GL Exclusive: Something Big in the Air on Kent Ave. as Chetrit Group Snags Prime Williamsburg Land
It's hard to say exactly what is being planned for the huge parcel of land between Kent Avenue, Wythe Avenue and N. 3rd and N. 4th Street in Williamsburg, but something very, very big appears to be in the works. Several properties on the block now have ownership that traces back to the Chetrit Group, a major developer of residential and commercial properties. The firm owns a stake in the Sears Tower in Chicago. It is converting the Empire Hotel on W. 63rd Street into luxury condominiums, owns some major hotel properties and is also in the process of reshuffling its real estate holdings. The company, and its principal Joseph Chetrit have been in the news of late over the non-condo conversion of the Toy Center in Manhattan.
The most recent of the properties--173 Kent Avenue and 224 Wythe Avenue--were transferred on April 26, for a sale price of $4.1 million, according to property records. The name on an application for a fence that just went up around the property is Chetrit VP Jeff Gdansky.
If you know Kent Avenue, you know this property as the big cement plant across the street from 184 Kent Avenue. It was the home of Brooklyn Ready Mix and was slowly demolished during the winter. It was a curious demolition process, with no fences up and the site wide open to anyone. Yesterday, the new fence on the property was still open and the property was being used for a photo shoot. Some demolition is also underway at the 224 Wythe Avenue building, which until a few weeks ago was a furniture warehouse.
The property is zoned for medium density residential development, with a current buildable square footage of about 193,000 square feet. About two-thirds of the full city block is now under the control of the new owners.
Any new development would join its neighbors, 184 Kent, which is being converted to a 320-unit luxury rental building, Northside Piers and Douglaston Development's big Edge development.
UPDATE: As it turns out, our friend INSIJS and GL posted about Chetrit and the Kent Avenue property within ten minutes of each other this morning. INSIJS's post contains a lot more background detail than our. We'd change the "exclusive" label, because clearly this is a co-exclusive at best, except that the way blogger works, we'd end up breaking some links.