Gleaming new skyscrapers. Swarms of young pedestrians. Cutting edge tech and creative office tenants. High-end retail. Sprouting condo towers. A new transportation hub.
This isn’t a city of the future—it’s the “New Downtown,” as Francis Greenburger of Time Equities described it to Commercial Observer last week.
The Stacom name has become almost synonymous with the country’s biggest real estate projects and deals. The foundations of that reputation were laid back in 1962 when the late Matthew Stacom brokered the sale of the development site that would become the Sears Tower, the Chicago office property that would later be declared North America’s tallest building.
Mr. Stacom’s daughters, Tara and Darcy, grew up with a constant reminder of their father’s landmark transaction: a photo of the Sears Tower on the wall of the family’s home.
Year in Real Estate
Condé Nast-owned Wired magazine opened its pop-up store for the holiday season in the Meatpacking District. The concept store will feature high-tech interactive displays featuring items from the company’s brand. Among items that will be sold at the store are electronics, kitchen gadgets, musical instruments and apparel.
For two years in row, 1 World Trade Center scored among the city’s largest transaction, starting with 2011’s Condé Nast showstopper and following with last year’s 270,000-square-foot UGS deal. But in 2013, the buzz moved uptown when another marquee deal, L’Oreal’s 400,000-square-foot commitment to the Related Companies, stole the headlines at the new Hudson Yards development.
Last year was a relatively modest one compared to 2011 when it came to office leasing, but 2013 saw a significant rebound—the top 10 deals totaled more than 2.7 million square feet, a 50 percent increase year over year. Like 2012, a variety of sectors made the list, from financial services to law firms to the media and publishing industries.
Below are the top 10 leases of 2013 by square footage, courtesy of Cushman & Wakefield.
The US Army Corp of Engineers and the US Customs and Border Protection agency will reportedly share the General Services Administration space at 1 World Trade Center.
The agencies will occupy 270,000 square feet of space and plan to move into the tower in 2015, according to a report that first appeared in the Read More
The World Trade Center site has been closed off from lower Manhattan and the rest of the city for 12 long years. But by this time next year, the site will be fully reintegrated back into the streetscape, and New Yorkers will reclaim the Downtown they once knew. It’s no coincidence that major developments at Read More
In 2010, with 1 World Trade Center rising slowly in the skyline of Lower Manhattan, the Durst Organization had a problem. The developer and its ownership partners at Port Authority still hadn’t secured an anchor tenant for the project.
Eric Engelhardt, who had previously sat across the table from the Port Authority pitching the case for a role in the development, was then part of Durst’s acquisitions and development group, and this time was on the same side of the table as the government agency—pitching Condé Nast.
One World Trade Center
MPA-The Association of Magazine Media has signed a 10-year, 12,199-square-foot lease at RFR Realty’s 757 Third Avenue, The Commercial Observer has learned.
The tenant will pay rent starting in the mid-$50s per square foot, according to data from CompStak. MPA, currently headquartered at 810 Seventh Avenue, will relocate in February when its current lease expires, according to a spokesperson who confirmed the deal.
The Durst Organization has set aside two floors totaling 94,000 square feet for a pre-built and build-to-suit program at One World Trade Center, the developer announced today.
The program—located on floors 45 and 46—is designed to accommodate up to 18 tenants. The two floors are being subdivided in to smaller spaces between 2,000 and 20,000 square feet.
From the outside, 222 Broadway fits the stereotype of the Downtown financial office tower.
But when Bank of America downsized, leaving roughly 250,000 square feet of space vacant, a series of tours guided by its new owner, L&L Holdings, quickly blasted that stereotype away.
Condé Nast committed to 80,000 square feet at the tower in early March. WeWork, which provides collaborative workspace for tech and media companies, was next in line.
Everybody Go Downtown
Robert Becker, senior leasing manager at The Durst Organization, joined the company eight months ago. Having previously worked closely with the firm as an executive with Bank of America’s global real estate transactions and leasing operations team, Mr. Becker jumped on board with inside knowledge of the firm’s pivotal role in shaping the landscape of Read More
After the storm, things are looking brighter for the lower Manhattan real estate market.
Even with construction scaffolds clogging the district’s narrow streets in a reminder of Hurricane Sandy’s devastation, Downtown office leasing activity jumped 73 percent in the first two months of the year, according to Cushman & Wakefield.
The collaborative workspace provider WeWork signed a 16-year, 120,537-square-foot lease at 222 Broadway, The Commercial Observer has learned.
David Berkey and Andrew Wiener represented the building owner L&L Holding Company in-house. Mark Lapidus of WeWork and Sean Black of Jones Lang LaSalle represented the tenant. Asking rents at 222 Broadway are in the mid-$50 per square foot range.
WeWork typically provides communal office space to tech and new media companies, making the lease another sign of Lower Manhattan’s growing appeal to that type of firm. Mr. Berkey was quick to point out that tech and media tenants are “nothing new” in the neighborhood.
“I’ve been telling whoever will listen that for two years now we’ve seen nothing but this kind of tenant here and at [L&L's] 195 Broadway,” Mr. Berkey said. “We haven’t seen financial services or law firm tenants. It’s not a new phenomenon by any stretch.”
Like the westward expansion that gripped the nation during the early to mid-1800′s, the expansion of Midtown Manhattan offers the city’s commercial real estate pioneers a modern crack at manifest destiny.
The trajectory of Midtown’s new building stock over the last seven decades tells a story of westward expansion that most recently struck Midtown West with the Hudson Yards development project.
“Hudson Yards really is the last frontier,” said James Delmonte, principal and vice president of research at Avison Young. “Firms are looking for newer product and larger floor plates, largely because there really is no available land on the east side.”
TD Ameritrade has signed a 10-year, 9,509-square-foot lease for the ground floor and lower level at 100 Broadway, The Commercial Observer has learned.
The corner retail space in the 24-story office building features more than 170 feet of frontage along Broadway and Pine Streets.
“It’s a great corner space in the heart of the Financial District and steps from Wall Street, which lends itself well to a prominent financial institution like TD Ameritrade,” said Cushman & Wakefield’s Gene Spiegelman, who represented the landlord Madison Capital with Michael O’Neill.