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By Verity Sylvester ’19
On Friday October 5th, 2018, the Real Estate Association (REA) and members of the Paul Milstein Center for Real Estate were hosted by LIVWRK for a private tour of their groundbreaking Panorama Redevelopment. Situated on the Brooklyn waterfront at the intersection of Dumbo, Brooklyn Heights and Brooklyn Bridge Park, the Panorama complex is comprised of five interconnected buildings and occupied two entire city blocks. LIVWRK and CIM Group purchased the complex in 2016 and have since begun a substantial gut renovation of the project. The mixed-use campus is slated to provide over 635,000 SF of office space, 35,000 SF of retail space, and 15,000 SF of hospitality space.
The day started outside of 30 Columbia Heights with Matt Ciccotti, a Vice President at LIVWRK who is responsible for overseeing the redevelopment. Matt gave us a glimpse into the history and the significance of the site. Originally built in 1920s and subsequently used by Jehovah’s Witness as their global headquarters, the Panorama complex is filled with history that LIVWRK has worked hard to preserve. After our introduction to the project, Matt walked us through the 35,000 SF retail component of the site. Standing on the third-floor patio which is likely to be either a restaurant or amenity space, Matt explained the architects vision behind the interaction of the retail, amenity and office components of the project and its context within the neighborhood. We were then shown through the interior courtyard, which was being replanted to create an oasis among the office buildings, and the stunning double height lobby.
The tour continued as we walked over to 25 Columbia Heights, which is connected by a skybridge to 30 Columbia Heights. This skybridge is a unique feature to the development as it gives potential tenants over 70,000 SF of contiguous floor plate—an opportunity for a large tenant to build a unique office campus within a dense urban environment.
Matt then spoke to the group about leasing of the project. Beyond the unique historical context of the site and large contiguous floor plates, Panorama is also able to offer other exceptional amenities that include; signage, parking, terrace space, full gym and locker room, and bike storage room. Furthermore, Matt educated the group on the various incentives provided to tenants relocating to Brooklyn, such as the Relocation & Employment Assistance Program.
Lastly, Matt walked the group through the bidding and purchase process with CIM in 2016. The site was purchased as a package with 85 Jay Street, a 135,000 SF site with over 1 million SF of development rights.
On behalf of Columbia Business School’s Real Estate Association and the Paul Milstein Center for Real Estate, we would like to thank the team at LIVWRK for giving us a memorable tour of their project. The tour allowed us to get a glimpse into the future of Dumbo/Brooklyn Heights and showed the group an excellent example of a historical building being repurposed to meet modern tenant demands.
Verity Sylvester ‘19 is the VP of Site Tours for the Real Estate Association at Columbia Business School. She is a second year focusing on real estate development and finance. Prior to enrolling at Columbia, Verity worked in Real Estate asset management and development at Manulife in Toronto, Canada. Verity spent her summer working in acquisitions at SL Green.