Lease Beat

MUFG Union Bank Takes 200K SF at McGraw-Hill Building

1221 Avenue of the Americas.

MUFG Union Bank has signed a lease for 209,700 square feet on the bottom three floors of the McGraw-Hill Building in one of the year’s largest new leases, The New York Post reported.

The Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group subsidiary is consolidating several Manhattan offices at the Rockefeller Group’s building, at 1221 Avenue of the Americas between West 48th and West 49th Streets. MUFG Union Bank also has office space at 1251 Avenue of the Americas. Read More

Lease Beat

Law Firm Expands at 30 Rock

30 Rockefeller Plaza

Haynes and Boone LLP has expanded by 38,193 square feet at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, taking the entire 24th floor at the Tishman Speyer property, Commercial Observer has learned.

The law firm now occupies the entire 24th, 25th and 26th floors for a total of 112,793 square feet and is now the third largest tenant in the building, according to a spokesperson who confirmed the deal. The tenant will pay rent starting in the high-$70s, according to data from CompStak. Read More

Lease Beat

55 Water Street Lands Liberty Mutual Renewal and Expansion

55 Water Street

Liberty Mutual has signed a 10-year, 120,000-square-foot lease at 55 Water Street, a success story to emerge amid a massive renovation project launched in response to a string of misfortunes brought by Hurricane Sandy.

The insurance company doubles its space in the building with the deal, moving from the 18th floor to the 22nd and 23rd floors.

“It’s great news for the landlord and it’s great news for Downtown,” said CBRE’s Brad Gerla, who represented the landlord with Mary Ann TigheHoward Fiddle and Evan Haskel.

New Water Street Corp. is putting $200 million into the building after it took on some 32 million gallons of water during the storm.  The project includes the transport of key electrical, mechanical and communications equipment to the 3rd floor and storm-proofing to protect against future disasters.

“This landlord went over and above to secure the building and to make sure that something like this doesn’t happen again,” Mr. Gerla said. Read More

Postings

The B Team: The Biggest Occupancy Shifts in Class B and Class A Buildings

CO 2-19 Postings

For the first time in recent history, the availability rate across Manhattan’s stock of Class B buildings is lower than that of their Class A counterparts, suggesting a flight to value, propelled in part by the latest wave of technology startups and media companies looking for affordable space. Indeed, at 10.6 percent, the current availability rate for Class B space is 170 basis points less than the Class A rate of 12.3 percent, according to Richard Persichetti of Cassidy Turley.

With Cassidy Turley’s help, The Commercial Observer decided to put a spotlight on some of the most dramatic occupancy shifts across Manhattan over the last three years. Read More

Cover Story

We Are OK: New Technology and Existing Resources Are Allowing Sandy’s Victims to Avoid Subleasing

US-WEATHER-STORM-SANDY

On Thursday, Nov. 1, Virgo Business Centers made 27,321 square feet of temporary, furnished office space available at 14 Penn Plaza. Companies displaced by Hurricane Sandy filed in one by one, and by the following Thursday, the space was full.

“Typically, that process takes about a year,” said Pasha Erkin, director of sales at the company. “It’s all about readiness. You could literally bring me 40 people today, and I could have the space ready tomorrow. All you have to do is walk in, flip on a switch, plug in and start working.”

In that building alone, the company took on 177 employees from displaced companies like Coronet, amfAR, Linda Decorato, Ambrose and others located on the eastern tip of Downtown and other areas hit hard by the hurricane. Read More

Midtown

Leasing Sluggish Along Sixth Avenue in Rockefeller Center Submarket

Rockefeller Center Boundaries.

Built by the Rockefeller family in the 1930s, Rockefeller Center is one of the largest commercial real estate developments to be built in the past century. Initially spanning approximately two dozen buildings, 22 acres and over 8,000,000 square feet, the district has further expanded in recent years to include a few dozen additional buildings along the Sixth Avenue corridor.

“There has also been a significant slowdown of leasing along the Sixth Avenue corridor, particularly Class A leasing, where leasing in the first half of 2012 was about half the long-term average,” said Melissa Bazar, an executive director at Cushman & Wakefield. “Since the Sixth Avenue corridor is dominated by large corporate users and financial firms, we expect leasing to remain sluggish through the balance of 2012, below the long-term average.”

Inventory has increased from 9.3 percent to 10.5 percent this past year, according to Cushman & Wakefield’s third-quarter report. Read More

Lease Beat

McGraw Hill Contemplating Another Large Sublease

1221 Avenue of the Americas

McGraw Hill may put space on the market at 1221 Avenue of the Americas, several sources familiar with the company claim, although the firm itself and leasing executives who work with it on its space needs denied the rumor, albeit on background and on the condition their identities be withheld.

Several brokers and executives who have knowledge of the company however insist it is contemplating releasing as much as 200,000 to 300,000 square feet at the approximately 2.7 million-square-foot office tower, a block of space that it occupies at top of the 52-story skyscraper. Read More

2Q12

Right Out of Gate, 2Q12 Looks Sluggish

One Chase Manhattan Plaza

Just weeks into the second quarter, brokers are already saying that caution continues to linger in the city’s leasing market.

After one of the slowest quarter in years during the first three months of the year, a number of large transactions that have been
rumored to be in talks for months remain in negotiations and big tenants who do have to lease space have made decisions that reflect a
sense of conservatism. Read More