Leases  ·  Retail

Midtown Equities Wins Coveted Empire Stores Redevelopment in Dumbo


As expected, the city chose Midtown Equities to redevelop Empire Stores in Dumbo, a project that could signal a new phase in the neighborhood’s emergence as a tech and creative powerhouse.

The developer’s proposal beat out nine other submissions vying to transform the 327,000-square-foot site, formerly a coffee and dry goods warehouse that sits between the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges.

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Empire Stores as seen from the Manhattan Bridge
Empire Stores as seen from the Manhattan Bridge

The Daily News reports that Midtown Equities has already secured leases for 80% of the site’s available space. Joe and Jack Cayre, the father-son duo that controls the company, are said to be eying tech tenants and, this being Brooklyn, artisanal craftspeople to fill out the project. The furniture company West Elm and online craft marketplace Etsy are two tenants hoping to land there.

Office rents at Empire Stores reportedly average $60 per square foot, nearly double the figure in the neighborhood over all. Restaurants and shops will line the ground floor, and a rooftop terrace will offer striking views of both nearby bridges. Ten years elapsed between the announcement of the redevelopment in 2002 and a request for proposals last September.