Douglaston to Develop Third Toll Tower

The Wall Street Journal (via Brownstoner) reports that Douglaston Development, the developer of the Edge condos, has bought a vacant tower site next door at Toll Brother’s Northside Piers development. Douglaston plans to erect a 40-story luxury rental on the site.

Both Douglaston and Toll have sites for third towers on their properties – Douglaston has used its site to host the Brooklyn Flea and Smorgasburg, while the Toll site has sat vacant. The deal – which has been rumored for some months now – means that Northside Piers will be completed, albeit with rentals instead of condos and Douglaston instead of Toll as the developer (FXFowle, which designed the other Northside towers, will remain as the architect for the rental tower).

What is not clear is what this means in terms of affordable (inclusionary) housing. L&M Development Partners, which built the existing affordable housing at the Palmers Dock portion of Northside Piers, is listed as a partner with Douglaston in the new development. I don’t know if Toll has already built the required 20% affordable housing for the new tower, or if L&M will be developing it for Douglaston. L&M is building a new ground-up affordable project on Broadway and Kent, so conceivably that could represent an offsite component of the required inclusionary housing.

As Brownstoner notes, this is something of a bombshell. It is a bullish move on Douglaston’s part, and an indication of the relative strength of the Williamsburg rental market (particularly on the waterfront), but at the same time, the fact that neither Toll nor Douglaston is interested in condos has to be a bearish indicator.