$3.2 million tax exemption awarded Brooklyn developer

The Albee Street Mall on Gold Street will be razed to make way for one of the tallest buildings in downtown Brooklyn. Image courtesy of Greenberg Farrow.

Downtown Brooklyn mall to be demolished for large mixed-use retail, office, and residential center. On February 13, 2007, the New York City Industrial Development Agency, a component of the New York City Economic Development Corporation, approved financial assistance for the construction of a new 1.8-million-square-foot mixed-use development in downtown Brooklyn to replace the existing 169,500-square-foot Albee Street Mall.

Albee Development, a partnership of developers Acadia Realty, MacFarlane Partners and Avalon Bay, will purchase the mall for $125 million, according to press articles, from the current owner, Thor Equities, which purchased the property for $21 million in 2001. Albee will demolish the three-story mall, replacing it with below-grade parking, nearly 500,000 sq.ft. of retail space, 125,000 sq.ft. of office space, and 1,000 residential units, 20 percent of which are planned for lowand moderate-income residents.

IDA approved financing for the office space, planned for floors five through seven, in the amount of $1.2 million in mortgage recording tax exemptions and $2 million in sales tax exemptions. EDC stated that the new development will create 1,500 jobs, including 500 office jobs.

Representatives from Families United for Racial and Economic Equality, a local community organizing group, and tenants of the current mall voiced strong opposition to the project at IDA’s February 8, 2007 hearing. “We don’t want Brooklyn to look like Manhattan,” one speaker declared after arguing that the small, locally-owned, minority-run businesses currently located in the mall would not be likely tenants of the new high-end retail space. Two tenants, who testified that they poured their “last dimes” into their businesses, asked why tax payer money and City property should go to luxury housing. Opponents said the new retail and housing would be too expensive to serve the immediate community.

NYC IDA Hearing, Feb. 8, 2007; NYC EDC Press Release, NYC Industrial Development Agency to Help Spur New Office Space in Downtown Brooklyn, Feb. 13, 2007.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.