The Real Deal New York

Bentley Zhao tests market for Prospect Park South’s largest condo project

The project would have 108 resi units plus parking
By Meenal Vamburkar | February 07, 2019 08:03AM

Bentley Zhao and a rendering of 222 East 21st Street

UPDATED, Feb. 7, 10:17 a.m.: Bentley Zhao’s New Empire Real Estate Development is moving ahead with plans for his latest Brooklyn condo project — which would be the biggest residential project in the neighborhood of Prospect Park South.

The developer filed a “test the market” application for its project at 222 East 21st Street (or 563-571 Ocean Avenue), according to filings with the New York State Attorney General. The submission is not an offering plan, but an attempt to gauge market interest in a project before going forward with a full application.

The nine-story building is slated to have 108 residential units along with commercial space and 54 parking spaces, according to the filing. The residential space would span about 82,000 square feet, according to permits previously filed with the city’s Department of Buildings. Plans also call for indoor and outdoor recreation space.

New Empire bought the two vacant parcels for $11.5 million in March. SM Architects is the architect of record.

In a statement, New Empire said the project will take architectural cues from the context of the neighborhood — and will feature landscaped terraces and a fitness center. Construction has started and the project is slated to be complete in fall of 2020.

In 2017, the company also launched sales at the Onyx Square condo project at 2128 Ocean Avenue in Sheepshead Bay. New Empire is based in Sunset Park, and Zhao also operates the New Empire EB-5 Regional Center from the company’s Third Avenue headquarters.