1.7.20 – “City agencies dominated Brooklyn’s biggest office leases of 2019”

As reported by The Real Deal:

6. Manhattan District Attorney, 4312 Second Avenue, Sunset Park — 76,613 square feet
The Manhattan District Attorney’s office inked a lease that had long been in the works at Commodore Manufacturing Corporation’s Sunset Park building. The 11-year deal spans the entire fifth floor of the building, which the office will use for records and evidence storage space, and the rent will initially be $21 per square foot but gradually rise to $29 per square foot, according to Commercial Observer. The office was previously in the building on a month-to-month lease. CBRE represented the tenant in the deal.

Read the full story here.

— Posted by JVS on 1.20.20


5.6.19 – Commodore Building and 3913 2nd Ave. were not offered to Amazon for HQ2 project

The Commodore Building, located at 4312 2nd Ave., and the large warehouse located at 3913 2nd Ave. were not offered to Amazon in September, 2017 as potential locations for the company’s second headquarters, known as HQ2.

Last month, I submitted a FOIL to the NYCEDC asking if either property had been pitched to the agency in response to its RFEI for the HQ2 project. The (partially redacted) FOIL response was received today, 5.6.19, and is available here for direct download. It is also embedded below. The response notes that no records were found in reference to either property.

According to signs on the two properties, 600,000 square feet are available in the Commodore Building, and 150,000 square feet are available in 3913 2nd Ave.

— Posted by JVS on 5.6.19

2.19.18 – “NYPD and Manhattan DA to extend huge lease in Sunset Park for 12 years”

As reported by The Real Deal:

The New York City Police Department and the Manhattan District Attorney’s office plan to extend some 174,000 square feet they lease at a Sunset Park industrial building for another 12 years.

The NYPD Property Clerk division is on a month-to-month basis on 78,000 square feet it leases on the top floor of the six-story warehouse at 4312 Second Avenue, the Commercial Observer reported.

The unit, which stores evidence and seized property, plans to extend that lease for 12 years. The police department’s Records Unit, meanwhile, is negotiating to move from the building’s sixth floor to the entire 20,000-square-foot ground floor on a 12-year lease at a rent that starts at $22 per square foot and escalates to $31 per square foot by 2030, according to the CO.

Read the full story here.

— Posted by JVS on 12.30.18, backdated to 2.19.18

2.16.18 – “NYPD and Manhattan DA Look to Sign Big Leases at Sunset Park Warehouse”

As reported by The Commercial Observer:

The New York City Police Department and the Manhattan District Attorney’s office are close to leasing 174,000 square feet for records and evidence storage at 4312 Second Avenue…

The NYPD Property Clerk division, which stores evidence and other kinds of property seized by the police, plans to remain in the 78,000 square feet it occupies on a month-to-month basis on the entire top floor of the six-story warehouse…

The Records Unit expects to pay $22 a square foot for the first two years of the lease, per the City Record. The NYPD will pay $444,647 a year for the first and second years of the lease, $471,726 ($23/sf) annually for the third and fourth years, $500,454.68 ($25/sf) annually for years five and six, $530,932 ($26/sf) for years seven and eight, $563,266 ($28/sf) for years nine and 10, $597,569 ($29/sf) for years 11 and 12, $633,961 ($31/sf) through May 2030.

Meanwhile, the DA’s office currently occupies 76,000 square feet on the fifth floor of the building…

Pinnacle Realty’s David Junik and Steven Nadel are representing the landlord in these transactions. Unnamed brokers from CBRE are negotiating on behalf of DCAS. A CBRE spokeswoman declined to comment, and Junik didn’t return a request for comment…

The New York City Board of Elections stores voting machines in the 157,000 square feet it leases on the third and fourth floors of the massive structure.

Read the full story here.

— Posted by JVS on 12.30.18, backdated to 2.16.18

2.16.16 – “The Hollowing-Out of New York City’s Industrial Zones”

As published by Metro Politics on 2.16.16:

The future of manufacturing in New York City will be determined by neighborhoods like Sunset Park in Brooklyn. Its 2½‑mile waterfront was once the site of an extensive intermodal industrial infrastructure comprising numerous working piers, factories, and warehouses that employed more than 20,000 workers. While deindustrialization and containerization have hollowed out much of the working waterfront, numerous small industrial businesses, including home construction suppliers and contractors, metal fabricators, garment and food manufacturers, and auto repair shops, now anchor Sunset Park’s waterfront. It remains one of the city’s densest industrial clusters. Sunset Park also stands out as a racially diverse, majority immigrant Latino–Asian working-poor neighborhood (Hum 2014).

