The Wheeler Building at 181 Livingston Street in Downtown Brooklyn. (Image: Tishman Speyer)
Brooklyn’s commercial office market seems to be showing renewed signs of life. But are hopeful second-quarter numbers the early signs of a post-pandemic comeback, or just an outlier?
New office leasing activity in Brooklyn totaled just over 408,000 square feet in the second quarter of 2021, according to an analysis published last month by the commercial real estate firm CBRE. That’s the most in one quarter since before the pandemic and 15% higher than the five-year quarterly average.
But the jump was driven overwhelmingly by St. Francis College, which in May signed a massive 255,000-square-foot lease for a new campus in the Wheeler Building at 181 Livingston Street in Downtown Brooklyn. That lease was the largest in the borough since February 2020, when the entire 622,157-square-foot Wheeler Building was leased by the private Whittle School, only for that deal to later fall through.