Developer of huge Red Hook office complex seeks a partner with at least $100M

Milan-based Est4te Four is developing a 1.2 million-square-foot commercial project along the Brooklyn waterfront.

Photo: NBBJ
Rendering of Red Hook Innovation Studios.

The Italian company that has plans to develop a sprawling office complex along the Red Hook, Brooklyn, waterfront is seeking a partner willing to invest $100 million or more in the project.

Milan-based Est4te Four has hired Cushman & Wakefield, led by Bob Knakal, Cushman’s chairman of investment sales, to market a 49% stake in the development, called Red Hook Innovation Studios. When completed, the project would be the biggest block of newly constructed office space outside Manhattan to be available for rent. According to previous reports, Est4te Four plans to spend $400 million to create the five-building complex, which would total nearly 1.2 million square feet. The project likely will be built in phases over five years and could break ground next year, when leases at the existing properties on the site expire.

The developer, which also has projects in Los Angeles, London and Milan, spent about $61 million over the past three years assembling six adjacent properties located west of Ferris Street, from Coffey to Sullivan streets, in Red Hook. The sites are occupied by either warehouse properties or parking lots.

Est4te Four plans to preserve and restore 202 Coffey St., a two-story, approximately 170,000-square-foot warehouse that’s over 100 years old. The rest of the site would largely be rebuilt. The company is expected to erect four office buildings of up to seven stories. Est4te Four would also create park space, a promenade along the water and retail space at the base of the buildings.

Red Hook Innovation Studios will be designed to appeal to creative, fashion and tech businesses, which increasingly are calling Brooklyn home. Similar commercial destinations in the borough have been successful in drawing tenants. Just south of Red Hook, for instance, Industry City, a 6 million-square-foot collection of former industrial buildings in Sunset Park, has attracted big names like Time Inc.  Meanwhile, the owner of Dumbo Heights, a group of contiguous buildings joined by sky bridges in Dumbo, has nearly filled the complex with several tenants in recent months.

Near its big office project, the Italian company is in the process of converting a former six-story warehouse at 160 Imlay St. into a 70-unit luxury condominium. Patty LaRocco, a broker with Douglas Elliman who is handling sales for that project, said that more than 60 of the building’s units are in contract, with prices averaging more than $1,100 a square foot–among the highest ever netted for residential space in the neighborhood.