Greenwich Village Chocolatier Opts for Move to Brooklyn
Terence Cullen July 17, 2015, 12:51 p.m.
Koppers Specialty Chocolate, a company based in Greenwich Village since 1937, is relocating to Liberty View Industrial Plaza, a 1.8-million-square foot building in the Sunset Park section of the borough.
The chocolatier will be in 50,000 square feet on the third floor of the eight-story structure, with an address of 850 3rd Avenue between 30th and 32nd Streets, according to brokers in the deal. Koppers is slated to move in and start making chocolate this October through the 10-year lease. The company’s owner is selling 39 Clarkson Street between Greenwich and Hudson Streets as part of the move.
“It’s the classic development story,” Frederic Stein of Pinnacle Realty, who represented Koppers owner Jeff Alexander with colleague Ariel Castellanos, told Commercial Observer. “[Mr. Alexander] was pounded consistently by folks wanting to develop his six-story loft building into residential. He’s probably one of the few remaining manufacturers on the west side of Greenwich Village.”
Rents in the building rant from $15.50 to $19.50 per square foot, said Jeff Unger of Kalmon Dolgin Affiliates, which represents landlord Salmar Properties with Newmark Grubb Knight Frank. Kopper will likely be paying $10 per square foot after tax breaks and incentives, according to Crain’s New York Business, which first reported news of the move.
Space on the South Brooklyn waterfront from Cobble Hill to Sunset Park is becoming more desirable due to low rents and plenty of options. A recent JLL report on the Brooklyn waterfront office market put the average rent at $23.20 per square feet. With 11.7 million square feet, the zone’s inventory is second to Downtown Brooklyn, the report shows, which has almost 12 million square feet.
While it’s barely a third of the size of its behemoth neighbor Industry City, Liberty View is becoming its own draw for the neighborhood once populated by ill-reputed businesses. Bed Bath & Beyond, buy buy BABY and other retailers will be taking more than 100,000 square feet of retail space at Liberty View. Saks is said to be taking 30,000 square feet, as CO reported in May. In an interview last week with CO, CPEX Real Estate’s Timothy King, who worked on the deals, declined to comment on whether the Saks deal had gone through.
Mr. King was more open, however, to discussing the lure of Sunset Park, which he said would not only benefit from low-rent industrial space in the area but an already prime housing market.
“The Sunset Park residential marketplace is already very well-established,” Mr. King told CO. “I always call it the pimple waiting to get squeezed because it’s in between Bay Ridge on one end and Park Slope on the other. It is going to benefit from the influx of jobs and activities.”