Acumen aiming for double-digit returns at Pfizer building

The landlord paid $26 million for the factory in 2011
August 24, 2014 05:00PM

After paying $26 million in 2011 for a shuttered Pfizer plant in Brooklyn, Acumen Capital Partners is shooting for a double-digit return.

Acumen, which specializes in revamping offbeat commercial properties, was able to attract a large number of small business owners to the Pfizer building with short-term leases, low rents and permission to renovate the spaces as they pleased, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.

“You walk into a space that’s yours to build out. In some ways it’s a great opportunity, but it’s also a very expensive situation when the building itself isn’t covering that much,” Erin Zimmer, a spokesperson for Good Eggs, a San Francisco-based online delivery service in the Pfizer building, said.

Rents at the building, located at 630 Flushing Avenue, started at about $15 per square foot in late 2011, and have risen to more than $20, according to Acumen, which now plans to sell the building.

And Acumen is already doubling its money at a similar project. RXR Realty is in contract to acquire a former Standard Motor Products manufacturing facility in Long Island City from Acumen for $110 million, more than twice what the firm paid for the building in 2008. [Businessweek]Christopher Cameron