Tishman Speyer Lands Major Tenant in Brooklyn

In an unusual twist, the 620,000-square-foot lease is linked to a project that features the restoration of a vintage department store.
The Wheeler and 11 Hoyt. Image courtesy of Tishman Speyer

Less than a month after signing an anchor tenant to The Spiral in Hudson Yards, Tishman Speyer has signed a 20-year lease with a school that will occupy all 620,000 square feet of The Wheeler, the firm’s newly completed tower atop a Macy’s store in Downtown Brooklyn.

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The Whittle School, a K-12 school with locations in Washington, D.C., and Shenzhen, China, will lease the entirety of the building starting in September 2021. The school is expected to open its Whittle Studios concept and early learning program later this year and will have a dedicated entrance on Livingston Street.

Tishman Speyer CEO Rob Speyer said in prepared remarks that the blend of old and new construction, coupled with innovate outdoor space, will be an “ideal setting” for the school.

Old & New

Located on Fulton Street in the heart of the Downtown area, The Wheeler is a partnership between Macy’s and Tishman Speyer that kicked off in 2015, when Macy’s enlisted the real estate firm to renovate and restore its historic Brooklyn department store. The Art Deco building was originally completed in 1930 and includes an interconnected cast-iron structure that dates back to the 1870s.

As part of the renovation, Tishman Speyer undertook a lengthy preservation and restoration of the Wheeler’s Mansard roof and cast-iron façade. The firm then built a modern 10-story glass and steel tower atop the restored building.

Tishman Speyer is also in the process of completing 11 Hoyt, a 480-unit luxury condo tower adjacent to the Wheeler. The 57-story residential building will feature apartments ranging from studio to four bedrooms, as well as 55,000 square feet of amenities.

In addition to Tishman’s recent Brooklyn projects and The Spiral, the firm is developing 630,000 square feet of office space across the upper floors of a historic building in Chelsea that previously served as one of the largest mail-processing centers in the U.S. In Queens, the firm recently completed a 1.2 million-square-foot office project dubbed The JACX, which is now fully leased, as well as the 1,900-unit luxury rental building Jackson Park.