Right before I moved out of Brooklyn in the summer of 1979, I remember going to Coney Island and looking up at the Cyclone roller coaster in awe. Fast-forward 36 years, and I get that same feeling when I analyze the Brooklyn office market development pipeline. Between this year and 2019, Brooklyn will be a hotbed for new office development, as there are an estimated 16 buildings totaling 6.4 million square feet scheduled for completion. In addition, another 10 office properties totaling over 3.2 million square feet are proposed for construction beyond 2020. The current office stock of 27.2 million square feet is not enough supply to handle the increased demand for this market, as millennials crave a true live-work-play borough. With the combined 9.6 million square feet of buildings under construction and potential development in the pipeline, the office inventory is set to increase by over 35 percent by 2019.
Owners and developers are riding this roller coaster of demand, as 20 of the 26 sites are conversions or redevelopments of existing buildings. The Brooklyn Navy Yard Building 77, a 1-million-square-foot redevelopment site, is under construction and scheduled for completion in 2017. The largest development site in Brooklyn already has its lead tenant—Shiel Medical Laboratory—which signed on for 240,000 square feet. Another major office development project within Brooklyn Navy Yard is Dock 72—also scheduled for a 2017 completion—and where WeWork will occupy 220,000 square feet of the 556,000-square-foot office building. Tishman Speyer also plans to redevelop the Macy’s site at 422 Fulton Street and 11 Hoyt Avenue, which will add 500,000 square feet of office space to the Brooklyn inventory. Macy’s will remain in the basement and first four floors of the building, with the remaining five floors converted to office space and an additional five floors to be built on top of the building.
These few projects are just the first incline of the proverbial roller coaster because I did not even include the 2.9 million square feet of office development within Industry City slated for completion in 2026.