LA ad firm taking 50K sf at Empire Stores in Dumbo

Midtown Equities' ambitious BK office conversion asking $85 psf for best space

Empire Stores
Rendering of Empire Stores in Dumbo (credit: Midtown Equities) (inset: Joe Cayre)

Aptly-titled Los Angeles advertising firm 72andSunny is expanding its footprint in the city after agreeing to take 50,000 square feet at the massive Empire Stores office conversion in Dumbo.

The company, which currently occupies 13,000 square feet at the 30 Cooper Square office building a few blocks south of Union Square, will be scaling up its New York operations at the former coffee warehouse in Dumbo.

Joe Cayre’s Midtown Equities is leading a partnership that is redeveloping the property into 400,000 square feet of high-end office and retail space, according to Crain’s. The $150 million Empire Stores complex, set for completion in June, will have restored brick-and-timber interiors and feature two new floors of glass-enclosed office space that takes the warehouse’s floor count to six.

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72andSunny will be taking a portion of that new glass-enclosed space being added to the top of the warehouse, sources said, with the rest of its offices on the property’s existing floors. It is not clear whether the Dumbo space will be an additional office for the ad firm or whether it will move its employees to Dumbo from 30 Cooper Square.

Empire Stores’ eye-popping asking rents are indicative of Midtown Equities’ faith in the Brooklyn office market, with the landlord asking up to $85 per square foot for the building’s glass-enclosed space. Alongside similarly ambitious office developments in the borough, like the nearby Dumbo Heights project and Sunset Park’s Industry City, the conversion hopes to appeal to creative and TAMI tenants who are being increasingly drawn to Brooklyn.

Furniture retailer West Elm committed to about 150,000 square feet at Empire Stores for its headquarters and flagship retail store in 2013. [Crain’s]Rey Mashayekhi