Post-Tropical Storm Sandy
Before Jeremy Moss, senior vice president of leasing at Silverstein Properties, joined the firm four and a half years ago, he spent eight years working at Forest City Ratner, a tenure that culminated in a role managing the leasing of the office space at the New York Times building. He called working alongside Bruce Ratner Read More
Post-Tropical Storm Sandy
Silverstein Properties reopened 120 Wall Street Wednesday morning for the first time since Hurricane Sandy flooded the 600,000-square-foot building’s basement and damaged electrical distribution equipment.
The company pumped more than one million gallons of water out from the building’s basement and removed contaminants before methodically checking all base systems to get them back up and running, Jeremy Moss, the firm’s vice president of leasing told The Commercial Observer.
“Since the storm we’ve been working around the clock to get the building up and running and to bring tenants back – we succeeded this morning at 8 a.m,” Mr. Moss said.
In the face of one of the worst natural disasters in the city’s history, commercial real estate landlords braced for Hurricane Sandy, employing every measure possible to hold property damage to a minimum and keep tenants safe.
But not even prophetic foresight could have allowed the city’s landlords—or New York City as a whole—to prevent much of the destruction that the mammoth storm wreaked across the five boroughs.
The road to recovery, especially in low-lying coastal areas like Staten Island, Coney Island and the Rockaways, will take months, if not years. Lower Manhattan went dark for days, with many companies largely shutting down due to power outages and salt water flooding, which is especially corrosive to mechanical equipment.
“It’s—It’s—It’s just a mess,” said Jordan Barowitz, a spokesman for the Durst Organization, who struggled to find words to describe the destruction in Lower Manhattan.
The 1 World Trade Center tower, which seems to spring into view from every vantage point these days, symbolizes different things to different people. To commercial landlords and brokers, it represents both a flagship for the Downtown area and a potential surge in competition. For those with a direct stake, it means the recovery from the terrorist attack is finally reaching the finish line.
“The sense of momentum and progress, which was not universal for years, is now palpable,” said Janno Lieber, who oversees design and construction at the site for Silverstein Properties, the landlord of the two towers that were destroyed 11 years ago.
After moving in to 210,000 square feet in the building earlier this year, law firm WilmerHale’s build-out at 7 World Trade Center has been awarded LEED Gold Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
A spokesperson for the firm told The Commercial Observer that the certification comes on the heels of a long process—one that involved submitting the origin of materials and other specific bits of information about the space.
World Trade Center
In the years it has taken to rebuild the World Trade Center site, Janno Lieber, a top executive at Silverstein Properties, has become the face of the company’s efforts to develop its collection of skyscrapers at the site. Serge Demerjian, a development and construction manager who joined Silverstein from the architecture firm Skidmore Owings & Merrill in 2006, has become a behind-the-scenes asset at the firm, leading its efforts to negotiate the site’s infamous complexities and rebuild the millions of square feet of commercial office space that was lost 11 years ago. Both men spoke to The Commercial Observer last week about all the challenges of building the towers.
Law firm WilmerHale has moved into its new, energy efficient 210,000 square foot offices at 7 World Trade Center, the company announced earlier this month.
The law firm has moved in 300 employees, 200 of them attorneys, into the new office space that boasts an efficient floor plan and floor-to-ceiling glass walls.
WilmerHale’s lease, when signed in April 2011, was hailed as “groundbreaking” for including language that gave both tenants and owners the benefits of energy efficient improvements. That language was set up by the New York City Mayor’s Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability.
Early in Gordon Ogden’s career in leasing brokerage, he noticed one of his colleagues had an interesting habit. The broker would slip surreptitiously into Bruce Mosler’s office and thumb through a notebook in which Mr. Mosler kept meticulous records of brokerage leads and business he was working on.
As leasing agent for some of Manhattan’s most iconic buildings, CBRE executive vice president Brad Gerla has access to some impressive real estate—like J.P. Morgan’s former pied-à-terre on the 31st floor of 14 Wall Street or the neo-Gothic inner workings of the Woolworth Building at 233 Broadway.
So it was strange to chat with him one recent rainy morning in a nondescript conference room in an equally nondescript–dare we say blah–office, save for the fact that the conference room was nestled inside the former MetLife headquarters at 11 Madison Avenue.
Lease of the Week
Casey Family Programs has taken one of the last available spaces in 7 World Trade Center.
The firm is headquartered in Seattle but has been operating its New York office out of One Liberty Plaza. Its new office will be located inside a 7,000-square-foot suite on the 46th floor that was built specfically for them.
The Neverending Story
It would have been easy for Lou D’Avanzo and his Cushman & Wakefield leasing team to rest on their laurels.
While Condé Nast’s million-square-foot lease at 1 World Trade Center last year has become a dominant emblem of downtown’s resurgence as a popular destination for office tenants, the C&W group’s lease-up of 77 Water Street has also etched its way into recent lore in the neighborhood.
Our City Since
In perhaps the final capstone to the 9/11 commemorations, Larry Silverstein has found his final tenant for 7 World Trade Center. Considered a boondoggle by many when Mr. Silverstein decided to rebuild the glass tower shortly after the attacks, it opened in May 2006 and was slow to find tenants, the first of which was the New York Academy of Sciences.
Slowly but surely more firms arrived, and now MSCI has joined them on the 47th through 49th floors of the 52-story building—it was the tallest structure downtown until recently being surpassed by its big brother.
The Neverending Story
The city’s ironworkers and carpenters have never much gotten along. Falling somewhere between rival sports teams and armies at war, the construction unions responsible for the city’s tall buildings rarely work together—office buildings are made from steel, apartments from concrete (which is poured by the carpenter’s union). “Is there ego? There is certainly pride amongst these unions, and not a little competition,” said Gary Higby director of industry development at the Steel Institute of New York, a trade group.
But 9/11 changed that, or at least the rebuilding of 7 World Trade Center did. It was not simply a matter of camaraderie but also necessity. “Obviously, what you had to do after 9/11 was address the fundamental question of how are we going to create buildings that are as safe as can be in a post-9/11 world,” said Janno Lieber, president of World Trade Center Properties at Silverstein Properties. “The concrete core was probably the single most important of hundreds of safety innovations at 7 World Trade Center that went beyond code. It was a huge step forward for safety and structural robustness.”
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The River is probably the only church where one of the ministers used to write the Heard on the Street column for The Wall Street Journal and now uses his iPad to deliver messages directly from God to parishioners. It is also likely the only church, at least in New York, where a penitent’s ears Read More