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Joseph Cayre’s Midtown Equities Reveals Images Of Empire Stores

The public can now get a glimpse of what the new Empire Stores in Brooklyn will look like, thanks to a rendering on Midtown Equities’ web site.

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Joseph Cayre

Last year Joseph Cayre’s Midtown Equities, together with Rockwood Capital and the HK Organization won the rights to develop the Empire Stores, coffee warehouse located in the Dumbo section of Brooklyn, beating out nine other bidders. The plans for the new development are now available on line.

Located opposite Manhattan along the East River at 53-83 Walter Street in Brooklyn’s historic Fulton Ferry district, the building dates back to 1869. In keeping with the Romanesque Revival style of warehouses of the late nineteenth century, it has red brick walls, iron shutters and round arched entrances. The location is owned by New York State and is used for outdoor events.

The project is estimated to cost $150 million and when it is done the developers expect to charge $65 per square foot rent for for office space, which will total 360, 000 square feet. A 70, 000 square foot roof top addition is planned for the site. There will be 75, 000 square feet of retail space when the project is completed sometime in 2015.

Joseph Cayre

West Elm, a Brooklyn based home décor retailer, has already agreed to lease 10, 000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor as well as 140, 000 square feet of office space, reportedly for up to $50 a square foot. There will also be a number of restaurants and an open market space.

Empire Foods has already taken a spot facing the park for a reported $150 per square foot. The developers will offer the store fronts along Walter Street to retailers for an estimated $125 per square foot in rent.

Based in New York and founded in 2000, Midtown Equities is a privately held real estate and development company that serves as the investment platform for the Cayre family. It has a portfolio of over 100 properties covering more than 14 million square feet of retail, office, residential, industrial and hospital spaces. Both the firm develops and leases properties.
Midtown’s largest current project is a $2.3 billion development for 3, 000 condominiums and 600, 000 square feet of retail space in Miami.


The founder and principal of Midtown Equities, Joseph Cayre is an American real estate developer who also co founded Salsoul Records, GoodTimes Entertainment and video game maker GT Interactive Software.

Born in Brooklyn to a Syrian Jewish family, Cayre began his business career by operating a duty free store on a cruise ship which traveled between Miami and The Bahamas.

Cayre is also the co-founder and chairman of Core Group Marketing, a New York real estate brokerage and advisory firm specializing in the purchase, sale, rental and marketing of new residential developments. . In 2001, before the September 11 attacks, he partnered with Larry Silverstein and Lloyd Goldman to lease the World Trade Center.


Founded by Harry Kotowitz and Howard Klaus, the HK Organization is a real estate development and investment firm. Based in Brooklyn, the firm holds a number of commercial and residential properties throughout New York City.





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