New office tower, rooftop park, will rise above Macy’s

April 6, 2017 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
A view of The Wheeler from Fulton Street. Renderings courtesy of Tishman Speyer
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Tishman Speyer CEO Rob Speyer on Wednesday unveiled the firm’s plans and timetable for the development of The Wheeler, a 10-story creative office hub to rise above Macy’s historic department store in the heart of Downtown Brooklyn. 

With The Wheeler, a name inspired by the visionary 19th-century Brooklyn developer Andrew Wheeler, Tishman Speyer is creating a 620,000-square-foot vertical office campus spread across 10 expansive floors. The new development will feature Brooklyn’s largest floorplate, 16-foot ceilings on each floor, an acre of outdoor space across a series of gardened terraces and roof decks, a dedicated amenity floor and views of Lower Manhattan, Brooklyn Bridge, Statue of Liberty and New York harbor. The Wheeler will be ready for occupancy in mid-2019.

This new development in the heart of Brooklyn’s world-renowned cultural, residential and retail scene is made possible through an innovative redevelopment partnership between Macy’s and Tishman Speyer, according to the firm’s release. 

“For Tishman Speyer’s first-ever project in Brooklyn, we are creating an environment that is every bit as innovative, energetic and dynamic as the borough itself,” Speyer said.  “The Wheeler will celebrate its special location at the epicenter of Brooklyn and feed off the vitality of the iconic brownstone neighborhoods, open spaces, cultural venues and creative communities that surround it on all sides.”

To realize its vision for The Wheeler, Tishman Speyer is working with renowned architect Joey Shimoda, founder of the Shimoda Design Group, alongside the architectural firm Perkins Eastman. This will be the first New York project for the Shimoda Design Group.

Tishman Speyer, which is serving as project developer and operating partner for The Wheeler, is being joined by partner HNA Group, a prominent global investor based in China. HNA is also an investment partner with Tishman Speyer on the firm’s two planned Hudson Yards development projects. Construction financing, which was arranged by HFF, is being provided by Bank of the Ozarks.

Innovative Design and Construction

Through the partnership between Macy’s and Tishman Speyer, Macy’s will continue to own and operate the first four shopping floors and lower level of two interconnected buildings —  a nine-story art deco building built in 1930 and an adjacent four-story, cast-iron structure that was built by Andrew Wheeler in the 1870s. 

Tishman Speyer is constructing 10 brand new office floors on top of the 1870s Wheeler building and will integrate that new construction into the upper floors of the 1930 art deco building that Macy’s is vacating. This blend of old and new will result in 620,000 square feet of office space. 

The lower four office floors will encompass 90,000 square feet of rentable space per floor, while the upper six office floors will range in size from 30,000 to 64,000 square feet.

Tishman Speyer is preserving all existing setbacks and creating a number of additional setbacks into the new construction, according to the release. These setbacks, which will be spread out across eight offices floors, will be transformed into an acre of landscaped outdoor terraces and roof decks for active tenant use. 

The Wheeler will have its own dedicated entrance located on Livingston Street between Hoyt Street and Gallatin Place.

Downtown Brooklyn

Tishman Speyer is developing The Wheeler during a period of unprecedented growth in Downtown Brooklyn. Between 2012 and 2016, more than 3,000 units of housing were constructed in the greater Downtown Brooklyn area, which encompasses such internationally recognized neighborhoods as DUMBO, Brooklyn Heights, Park Slope, Fort Greene, Gowanus, Pacific Park and Williamsburg. 

The city’s third largest central business district, Downtown Brooklyn is a transit-rich location with connections to all of the city’s major workforce neighborhoods, including Williamsburg, Bushwick, Long Island City, Sunset Park and virtually all of Manhattan.

The Wheeler will also benefit from its close proximity to some of the borough’s best cultural and public open space infrastructure, including the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Barclays Center and the Brooklyn Tech Triangle. 

“With each project, Tishman Speyer has set out to create the world’s most contemporary, collaborative workspaces,” Speyer noted.  “Our developments in Downtown Brooklyn, Long Island City and Hudson Yards reflect the new way that people are thinking about urban real estate and respond to their growing desire to work, live, shop, play and eat all within the same neighborhood.” 

He added, “The most exciting thing about modern day New York is the rapid emergence of these neighborhoods as viable 21st-century business districts, which is key to the city’s ability to attract new industries and ensure that existing companies will have the space they need to grow here.”


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