(Bloomberg) -- Brooklyn’s former Domino Sugar Refinery is reopening as an office hub, seeking tenants at a time when demand for workspace has faltered across New York City.
The building, now called the Refinery at Domino, is offering 460,000 square feet (43,000 square meters) of luxury offices for lease, with rents ranging from $75 to $100 a square foot, according to developer Two Trees Management Co.
The grand opening of the Refinery project, which has undergone a $150 million conversion, is the latest step in Two Trees’ $2.5 billion redevelopment near the edge of the East River in Williamsburg. The developer’s broader plans for the area include 2,800 apartments and 600,000 square feet of offices, with an aim to complete the project by 2027.
Office demand in New York has declined over the past few years, as companies look to reduce space due in part to remote work and cost-cutting measures. Still, tenants have been drawn to newer and more unique locations, benefiting some recent developments in the city.
Brooklyn-based Two Trees is betting that firms will seek out its office space with amenities in Williamsburg, a neighborhood that’s home to many tech and creative workers.
“We feel lucky to be in Brooklyn,” Bonnie Campbell, a principal at Two Trees, said. “We have some offices in Manhattan that are struggling, but in Brooklyn, that’s not the case.”
The 15-story, glass-and-steel office building is enclosed by the old refinery’s brick outer layer, which is landmarked. The Domino Sugar Refinery, built in the 1880s, produced more than 1 million pounds of sugar daily when it was running at full speed. The walls were still covered in burnt sugar when Two Trees purchased the waterfront property in 2012.
Today, the Refinery will be an all-electric office building. Two Trees has also made an LED replacement of the original iconic neon “Domino Sugar” sign on the building’s rooftop exterior, while a local artist transforms the old one into an art piece for the lobby.
The structure is topped with a 30-foot glass dome, which includes a bar, lounge and space for events, such as the Hermes runway show it hosted during New York Fashion Week. A vertical garden with seasonal plants and trees grows in the space between the glass wall and building’s brick exterior. The factory’s chimney was preserved and will be used as an entrance to the entire ground-floor public space.
The building’s amenities and cheaper price tag will also draw tenants to its offices, Campbell said.
The company has fully leased one of its nearby buildings, Ten Grand. The company is already seeing interest from existing and new tenants to expand to the Refinery, she said.
“If we didn’t have a proof of concept 100 feet away, we’d be more nervous,” Campbell said.
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