Since the 2013 acquisition of a 49.9% ownership share in Industry City—a massive 16‑building complex on the Sunset Park waterfront—by Jamestown Properties and their real-estate equity partners, media accounts regularly describe the commercial real-estate deals that are facilitating the neighborhood’s transition to a workspace and “playground” for “makers” and “innovators.” Late last year, Mayor de Blasio announced a citywide industrial preservation plan: in November, the Mayor, flanked by the city council Speaker, numerous council members, and industry advocates, described how his 10‑point action plan addresses “new imperatives” to protect industrial land uses and businesses that continue to be a critical employment source for immigrants, workers of color, and job seekers without college degrees. But with all the controversy generated by his mandatory inclusionary housing and zoning proposals currently undergoing public review, there has been virtually no discussion or follow-up…

A clear pattern emerges in the commercial real-estate transactions of the past few years. Sunset Park’s industrial infrastructure, composed of warehouses, factories, and garages, is being sold and refashioned into high-end commercial office space. Not surprisingly, the number of commercial real-estate sales increased by 30% in the post-Jamestown Properties period…

The most important trend that is reshaping Sunset Park’s commercial real-estate market is the dominance of transnational equity and finance corporations, including Chinese state-owned banks…

Property owners who opt not to sell their buildings seek to correct the “under-market rents” by attracting higher-paying tenants. For example, the Damast family’s Commodore Manufacturing Corporation had specialized in the production of Christmas decorations and other seasonal products at their building on 4312 Second Avenue. In 2013, they outsourced a large part of their operations to China and now hope to “woo film-industry companies, advertising agencies, and high-tech manufacturers” to Sunset Park.

The industrial real-estate “land grab” extends to the neighborhood’s extensive rent-stabilized housing stock…

Read the full piece here.

— Posted by JVS on 12.30.18, backdated to 2.16.16


9.24.15 – “Brooklyn’s Sunset Park Is About Much More Than Just Industry City”

The below excerpt from a September, 2015 article in the Commercial Observer discusses Liberty View Industrial Plaza, the Brooklyn Army Terminal, and the Commodore building at 4312 2nd Ave.:

Manufacturing is by no means what it used to be in New York City, and hasn’t been since at least the end of World War II. Today, the industry that was once the lifeblood of the Big Apple, based primarily in Sunset Park, makes up 2 percent of all New York City jobs. But the traditional steel molders and riveters are giving way for specialty manufacturers working in science, fashion and food production—making that number a lot higher.

They’ve been in need of big, open spaces and have been on the search for lower rents. Liberty View, once a naval supply depot, has dedicated 85 percent of its commercial space to manufacturing, according to Mr. King, who represents the landlord in the mammoth building’s retail section.

Manufacturers of different shapes and sizes are drinking Liberty View’s Kool-Aid. Koppers Specialty Chocolate announced earlier this year it was leaving its longtime Greenwich Village home for a 50,000-square-foot Liberty View space. The New York City Economic Development Corporation has a full-floor incubator for emerging fashion firms. Companies specializing in the trade can collaborate on design, production and marketing in the fashion industry. 

Retail tenants such as Bed Bath & Beyond and buybuy BABY—both due to open at Liberty View in January—will pay rents that essentially will subsidize the lower rents on above floors being paid by these manufacturers, Mr. King said. Giving a whole new definition to vertical integration, the next step is to have these retailers sell the products designed, manufactured and packaged upstairs.

“That’s still early on the process, but I think you’ll see some of that for sure,” Mr. King said. 

Plus there are the tax incentives, which offer a $3,000 credit per worker relocated over a 12-year period for companies that move to Liberty View. Not to mention a slew of other tax breaks that have brought down the rent to jaw-dropping low levels for tenants at the 95-year-old building.

