Newmark is pleased to announce that it has negotiated a 30-year, 46,000-square-foot deal on behalf of owner Thor Equities (Thor) to relocate Helen Keller Services for the Blind (HKS) to 180 Livingston Street in Downtown Brooklyn. HKS previously owned 57 Willoughby Street, just three blocks away, and sold the building to move to 180 Livingston in one of the largest relocations of the past year in Downtown Brooklyn. Newmark Managing Director Whitten Morris and Associate Joseph Sipala represented Thor in the transaction, while CBRE Senior Vice Presidents Keith Caggiano and Timothy Sheehan represented the tenant.
HKS is a non-profit entity that enables blind, visually impaired, deaf-blind, or those with both hearing and vision loss to live, work and thrive in the communities of their choosing. 180 Livingston Street was an attractive option for the organization because it offered their own dedicated lobby for easy access from Livingston street, excellent signage and branding options, and continued access to surrounding neighborhoods like Brooklyn Heights, Downtown Brooklyn, and Cobble Hill. As HKS takes occupancy of their new space on the entire 2nd floor, their separate entrance will also feature its own elevator, adding to the concept of a “building within a building.”
While the non-profit group searched far and wide for potential new space options, they decided to remain in Downtown Brooklyn due to the outstanding transportation options and amenities in the area. Their relocation exists in tandem with the trend occurring in Downtown Brooklyn, as rents rise (asking rents at 180 Livingston hover in the high-$40s per-square-foot), and a new mix of TAMI-focused tenants move into the area. Despite this new pool of tenants and Downtown Brooklyn gearing toward them, more traditional-type tenants like HKS are also able to take advantage of this evolving environment. The deal benefitted both parties, as Thor gains a high-quality tenant and HKS continues to take advantage of a neighborhood where more residential buildings are coming online and the retail landscape is shifting toward higher-value storefronts.
“This transaction was a true win for all parties involved,” said Morris. “As the landscape of Downtown Brooklyn continues to gain momentum, we’ve seen a multitude of positive changes that reinforce it as a premier destination for high-quality office tenants. The long term of the lease ensures that Thor and HKS can foster a lengthy, mutually beneficial relationship.”
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