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Manhattan heavyweights in Brooklyn - SL Green real estate developers move in on Court Street property

How hot is Downtown Brooklyn’s commercial real estate market?

Hot enough for SL Green, Manhattan‘s largest commercial real estate developers, to journey across the river and purchase 16 Court Street, the iconic 36-story office building built in 1929.

Since the $107 million purchase was completed last summer, SL Green has been busy with a $20 million comprehensive redevelopment of the borough’s largest office building as it continues to sign new leases with tenants.

“SL Green is the largest renovator of pre-war [World War II] office buildings in the world,” said Chris Havens, chief executive for Corporate Real Estate Services, LLC, which has been involved in marketing the building.

Havens said the current renovations include a new lobby, elevator cabs, corridors, windows, building façade and bathrooms.

The building was bought with about a 25 percent vacancy and its remained at about that rate with tenants moving in and out, said Havens.

Havens said three 15-year leases are available with many in the mid to upper $30s per square foot price range, and are turn-key ready, or can be renovated to suit the perspective tenant.

Among these spaces are several excellent suites over 3,000 square feet that are ideal for small law firms and located in the building’s tower with views of the New York Harbor, Manhattan and the East River looking north, Havens said.

Havens also noted the building is a hop, skip and jump away from all the borough’s courts as well as being above the subway lines, just two stops from the Long Island Rail Road.

Among the building’s new tenants are Naxos, a classical music record company, which signed a 1,000-square-foot lease for three years on the 12th floor; Hudson Valley Bank, a private banking for attorneys, which signed a 10-year deal for 2,397 square feet on the 19th floor; and Conservation Services Group, energy conservation consultants, who committed to 3,156 square feet on the 18th floor for a period of three years.

“Downtown Brooklyn is becoming a magnet for companies desiring the proximity to Manhattan at more cost effective rental rates,” said Steve Durels, SL Green’s executive vice president and director of leasing.

“16 Court Street is an iconic property, towering 400 feet above the borough. Now that our $16 million capital program is solidly underway, we’re beginning to attract a wide diversity of companies who want to be part of the Brooklyn business boom, occupying Class A space,” he added.

While the borough’s commercial real estate market remains hot, a recent Prudential Douglas Elliman Brooklyn Market Overview of residential properties is mixed.

According to that report, the median sales price of residential properties borough wide slipped 1.9 percent to $525,000 from the prior year quarter result of $535,000.

However, average sales price has increased 2.4 percent over the prior year quarter to $588,441 from $574,454.

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