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By Verity Sylvester ’19 and Ricki Shenfeld ’18
On Friday, April 6th, students from the Real Estate Association (REA) were hosted by Jamestown and Belvedere Capital for a private tour of their historic Industry City development which stretches across 15 blocks of the Brooklyn Waterfront. The day started in the stunning Industry City headquarters with Adam Sussi, Director of Asset Management. Over the past five years, Jamestown and Belvedere Capital have reimagined and modernized a large portion of the site’s six million square feet of 1890’s industrial buildings into a stunning mixed-use complex. The office was situated in the heart of Industry City, boasting 13-foot ceilings, a large, open-floor plate and tons of natural light. In awe of the office space, the group immediately understood how Industry City attracted top design, manufacturing, media, and design firms to the development. Adam started his presentation by talking the group through the history of the project, including the acquisition process and capital stack. Adam also walked students through some of the lease deals that have been completed to-date such as the $50M Brooklyn Nets practice facility and 70,000 SF corporate headquarters and many other prominent tenants including Conde Nast, AECOM, West Elm, Time, Inc., and Rag & Bone.
To give the group an idea of the amenities and common space that Jamestown and Belvedere cultivated to attract over 450 tenants to their development, Adam next took the group through Innovation Alley--a 1,200-foot-long public corridor lined with unique retail spaces connecting nine of the development’s buildings. Here the group saw Avocaderia, the world’s first avocado bar which was recently awarded $400,000 on Shark Tank, and the Li-Lac Chocolate factory. Adam next gave the group a glimpse into Camp David, a beautifully designed members-only co-working space located in the heart of Industry City. The group also toured through a portion of the 5 acres of courtyard space available to the public in the development. Programmed with exciting public events throughout the year such as the Brooklyn Flea, Smorgasburg and free family concerts, Industry City has become a major attraction and has had a transformative impact on Brooklyn’s Sunset Park community.
The tour ended with a talk by Glen Siegel, the founder of Belvedere Capital and one of the visionaries behind the Industry City development. Glen gave the group a sneak peek into Japan Village, a 20,000 SF Japanese food hall which Glen refers to as “Japanese Eataly” which is slated to open in summer 2018. Next, Glen brought the group to Brooklyn Kura, New York State’s first sake brewery and one of only 15 sake breweries in the nation. Here, the group was introduced the group to Brian Polen, the co-founder of Brooklyn Kura. Brian gave the group a look into the process of starting and running a sake brewery and his vision for the future of his firm.
On behalf of Columbia Business School’s Real Estate Association, we would like to thank Jamestown and Belvedere Capital for giving us a memorable tour of their Industry City development. The site tour allowed us to experience the new community that Jamestown and Belvedere has built and their vision for the future of Brooklyn’s waterfront.
Verity Sylvester ‘19 is the AVP of Site Tours for the Real Estate Association at Columbia Business School. She is a first year focusing on real estate development and finance. Verity previously worked for Manulife Real Estate based in Toronto in asset management and development functions.
Ricki Shenfeld Tishman ’18 is the VP of Site Tours for the Real Estate Association at Columbia Business School. She is a second year focusing on real estate. Prior to enrolling at Columbia, Ricki worked in Acquisitions & Capital Markets at DDG, a luxury real estate developer in Manhattan with offices in San Francisco and Palm Beach. Ricki spent her summer at Silverstein Properties in Acquisitions & Development.