2011 for $305 million.

7) Rabsky Group | 915,000 sf
No. 7 on the list was Rabsky Group, which is at work on projects throughout the borough. Its largest is the 343,724-square-foot property at 10 Montieth Street in Bushwick, also part of the Rheingold Brewery site, which will be eight stories tall and have 500 residential units. The company is also working on a 193-unit project in Crown Heights at 564 Saint John’s Place and a 70-unit project in Park Slope at 581 4th Avenue. The company is trying to develop the Broadway Triangle site in Williamsburg as well, although the project has been bogged down by controversy over the impact it could have on racial segregation.

8) Kushner Companies | 878,000 sf
Kushner Companies’ aforementioned project at 85 Jay Street in Dumbo was the main reason it made the list. The company is also working on a project in Dumbo at 55 Prospect Street, where they are renovating the building and converting retail on the ground floor into a dance studio.

9) Hudson Companies | 875,000 sf
Hudson Companies’ largest project spans 294,773 square feet at 1 Clinton Street in Brooklyn Heights. The massive development at the former site of the Brooklyn Heights Library would stand 36 stories and 409 feet tall with 134 residential units, and Hudson is targeting a roughly $478 million sellout. The company is also working on a pair of projects in Flatbush: one at 344 Clarkson Avenue that will have 250 units and span just under 200,000 square feet and one at 1299 Nostrand Avenue that will have 170 units and span 145,456 square feet.

10) Cammeby’s International Group | 813,000 sf
Ruby Schron’s firm owes its spot on the list to its work on Coney Island. Its developments there are split between a 703,875-square-foot project at 532 Neptune Avenue that will be 42 stories tall and contain 576 residential units and a 109,376-square-foot development across the street at 614 Sheepshead Bay Road that will be seven stories tall with commercial and community space. The building at 532 Neptune Avenue will be the tallest tower on Coney Island and replace the Trump Village Shopping Center.

Top Brooklyn developers 1Q 2018
RankDeveloperSq. ft.No. of projectNo. of resi units
1Two Trees Management1,737,69231,198
2Chetrit Group1,225,9115934
3Arker Companies1,124,70371,228
4LIVWRK1,055,0103895
5All Year Management1,030,174191,251
6CIM Group1,009,8402895
7Rabsky Group915,49981012
8Kushner Companies878,0032732
9Hudson Companies874,7877744
10Cammeby's International Group813,2512576
11Spitzer Enterprises800,1562857
12Slate Property Group785,1609994
13Steiner NYC754,03870
14Cornell Realty Management694,6367657
15Extell Development686,8301458
Source: The Real Deal analysis of new buildings (NB) and major renovations (A1) filed with the NYC Department of Buildings since 2005 that have not been abandoned or withdrawn or issued a temporary certificate of occupancy or, if a condo building, declared effective as of mid-January 2018.