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Etsy Inks Lease on 200,000-Square-Foot Space in Watchtower Buildings

By Janet Upadhye | May 13, 2014 3:03pm

BROOKLYN — DIY behemoth Etsy signed a lease as an anchor tenant to occupy 200,000 square-feet of space in one of the former Watchtower Buildings, the former home of the Jehovah's Witnesses, officials announced.

The company — currently headquartered just blocks away in an 80,000-square-foot office at 55 Washington St. — plans to expand from 350 employees to 750 in the next five years with the move to Dumbo Heights, which the developers envision as a "high-tech urban campus."

The new space represents a quarter of the 853,000 square feet that are available in one of the Watchtower buildings at 117 Adams St.

Etsy's new digs, part of a five-building complex, will have perks like dining areas, pet-friendly spaces, a rooftop deck, gourmet food market, bicycle parking and outdoor plazas.

The online marketplace was founded in a Fort Greene apartment in 2005. It now has more than 1 million vendors who make handcrafted goods like jewelry, clothing and furniture and sell them online to more than 30 million members, according to the company.

These virtual merchants — most of whom are women running home-based businesses, according to Etsy — sold $1.35 billion in goods in 2013, CEO Chad Dickerson said in a statement announcing the company's move.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo praised the move saying it would contribute to economic growth and more jobs for New York.

"After launching in Brooklyn nearly nine years ago, Etsy continues to thrive, offering an exciting technology platform that empowers tens of thousands of New York State businesses and individuals," he said in a statement. "It is great news to see a New York based company like Etsy continue to expand here."

A spokeswoman for Etsy said that the move is expected to happen in 2016.