PHOTOS: See how two NYC commercial buildings are rising amid the pandemic

1ws and warehouse
One Willoughby Square in Downtown Brooklyn (left) and The Warehouse in Chelsea (right) (Photos: Emily Davenport/amNY)

New York City is continuing to slowly reopen. As the COVID-19 pandemic trudges on, the city’s commercial real estate market has taken a steep hit as more businesses are shifting to working from home. 

Two office spaces in New York City are working their way to finishing construction; One Willoughby Square in Downtown Brooklyn, which is poised to be the tallest building in the borough; and The Warehouse in Manhattan, a repurposed factory that effortlessly blends old school, rustic charms with modern upgrades — and both buildings have incredible views of the city.

One Willoughby Square

One WIlloughby Square (Photo: Emily Davenport/amNY)


Nestled comfortably in Downtown Brooklyn, One Willoughby Square is the tallest commercial building that Brooklyn has to offer. Prior to the pandemic, One Willoughby Square had plans to go completely state-of-the-art with a lot of their interiors, including features such as a touchless entry system in the lobby, which will alert an elevator that will bring you right to your floor, and an upgraded ventilation system that will destroy infection-causing organisms. Employees can open elevator doors with a simple wave of the hand.

Since the 34-story office building has a highly secure lobby, the project team reconfigured its building entry system with a contactless fingerprint recognition called MorphoWave Compact. It captures and matches four fingers on either hand in any direction and even works if hands are wet. 

One Willoughby Square officially topped out at 34 floors in October 2019. From the 34th Floor, New Yorkers can not only catch a glimpse of the New York City skyline, but also Lady Liberty herself.

The 15th floor will offer outdoor spaces that are connected to the office space, a first of its kind in the area, with views of the local architecture as well as nearby parks.

For more information about One Willoughby Square, visit 1ws.com.

The Warehouse

The Warehouse (Photo: Emily Davenport/amNY)


Comfortably situated on the far west side of Chelsea, the Warehouse was originally a warehousing and distribution facility for the Carolina Manufacturing Company. Located at 520 West 20th Street, the property has been owned by Elijah Equities for the last 50 years.

The Warehouse is currently under construction to allow the ground floor to act as retail spaces while the upper floors will be office spaces. When it came to construction, it was incredibly important for the team at Elijah Equities to maintain the original brick exterior. Originally five stories high, another two stories and a rooftop space were built on top and made to look like the new, modern-looking floors were floating on top, plus some new windows were installed.

Courtesy of Elijah Equities

To address sanitation concerns amidst COVID-19, the development team decided to program elevators to be operated via phone, for an entirely touch-free experience. The building will also feature waive-to-open lobby doors.

The Warehouse offers views of Chelsea Piers and the High Line, as well as some Manhattan skylines, which are accessible from most of their outdoor spaces. The rooftop will function as an outdoor space with sitting areas and plenty of room to roam.

In between the old building structure and the new floors, there is a 360-wrap-around outdoor space that offers a shady outdoor space. The second floor was repurposed with a balcony, an uncommon trait in Manhattan, with a new wall. 

All of the office spaces in the Warehouse have been left as a blank slate for potential tenants to transform into their own spaces. The lower floors have some beams for support, while the upper floors have no support beams in the office space.

For more information on the Warehouse, visit 520west20.com.