Leasing Strategy at Brooklyn Navy Yard Redevelopment Targets Manufacturing Jobs, Local Market

Building 77 Opening This Month, Admiral’s Row Rework Targeting Spring 2018

Building 77 at Brooklyn Navy Yard
Building 77 at Brooklyn Navy Yard

More than 350 Brooklyn Navy Yard construction workers gathered to watch the last steel beam hoisted 250 feet atop the 17-story, 4-Star Dock 72 office tower at a topping out ceremony. When completed in 2018, the 675,000-square-foot asset will be the first ground-up office tower built in Brooklyn in more than 30 years. A 13,000-square-foot food hall, 15,000-square-foot wellness center, 200-person conference center and open lawn with tables games round out about 35,000 square feet of amenities and public space with direct access to a new ferry terminal servicing the city.

WeWork, which will take 222,000 square feet to anchor the property, is listed as a co-developer on the building. The development project was structured on a ground lease with Boston Properties and Rudin Development. Leasing will be handled by Cushman & Wakefield's Joe Ceroni and Ron Lo Russo, as well as CBRE's Sacha Zarba and Freddy Fackelmayer.

Dock 72 is just one piece of a massive $700 million redevelopment effort being undertaken at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Work is centered around four sites - Dock 72, Building 77, the Green Manufacturing Center and Admirals Row. Upon completion, the project is expected to add 16,000 new jobs by 2020, most of them in the industrial and manufacturing industries, with the target of sourcing a significant percentage of both jobs and tenants locally through the community.

Lease-up is already 83 percent completed at the largest site, the 1 million-square-foot redevelopment of Building 77, according to Anastasia Meyding, vice president of leasing at the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation (BNYDC).

"The inspiration for this development's leasing efforts is job creation. That's what gets us up in the morning. There is an on-site Employment Center that pulls talent from the local community. We require at least one employee per 1,000 square feet, and often push for more," said Meyding. "Although some of our tenants are in the high-tech field and employ college-educated workers, our sweet spot is to fill manufacturing jobs that don't need a college degree."

Building 77 has its own food hall on the ground floor, anchored by Russ and Daughters in 15,000 square feet. Meyding says that BNYDC has signed leases with six other Brooklyn-based retail and manufacturing companies, including We Rub You, Rustik, Grandchamps, Pizza Yard, The Food Sermon and The Brooklyn Greenery, and a lease is out for signature with a Long Island City-based brewery. Just 6,850 square feet of space remains available on the ground for a food retail / manufacturing operator.

Other tenants to have signed leases at the 16-story industrial building include Catbird Jewelry, Lorna Simpson, manufacturing company Lights Up, Lafayette 148, architectural model maker City Scaled, vitamin packaging and distribution company Care Of, drone manufacturer Nova Concepts, Pilgrim Surf Supply, media company Picture Farm, and Fidelity Payment Services.

The development firm has rolled out a pre-built program on floors four through nine in the building, with 10 units per floor that range from 3,000 square feet up to 13,000 square feet, Meyding says. Multiple prebuilt units are available on the sixth and seventh floors, she notes, and the fourth, fifth and ninth floors are nearly filled. The building features 58,000-square-foot floor plates.

At Building 77, Meyding says that BNYDC has been able to provide a rent subsidy of $22 per square foot to manufacturing companies that cannot afford market rates, which can range from $40 to $60 per square foot in the city. Building 77's mission in leasing is targeting tenants whose businesses are characterized by a maker component, she adds. The rent subsidy and leasing strategy is tied to the millions in funding earmarked by the City and federal government to the site since 2014.

Admiral's Row, named for its legacy as a site that housed Navy officers from the civil war to 1970's, is in the midst of a $140 million redevelopment that is estimated to complete in spring 2018. The land lease for the redevelopment was done with Steiner. A 74,000-square-foot Wegmans Supermarket will anchor the retail space with in-line shops still available. Approximately 120,000 square feet of manufacturing and industrial space will be available there.

The newly-completed Green Manufacturing Center, a 214,152-square-foot industrial facility, is already fully leased. Its four-wing design is occupied by start-up incubator New Lab, military gear manufacturer Crye Precision, coffeemaker Brooklyn Roasting Co. and chocolatier Mast Chocolates.

Diana Bell, New York City Market Reporter  CoStar Group