Naftali Plots 5 New Residential Towers for Williamsburg Waterfront

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Williamsburg, Brooklyn’s transformation isn’t over yet.

Luxury developer Naftali Group and private holding company Access Industries plan to build five 22-story residential towers along Kent Avenue between Division Avenue and South 11th Street, the companies announced Wednesday.

SEE ALSO: L+M Plans 328-Unit Affordable Housing Development at 1225 Gerard Avenue in the Bronx

The plan is to create a new “resort-style” mini-neighborhood — called Williamsburg Wharf — with 850 residential units, retail space and a riverfront park that will be open to the public. 

“Williamsburg Wharf represents an extraordinary vision for the last developable site along Williamsburg’s East River shoreline,” Naftali said in a statement.

The 3.75-acre site near the boundary between Williamsburg and the Brooklyn Navy Yard formerly housed an industrial building that remained untouched, even as metal and glass towers rose around it in response to the neighborhood rezoning championed by former Mayor Michael Bloomberg

But that changed after Michael Naftali’s firm bought the two parcels at 464-484 Kent Avenue in 2020 for $102.4 million from Abraham Rosenberg — who for decades ran a lumberyard on the site with his brother Isaac Rosenberg — and demolished the old building.

Construction is already underway on the first phase of the project, which calls for three buildings with 561 units. Naftali announced Wednesday details for the two-tower second phase. Naftali and Access secured $385 million in construction financing for the project, including a $310 million loan from Bank OZK (OZK) and $75 million in mezzanine financing from Barings.

The development will ultimately comprise about 1 million square feet and will leave the Kent Avenue pedestrian and cyclist route out front unscathed, according to Naftali. 

And it brings Naftali a little out of its comfort zone. The firm has completed dozens of residential developments in Manhattan, including The Benson at 1045 Madison Avenue and The Bellemont at 1165 Madison Avenue. But now Brooklyn beckons.

Ryan Serhant’s Serhant has signed on to market the units, which will include a mix of rental and condominium apartments. 

The first three towers are on track to be completed by the end of next year. It’s unclear when the other two buildings will finish construction.

Abigail Nehring can be reached at anehring@commercialobserver.com.