Rents in the area are already some of the lowest along the waterfront before you even factor in tax breaks. A June JLL report on the Brooklyn waterfront broke down the strip into six submarkets. The South Brooklyn Waterfront—Sunset Park being the bulk of that submarket—has an average asking rent of $ 23.20 per square foot, with 11.4 million square feet of inventory. The only market with a larger inventory was Downtown Brooklyn with close to 12 million square feet and an average asking rent of $45.96 per square foot. Just northwest of that, the average asking rent in Dumbo is $62.42. 

‘Fourth Avenue poses its own problems in that it’s a wide boulevard, although it does have subway access. It’s going to take a lot to see that transition.’
—Geoff Bailey, SCG Retail

Rents have been especially low at incubator-heavy areas, particularly the 3.1-million-square-foot Brooklyn Army Terminal, which is owned by the City of New York. Two miles south of Industry City, the complex has literally become a place where science meets art. There’s the BioBAT incubator with 500,000 square feet for commercial biotech companies, according to the EDC, which manages the Brooklyn Army Terminal. There’s even something for those who work in the abstract: the 50,000 square foot Charisma Artist Studios, which offers low rents and open spaces for up to 95 artists, according to the EDC. High-end chocolatier Jacques Torres is one of the Army Terminal’s more established tenants…

Interest in 4312 Second Avenue is high but filling the space might become problematic, according to its brokers. The yellow building with red trim has 100,000 square feet on the ground floor—not to mention 85,000 square feet in the basement—which Pinnacle Realty of New York has been marketing for a single user, ideally in the technology or media realms. But it’s been tough to find one company that’s looking for something that large, said Steve Nadel, a member of the team showing the building.

“We have found that the market is really in the mid-size to small-size range,” he said, adding that for “somebody [who] needs a large floor plate, this is unique.”

Read the full piece here.

— Posted by JVS on 12.31.18, backdated to

5.5.15 – “NYPD and District Attorney Eyeing Sunset Park Building for Evidence Storage”

As reported by DNAinfo:

SUNSET PARK — Parts of a former Christmas ornament warehouse could be converted into an evidence and records storage facility for the NYPD and the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, officials said.

The NYPD plans to lease 93,000 square feet and the DA’s office wants 96,000 square feet inside a massive industrial warehouse at 4312 Second Avenue near 43rd Street.

The two agencies already rent some space in the building, which is also used by the Board of Elections to stash voting machines, said building co-owner Gary Damast…

The 1917 structure takes up an entire city block and was once a factory that made Campbell’s soup cans. The Damast family’s Commodore Manufacturing Corporation bought the buiding in the 1990s and used it to store holiday decorations imported from factories around the world…

The industrial warehouse is in a “newly hip” area, according to The Real Deal. It’s not far from Industry City, the complex of industrial spaces that houses food makers, artists, and dance parties.

Read the full story here.

— Posted by JVS on 12.30.18, backdated to 5.5.15

11.11.14 – “Damast family looking to fill 200,000 sf at Sunset Park property”

As reported by The Real Deal:

The Damast family’s Commodore Manufacturing Corporation is seeking tenants to occupy about 200,000 square feet of office space at a massive, six-story industrial property in Sunset Park, mere blocks away from the Industry City project.

The manufacturing firm, which specializes in making Christmas decorations and other seasonal products, both owns and has leased space at the 581,000-square-foot structure at 4312 Second Avenue, also known as 148 43rd Street. But last year, Commodore largely outsourced its operations to China and upgraded the entire building with new 12-foot-high windows and elevators.

The landlord then hired a Pinnacle Realty team, led by David Junik and Steve Nadel, to market three loft spaces on the bottom two floors that it vacated. The spaces, available as of this week, span 100,000 square feet; 85,000 square feet; and 18,000 square feet, respectively.

Pinnacle is hoping to woo film industry companies, advertising agencies and high-tech manufacturers as possible tenants for a long-term lease, Junik told The Real Deal.

Commodore still leases 50,000 square feet elsewhere in the building, and the city’s Board of Elections leases more than 100,000 square feet, sources said. The site occupies a full city block.

Read the full story here.

— Posted by JVS on 12.30.18, backdated to 11.11.14