Savanna files plans for 23-story tower on DoBro site that was rezoned 3 years ago

The City Council rezoned the site back in 2016

Savanna's Chris Schlank and Nick Bienstock with renderings of 141 Willoughby Street (Credit: CityRealty)
Savanna's Chris Schlank and Nick Bienstock with renderings of 141 Willoughby Street (Credit: CityRealty)

Savanna is moving forward with its plans to bring a ground-up development in Downtown Brooklyn.

But the building the developer and real estate investor is now envisioning for 141 Willoughby Street is quite different than its original proposal.

Savanna filed an application with the city’s Buildings Department on Thursday to build a 23-story office tower at the site, which sits in between Gold Street and the Flatbush Avenue Extension. The project is zoned for about 310,000 square feet of commercial space.

Savanna declined to comment.

Savanna bought the site, comprised of two lots that sit across from the City Point megadevelopment, in 2014 for $28 million from the Institute of Design and Construction.

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At the time, the area was only zoned for 120,000 square feet of residential space. Savanna asked the city to change the zoning there to increase the permitted floor area ratio to allow for a 49-story, 372,000-square-foot mixed-use development. The project would have had 270 apartments, with a portion of that set aside for affordable housing.

But the City Council in 2016 instead approved a scaled-back version of that request, rezoning the site to allow for a 44-story, 310,000-square-foot development with 203 apartments, some of which also would be affordable. At the time, criticisms were raised over the impact of the change in the neighborhood.

The new filing does not call for any apartments. The cellar will be used for retail and storage, the first floor for retail and a lobby, and floors two through 23 for offices.

SLCE Architects is the architect of record.

Savanna also recently bought a neighboring plot at 383 Gold Street from the city’s Economic Development Corporation for $4 million. Axos Bank provided $34 million earlier this year to refinance the properties, according to property records.

Meanwhile, Downtown Brooklyn is in the midst of a development wave. Rabsky Development wants to build a 942-tall project at 625 Fulton Street, and Extell Development is building the Brooklyn Point condominium tower at 138 Willoughby Street.

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