In terms of square footage, the biggest real estate transaction thus far this year in Brooklyn took place right here in Fort Greene.
In late September, the city Human Resources Administration signed a 20-year agreement with GFI Development to lease six floors of a 10-story building at 470 Vanderbilt Ave.—long a hulking and half-empty presence at the southwestern edge of Fort Greene, a stone's throw away from Atlantic Yards.
According to the New York Times, the building is now 85 percent leased, partly due to a creative financing deal to pay for $60 million in improvements to transform the floors from their current raw state to usable office space.
The 1,800 HRA employees to be relocated to the building from other parts of the city is expected to have a big impact for the restaurants, shops and other small businesses on nearby Fulton Street.
“[It] will mean more patrons for our businesses and an increase in foot traffic for the neighborhoods,” Fulton Area Business Alliance manager Phillip Kellogg told the New York Times.
Still in question however was whether the successful leasing model used at 470 Vanderbilt Ave. could be applied at other underutilized buildings dotted throughout Brooklyn.
The Metropolitan Transit Authority recently put 370 Jay St., , on the market. No word yet on the selling price, or whether there were any takers.