Aby Rosen’s RFR plans 827-unit Gowanus building

Development site was acquired from Kushner, SL Green

Aby Rosen of RFR Holding and 175-225 Third Street in Gowanus (Credit: Google Maps and Getty Images)
Aby Rosen of RFR Holding and 175-225 Third Street in Gowanus (Credit: Google Maps and Getty Images)

Aby Rosen’s RFR Holding, which had been trying to sell its Gowanus development site, is advancing efforts to build on it instead.

The firm filed plans with the Department of Buildings on March 1 to build a 265-foot, 20-story, mixed-use building at 175 Third Street, directly across from Whole Foods. The plans call for 827 apartments in the Brooklyn neighborhood as well as retail space.

The building is expected to span 647,000 square feet, including 509,000 for residential use and 138,000 for commercial.

There will also be about 100 enclosed parking spaces. B.I.G. Architecture D.P.C. is listed as the architect for the project, which is expected to cost $70 million.

A representative for RFR did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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RFR purchased the three-acre site, covering 175-225 Third Street, in 2018 for $115 million from SL Green and Kushner Companies. RFR landed a $74 million mortgage for the acquisition, as Union Labor Life Insurance Company assumed the $40 million unpaid balance on the property and provided a $34 million gap mortgage.

The property was previously a parking lot. SL Green owned a 95 percent stake in the land, which it acquired for $72.5 million in 2014. Kushner held the remainder of the shares.

A year after RFR acquired the site, it looked to take advantage of the growing momentum to rezone Gowanus, asking more than $200 million for the assemblage. Nobody bit.

The Gowanus rezoning was ultimately approved, ushering in a flood of proposals for the 82-block area previously zoned largely for manufacturing. In October and November alone, more than a dozen large projects were filed, encompassing more than 2.6 million square feet.

RFR’s residential project, like the others, must comply with the city’s Mandatory Inclusionary Housing law, which requires roughly 1 in 4 apartments to be income-restricted.

Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated the number of units planned for 175 Third Street, based on a project filing with the Department of Buildings.