The Eurasia Group put its head down and continued with its business. The firm consults with financial clients and other companies, providing analyses on the spectrum of risks associated with investing and operating businesses in foreign markets. Considering world events since the economic downturn, the firm has been thriving in recent years. “We added 44 people in 2011 alone,” Mr. Allenstein said.
The company’s success only heightened the inconvenience of its situation.
“Imagine being the head of recruiting here and every time you’re bringing in a candidate you’re telling them the address and warning them not to worry, they’re not stepping into a bombed out building,” Mr. Allenstein said.
Alexandra Lloyd, Eurasia Group’s director of communications, added: “We would joke with people that the building was going for industrial chic.”
In recent months, with the firm’s lease set to expire, it had one criterion that stood above all others in its search: a secure landlord.
The Eurasia Group tapped Nick Berger, a young executive at the real estate services firm Newmark Knight Frank, to head up its search. Mr. Berger knew what the company had gone through. He’d been a leasing agent at 218 West 18th Street, a building near Union Square that likewise was almost fully emptied during the boom years to undertake a plan to remake it into a higher end property. And, like 475 Fifth, that building also ended up in foreclosure.
Mr. Berger faced a tough challenge. The real estate market has tightened substantially since the recession. And while that meant fewer problem landlords, it also led to lower vacancy rates.
“A lot of the spaces that are out there right now have been picked over. They’re not the best offices,” Mr. Berger said.