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Gizmo Maker Adafruit Leaves Manhattan for 42K SF at Brooklyn’s Industry City

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Open-source electronics manufacturer Adafruit Industries is breaking up with Manhattan to join a growing hub of tinkerers at Brooklyn’s Industry City.

Adafruit signed a 10-year lease for 41,531 square feet on the fifth floor of Building 19 in the 35-acre mixed-use complex on Sunset Park’s waterfront, according to landlords Belvedere Capital, Jamestown and Angelo Gordon & Company.

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Asking rent in the nine-story converted industrial building was about $30 per square foot, according to a spokesperson for Industry City.

The gizmo maker will relocate from 150 Varick Street in Tribeca, where Adafruit has had an office since at least 2014, according to the company’s decade-old holiday social calendar.

Adafruit’s new Industry City digs are about the same size as its Manhattan office, but at a cheaper price, according to Norman Bobrow & Company’s Steven Kaplan, who arranged the deal for Adafruit.

“They went to Brooklyn because it was a better deal than they could find in Manhattan,” Kaplan said. “With all the perks attached to it, it was too good an opportunity to pass up.”

Adafruit designs and manufactures a range of educational electronic devices for DIY projects and classroom settings. The company was founded in 2005 by former Massachusetts Institute of Technology engineer Limor Fried and has since grown its staff to about 100. 

Fried, who was the first female engineer to be featured on the cover of Wired in 2011, said in a statement that the company’s mission of inspiring people “to get their hands dirty in electronics” will stay the same after the move across the East River.

“Being in Industry City amplifies this vision, allowing us to connect directly with like-minded creators and to continue pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in the hardware and manufacturing space,” Fried said.

Jeff Fein and Brad Blum represented Industry City in-house. Fein said in a statement he was pleased to see another Manhattan expatriate join the roster at the redeveloped former Bush Terminal industrial complex.

“Adafruit’s choice to move here is particularly exciting for us,” Fein said. “The company’s innovative culture and entrepreneurial spirit aligns perfectly with what we’ve built.”

Industry City is now home to more than 550 companies across the manufacturing, media and creative sectors, including e-bike maker Jetson and engineering firms Koysman Engineering and AI Engineering.

Abigail Nehring can be reached at anehring@commercialobserver.com.