“Crooklyn” director moves ad agency to Brooklyn

Spike DDB, the advertising agency founded by director Spike Lee, announced today that it will relocate from Manhattan to Dumbo.

Spike DDB, a partnership between Lee and DDB Worldwide Communications Group, signed a five-year lease for 5,000 square feet at 55 Washington Street, between Front and Water streets. Spike DDB is moving from a roughly 4,000-square-foot space at 437 Madison Avenue between 49th and 50th streets in Manhattan, according to Glenn Markman, an executive director at Cushman & Wakefield, who represented Spike DDB in its site search and lease negotiations.

The “Crooklyn” director personally oversaw the site search, which began in earnest in July, Markman said.

“I think it just has a very special feel to the neighborhood,”Markman said. “I think Spike and other creative companies get it.”

Lee was born in Atlanta but attended John Dewey High School in South Brooklyn near Coney Island and his production company, 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks, is based in Fort Greene.

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The asking rent at the new space is $27 per square foot, according to Caroline Pardo, director of leasing for the building’s owner Two Trees Management.

The company is getting more space for less money, said Cushman’s Markman, who said Lee’s company paid approximately $80 per square foot in monthly rent at the old space. In addition, Spike DDB is eligible for the Relocation & Employment Assistance Program, which offers tax credits for businesses who relocate from Manhattan to the boroughs, bringing the monthly costs of the new space even lower.  “In addition, to a great cool hip environment, it is a very cost-effective transaction,” he said.

Spike DDB will occupy a corner space with 12-foot ceilings and views of the Manhattan Bridge, Pardo of Two Trees said. The company will share space in the newly renovated building with “creative tenants,” she said, including graphic designers and artists.

Lee is picking up keys this week and the company expects to move in this month, she said.