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Oberlin Grads Need Not Apply for Space in 9-Story Office Building, Rep Says

 An East Williamsburg construction company wants to turn their lot into an office building for drone designers and advertising agencies.
An East Williamsburg construction company wants to turn their lot into an office building for drone designers and advertising agencies.
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Marvel Architects

EAST WILLIAMSBURG — Hey Oberlin grads — take your art history degree somewhere else, this developer says.

A family-run construction company that has operated out of East Williamsburg for the last 20 years wants to build a nine-story office building with subsidized manufacturing space to attract working-class residents — and not just "Oberlin students who have just moved to Brooklyn like an hour ago," the project's lawyer said.

While the development at 79 Bogart St. will include some space for manufacturing, most of the nine stories will be set aside for offices they hope to fill with tenants like drone designers, startup advertising agencies or artists studios, according to Ken Fisher, the lawyer representing Adams European Contracting Inc.

The owners will be asking the city and the community for exemptions to current zoning codes in order to increase the size of the building so they can include amenities for office workers like a video game room, a shower area and wine bar, Fisher explained.

"We're competing for talent," he said. "We think that the density will create a community in the building and will give it a sense of destination."

The lot at 79 Bogart St., which is owned by Adams, has been used for storage by the company for the last seven years. The company's owners, Polish immigrant Malgorzata Skarzynski and her family, have been in East Williamsburg for around two decades.

They base their business off lucrative contracts with the city, including the renovation and restoration of the facade of City Hall, and the plan relocate their offices to the new building.

"For some time we have been thinking about our need for more space for our business and whether we would be able to stay in the area," Skarzynski said.

The formal rezoning process for the site has not yet begun.

The proposal for 79 Bogart St. is the latest in a slew of newly constructed office spaces developed in re-purposed warehouse in East Williamsburg's industrial area, including projects like 333 Johnson Avenue, OfficeOps at 57 Thames St., 100 Bogart St., and the Paper Mill Loft Offices at 456 Johnson Ave.