The Real Deal New York

New loan from M&T Bank values Empire Stores in Dumbo at $415M

The 443K sf complex reopened in 2016
September 12, 2017 02:20PM

Rendering of 53-83 Water Street (Credit: empirestores.com)

M&T Bank provided a $250 million loan to the developers of the Empire Stores, seven warehouses along the Brooklyn waterfront that have been converted to offices and retail space.

The restored 443,000-square-foot complex at 53-83 Water Street in Dumbo was reopened in the summer of 2016 after sitting vacant for decades. The developers, Midtown Equities in partnership with Rockwood Capital and HK Organization, won a bid in 2013 to redevelop the site and signed a 96-year lease with the city.

The four-story brick warehouses, built between 1869 and 1885, had been used primarily as storehouses for raw materials like coffee, sugar and molasses, and have been state-owned since the 1970s. The development group restored the crumbling brick facade and added an additional floor.

M&T provided the developers with a a $95 million construction loan in 2014 and expanded that by another $20 million in 2016. According to Commercial Mortgage Alert, the complex has an estimated value of $415 million, putting the leverage at about 60 percent. Eastdil Secured arranged the $250 million financing, which has a five-year term.

The Dumbo complex is anchored by furniture retailer West Elm, and occupied by several media firms including Laundry Service and Cycle and LA ad firm 72andSunny, the three of which span a combined 253,000 square feet. Other companies that have considered the space include Soho House and Rolling Stone.

Midtown and HK Organization were not immediately available for comment. Rockwood declined too comment. [CMA] — Chava Gourarie