Leases  ·  Office

Vera Institute of Justice Ditching Woolworth Building Offices for BK’s Industry City


The criminal justice reform nonprofit Vera Institute of Justice plans to move its headquarters across the East River to Industry City, the organization and its broker announced.

Vera signed a 15-year lease last month for 35,000 square feet on the entire second and third floors of Building 4 in the Sunset Park, Brooklyn warehouse complex, according to a spokesman for Denham Wolf Real Estate Services, who represented Vera in the deal.

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Asking rent at 34 35th Street was in the mid-$30s per square foot. The nonprofit plans to relocate to Industry City next fall from its 27,000 square foot offices in the iconic Woolworth Building to be closer to the communities it fights for, per a news release.

“More so than ever before, our task is to drive significant reform of our justice system, injecting innovation and big ideas,” Nicholas Turner, the president of Vera, said in a statement. “Industry City—and Brooklyn—is dynamic, diverse and a central hub for innovation and invention. It is a great place for us to call home. We will have room to grow, and will be closer to many of the communities we serve locally.”

Paul Wolf, Christopher Turner and Lauren Davis of Denham Wolf represented Vera in the deal while Kathe Chase and Jeff Fein of Industry City’s internal leasing team handled it for the landlord.

“When identifying a site for Vera, several considerations came into play,” Wolf said in a statement. “The space needed to suit Vera in the present and well into the future. In addition to practical concerns, such as affordability and access to public transit, Vera’s core values had to be at the heart of our search.”

Vera’s new offices will be designed by Studios Architecture and include a café, “diverse workspace options” and meeting spaces, according to Denham Wolf, which is also serving as the project manager of the buildout.

“As a leader in the nonprofit world, Vera is an exciting addition to Industry City’s diverse community of innovative companies, the majority of which are driving meaningful change in their respective fields,” Chase said in a statement. “There are natural opportunities for collaboration between Vera and the many nonprofits, academic partners, and progressive companies based at Industry City.”

The nonprofit was founded in 1961 by philanthropist Louis Schweitzer and magazine editor Herb Sturz with the aim of reforming the city’s bail system to make it fairer for low-income people, according to its website.

It will join office tenants Japanese arts group TeamLab, animation studio Buck and retailer Australian café Gumption Coffee, all of which recently signed deals at the 5.3-million-square foot complex owned by Jamestown, Belvedere Capital, Angelo, Gordon & Co., Cammeby’s International and FBE Limited.