By Roland Li
Brooklyn Friends School has signed a 15-year lease in the ground floor retail space of be@schermerhorn at 189 Schermerhorn Street. The school, which has programs from preschool to 12th grade, will move its youngest students into the 4,742 s/f space.
The school has around 685 students and has its main facilities at 375 Pearl Street, previously occupied by Brooklyn Law School, and another 17,000 s/f at 66 Willoughby Street. The lease was completed at be@schermerhorn as part of an expansion plan, as the school sought a new location for its two-year-old students, according to the Brooklyn Eagle, which first reported the deal.
The interior of the building was designed by 1100 Architect, and the space, which will have three classrooms, a reception area, indoor playroom and conference room, will be built by Alcon Builders Group, according to the Eagle. It will open for classes this fall.
The 246-unit residential portion of the building is almost completely sold, with eight homes remaining on the market. The Corcoran Group is the residential marketing firm.
“Downtown Brooklyn has traditionally been a commercial destination, but with the addition of so many residents over the last 10 years, we feel that it’s important to bring valuable lifestyle offerings that will further enhance the local community,” said Michael Phillips, managing director of Jamestown Properties, be@schermerhorn’s sponsor, in a statement.
CPEX Real Estate’s Timothy King, Eric Altschul and Ryan Condren represented Jamestown in the deal. Ingram & Hebron Realty represented the tenant.
Altschul said the space had received numerous offers from gyms, restaurants and other schools, but the landlord decided that Brooklyn Friends would best serve the tenants of the building and the greater community, which has seen a surge in residential growth.
CPEX’s King said that while landlords may typically go for the highest rent offer, the school’s particular role made it the best fit. “In this case, they went for the top tenant,” he said.
The asking rent was $40 per s/f, which they said was consistent with the area, but they noted that the space was brand new and the landlord had a concession package to fund interior construction.
The lease at be@schermerhorn follows previous deals in retail spaces in residential buildings, an arrangement that generally occurs because residential units are not built on the ground floor. CPEX recently leased a space at Forest City Ratner’s 80 Dekalb to Smashburger, the restaurant’s first New York location. At IBEC Building Corporation’s nearby 200 Schermerhorn Street, branded State Renaissance Court, CPEX leased the ground floor to a laundromat and Brooklyn Fare grocery store, forming a symbiotic relationship with the growing populace.
Over the last year, retail rents in Downtown Brooklyn are up around 10 to 20%, depending on street.
“The retail marketplace as a whole is extremely tight, extremely hot, and it bodes well for landlords,” said King. “It’s a very Darwinian marketplace for tenants.”
An additional 9,922 s/f of retail is vacant on the Livingston Street side of be@schermerhorn, which CPEX is currently marketing.
“I think as more of these national tenants plant their first flag in Brooklyn, other national tenants will realize it’s the place to be,” said Altschul.