The Real Deal New York

Wearable-tech maker Thalmic Labs near deal for first US brick-and-mortar store

The Canadian company would occupy an entire building in Cobble Hill
By David Jeans | June 07, 2018 09:30AM

Thalmic Labs CEO Stephen Lake with the Myo. (Credit: Thalmic Labs)

UPDATED, 10:30 a.m., June 6: Thalmic Labs, the Canadian wearable-tech maker known for its futuristic human-to-computer interaction products, is close to striking a deal to open its first reported U.S. retail space in a Brooklyn storefront, sources told The Real Deal.

The company is in advanced negotiations for an entire building at Lonicera Partners’ 178 Court Sreet in Cobble Hill, sources said. The company would fully occupy the two-story, 7,500-square foot building, with 50 feet of frontage — a humble presence for an international tech company.

While it’s unclear what Thalmic would be paying in rent, the average retail rent for ground floor leases on Court Street, between Atlantic Avenue and Carroll Street, currently hover at $134 per square foot, according to the Real Estate Board of New York’s biannual retail report published in April.

Headquartered in Ontario, Thalmic Labs was started in 2012 by three classmates of the University of Waterloo and has developed futuristic products that enable greater human-to-machine interaction. Its most well-known item, the Myo armband, allows users to control a computer and translate sign language by detecting muscle movements. For example, the armband can be used by a DJ to control lighting during a concert or by amputees to better control their prosthetic limbs.

In 2016, the company raised $120 million in Series B fundraising led by its initial investor Intel Capital, who was joined by the Amazon Alexa Fund and Fidelity Investments Canada, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Andrew Clemons and Ben Weiner of Ripco Real Estate is representing the tenant on the deal, and Alex Beard and Eddie Mamiye of RKF is representing the landlord. The brokers declined to comment, as did Lonicera and Thalmic Labs.

Lonicera, a Brooklyn-based investment firm led by Jamie Anthony, is also developing rental buildings at 68-70 Schermerhorn Street and 153-157 Remsen Street in Brooklyn Heights.

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated the current stage of the deal.