JLL Closes $280M Loan for Brooklyn Redevelopment

AIG provided a 15-year loan to a partnership between Midtown Equities and HK Organization for Empire Stores, a 443,000-square-foot office and retail property.
Empire Stores

A joint venture between Midtown Equities and HK Organization has received $280 million in refinancing for Empire Stores, a recently redeveloped Class A retail and office building in Brooklyn’s DUMBO section.

JLL’s Capital Markets team facilitated a 15-year loan through AIG for the six-story building.

“The value of the Empire Stores is the result of a clear vision and superior execution by Midtown Equities and HK Organization for the redevelopment of the property,” Aaron Appel, JLL’s vice chairman, said in a prepared statement. “This was an excellent lending opportunity with a stabilized property and outstanding sponsors.”

Located at 55 Water St. in Brooklyn’s East River Waterfront section, the former warehouse building features 378,000 square feet of office space with another 65,000 square feet of ground-floor retail.

The original structure, which was utilized as a coffee warehouse, dates back more than 150 years, though it was destroyed by a fire and rebuilt in the late 1860s. It is one of the last of the cargo warehouses still standing on the East River waterfront.

Empire Stores opened in 2017 and its historic charm is preserved with original architectural such as an iron-shuttered façade, iconic brick masonry, coffee chutes and hoisting wheels.

Its office tenant roster includes United Technologies, 72 and Sunny, West Elm and Laundry Service, while the retail component has J. Crew, West Elm’s home décor outlet and a 22,000-square-foot food hall. West Elm

Joining Appel on the deal were JLL’s Managing Director Jonathan Schwartz, Executive Vice President Jackson Sastri and Vice Presidents David Sitt and Eliott Zeitoune.

Image courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons user Maciek Lulko