New York-based design and development firm Flank is looking to the past to build the workplaces of the future. Flank has broken ground on 320 Wythe and 360 Wythe in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, two new boutique office and retail buildings which will be the first timber structures built in New York City in over a century. The “brick and beam” buildings will pay homage to New York City’s turn-of-the-century industrial and warehouse architecture which financial and technology tenants now covet. Together, they will bring more than 57,000 SF of office space and 22,000 SF of new retail space to the burgeoning South Williamsburg neighborhood. The first timber will arrive on-site later this month. The buildings will feature the benefits of ground-up construction including state-of-the-art telecommunications infrastructure, HVAC, electric, accessibility, soaring ceilings, oversized windows and exposed wood throughout. 360 Wythe Avenue is the larger of the two buildings, which will offer 46,000 SF of rentable office space and approximately 18,000 SF of retail space, with 16' ceilings in the retail space and 12' ceilings in the office space. The building will also have a residential component on its top two floors, as well as underground parking. 320 Wythe will offer over 11,000 SF of office space and 4,000 SF of retail space, with 17' ceilings in the retail space and 13' in the office space. Construction on both buildings is underway with 320 Wythe expected for completion in the spring 2018 and 360 Wythe in Q4 of 2018. Leasing will commence before the end of 2017 with office leasing at both 320 and 360 Wythe being handled by the team of Howard Hersch and Michael Berg at JLL; retail leasing is led by the RKF team of Alex Beard, Eddie Mamiye and Pierce Thompson.
“For creative companies seeking flexible new office space with character, Williamsburg is an emerging and enticing alternative to the Meatpacking District and DUMBO, and retailers around the world who are looking at Brooklyn will be hard-pressed to find a better location or buildings,” said Mick Walsdorf, Co-Founder of Flank. “320 and 360 Wythe will expand the limits of traditional construction and usher in a new era of sustainability-minded building practices. This is an important project for Williamsburg, for Brooklyn, and for New York City.”
Steel construction has long since replaced timber as the dominant form of building, but architects and builders in recent years have been pursuing a modernized form of heavy timber construction due to its sustainability benefits, which include the reduced levels of waste and emissions that come from building with the carbon negative material. The raw black spruce timber for the beams and slabs used in 320 and 360 Wythe come from sustainably managed Canadian forests that are rigorously overseen.