City opts not to rezone Con Ed site in W’burg for resi

Company had implied to potential buyers that a rezoning could be in the works

500 Kent Avenue and Alicia Glen
500 Kent Avenue and Alicia Glen

City Hall will not rezone a large piece of industrial property along the Williamsburg waterfront, even though the seller dangled the possibility in front of potential buyers.

Alicia Glen, deputy mayor for housing and economic development, last year said Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration would not support residential rezonings in Industrial Business Zones in order to protect jobs in those areas.

But that didn’t stop Consolidated Edison from making a potential rezoning part of its pitch as it looks to sell the 2.65-acre site it owns at 500 Kent Ave., which sits in the Brooklyn Navy Yard’s IBZ, Crain’s reported.

Con Ed noted nearby residential projects when it sent out requests for proposals earlier this year, which did not mention the fact that the site sits in the IBZ.

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“That is what sent up the red signals for us,” Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams said. “We are telling [Con Ed] to manage expectations for potential bidders by making it clear that this site is going to stay industrial.”

Con Ed also encouraged bidders to submit two proposed purchase prices, one with a rezoning and one as-of-right.

Sources told Crain’s that the de Blasio administration won’t support a rezoning after Adams and his deputy borough president sent a letter to Glen asking the administration to send a “strong signal” that it intended to keep its pledge to maintain the industrial nature of the area.

A buyer could build a 230,000-square-foot project on the site under the current zoning, which allows for manufacturing, office and some retail uses. [Crain’s]Rich Bockmann