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Tishman Speyer signs 620,000 s/f lease at new Brooklyn tower

Tishman Speyer announced a 20-year lease agreement with the Whittle School & Studios, which will open the third location of its growing worldwide campus at The Wheeler in Downtown Brooklyn. 

The Whittle School will lease all 620,000 square feet of The Wheeler, Tishman Speyer’s newly completed 10-story tower situated atop Macy’s renovated Downtown Brooklyn department store.  The school, which will have a dedicated entrance on Livingston Street, expects to open its Whittle Studios concept and early learning program later this year, followed by its full K-12 offering starting in September 2021.  The Whittle School established its first two locations in Washington, DC and Shenzhen, China in 2019. 

“We are pleased to provide the Whittle School with a dynamic new campus in the heart of Downtown Brooklyn,” said Tishman Speyer CEO Rob Speyer. “With its seamless blend of old and new construction and innovative outdoor spaces, The Wheeler is an ideal setting for a world-class education.”

The Wheeler is the result of a unique development partnership between Macy’s and Tishman Speyer that led to the construction of a modern 10-story glass and steel tower, a total reinvention of Macy’s historic Downtown Brooklyn store and the historic restoration of two of Fulton Street’s foremost iconic storefronts. Tishman Speyer is also finalizing construction at 11 Hoyt, an adjacent, 480-unit condominium tower on the site of Macy’s former parking garage. 

Macy’s tapped Tishman Speyer in August 2015 to help reimagine and fully renovate its historic Brooklyn department store.  As part of this process, the iconic retailer consolidated its operations into the first four shopping floors and lower levels of its main Art Deco building built in 1930 and an interconnected cast-iron structure built by developer Andrew Wheeler in the 1870s. 

Tishman Speyer led the preservation and restoration of the Wheeler building’s distinctive Mansard roof and cast-iron façade.  It was a painstaking process that required the entire façade to be disassembled and taken off-site for renovation and repairs. The restored façade was then returned to the site and re-assembled piece by piece in its precise original location.  In addition, Tishman Speyer and Macy’s preserved and restored the Art Deco masonry façade and the distinctive terrace railings of the original Macy’s building.

Working with the project’s design architect, Joey Shimoda of Shimoda Design Group, Tishman Speyer also preserved all of the building’s original setbacks and incorporated a number of additional setbacks into the new construction.  The result is one acre of programmable outdoor spaces spread across eight setbacks and a roof deck with unobstructed views of the Brooklyn Bridge, Statue of Liberty, Lower Manhattan and New York harbor.

The Wheeler is one of a number of recent and ongoing commercial and residential projects that Tishman Speyer has undertaken in three boroughs. 

On the west side of Manhattan, Tishman Speyer is building The Spiral, a 2.8 million square foot office tower that will feature a cascading series of landscaped terraces. In West Chelsea, Tishman Speyer is creating 630,000 square feet of modern office space across the upper floors of the historic Morgan North building at 341 Ninth Avenue.  In Long Island City, the firm recently completed The JACX, a fully-leased, 1.2 million square foot office project, and Jackson Park, a 1,900-unit luxury rental development.

The Wheeler agreement is Tishman Speyer’s third office lease in excess of 300,000 square feet at one of its new office developments over the past two months.  Earlier this month, Tishman Speyer announced a 520,000 square foot lease with the law firm Debevoise & Plimpton at The Spiral. In mid-November, the firm agreed to lease 320,000 square feet at 341 Ninth Avenue to advertising giant Dentsu Aegis Network. 

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