During the recession, 23-40 West 23rd Street looked like another building on the verge of gaining substantial vacancy. Suffering amid the downturn, its biggest tenant, Ecko Unlimited, which had leased the bulk of the 600,000-square-foot property, appeared to be on the brink of insolvency and ready to hand back hundreds of thousands of square feet in a market where replacement tenants were hard to find.
Now, just a few years later, the building is one of the neighborhood’s biggest successes.
AppNexus, a tech firm that specializes in creating software and platforms for online advertising, is expanding by 24,500 square feet at the building, adding to the 66,000 square feet it already occupies.
The deal is one of many that Andy Roos, a top leasing executive at the real estate services firm Colliers International and a part owner of the property, has helped arrange that have filled space once held by Ecko. In addition to AppNexus, Mr. Roos and Michael Cohen, another Colliers executive who is an owner of the building, signed a 66,000-square-foot deal in recent months with a digital division of the cosmetics company Estee Lauder.
Always humble, Mr. Roos doesn’t think of himself as a visionary for seeing the neighborhood’s–and his property’s–quick transition in recent years into a destination for creative firms and tech companies, an influx that has driven up rents, lowered vacancy levels and made the area the hottest leasing district in the city.
“I looked at the success of 111 Eighth Avenue and 200 Fifth Avenue and basically wanted to emulated that,” he told The Commercial Observer during a recent tour of the property. “Those are the bookends of the neighborhood and I’m kind of in the middle.”
In this slideshow, Mr. Roos takes The CO on a tour of 28-40 West 23rd Street, showing off the building’s unique amenities, including its three lobbies, internal atrium and planned roof space.