Men At WeWork: Talking to WeWork Co-Founder Miguel McKelvey

WeWork co-founder Miguel McKelvey

Late last year, WeWork—the communal workspace company, which was founded in 2008—was valued at $5 billion. This co-working giant has been swallowing up hundreds of thousands of square feet of New York office space, and is only planning more. (It was reported last week that they’re even bringing the concept to residential as well as commercial space.)
It is fair to say that this company is standing the traditional office on its head. How did that happen? Where will they strike next? And (because this is in a Midtown South issue), how ripe is Midtown and Midtown South for expansion? We posed these questions—and a few others—to Miguel McKelvey who co-founded the company with Adam Neumann. Read More

Lease Beat

Starbucks Opening Empire State Building Location for Deliveries

Empire State Building.

Starbucks Coffee addicts will now be able to have their beverages delivered to their front door through a new delivery service set to launch in New York City at the Empire State Building, the coffee giant announced at yesterday’s annual shareholders meeting.

On Monday, Starbucks signed a lease for 1,173 square feet on the West 33rd Street side of the Empire State Building at 350 Fifth Avenue, the second lease Starbucks has in the building, a spokeswoman for Empire State Realty Trust, which owns the building, told Commercial Observer. The new lease is for 10 years and the asking rent was $200 per square foot.  Read More

Lease Beat

Media General Pens 27K Lease at Empire State Building

Empire State Building.

Media General, an operator of 71 television stations in 48 U.S. markets, has signed a 10-year lease for 26,782 square feet of space in the 102-story Empire State Building at 350 Fifth Avenue, according to a press release issued by Empire State Realty Trust, the real estate investment trust that owns and operates the landmark.

First reported by the New York Post, the new lease, signed on Jan. 12, reflects the company’s decision to centralize its six digital media companies and national sales headquarters into one location, which will span across the entire 62nd floor of the skyscraper. Media General is expected to move in this year; the space is currently vacant and construction will begin imminently. Read More

2014 Owners Magazine

ESB 2.0: The World’s Most Famous (Repositioned) Building

Empire State Building

When digital imagery licenser Shutterstock moved its global headquarters uptown from the Financial District to a two-floor, 85,000-square-foot office in the Empire State Building earlier this year, the 11-year-old firm moved in the opposite direction of the city’s downtown tech trend. But the company’s terraced space that boasts employee game rooms themed around Super Mario Brothers and Alice in Wonderland is starting to represent the norm in a greened, amenity-laden landmark where social networking site LinkedIn occupies over 158,000 square feet and tenants will soon start visiting a new 15,000-square-foot gym and a 100-table luxury restaurant.

Before the famous building’s landlord, the Empire State Realty Trust, started renovations, 174 different tenants operated out of floors three through 25, company officials said. These days, only LinkedIn, Shutterstock and four other companies have filled those floors to capacity. Read More

Lease Beat

Recruiting Firm Expands Into NYC at Empire State Building

Empire State Building.

Dallas-based legal recruiting firm Wegman Partners has signed a five-year lease at the Empire State Building for its first permanent New York City office, Commercial Observer has learned.

Wegman took 3,486 square feet of pre-built space on the 75th floor at the building, at 350 Fifth Avenue between East 33rd and East 34th Streets, according to a spokesman for Avison YoungRead More

Lease Beat

Empire State Building Gains New Tech Tenant [Updated]

Empire State Building

BrightRoll, a video advertising platform, has become the latest TAMI (technology, advertising, media and information) company to take up residence in the landmark Empire State Building at 350 Fifth Avenue.

First reported by the New York Post, BrightRoll will move from its previous headquarters at 330 Fifth Avenue to the 55th floor of the celebrated skyscraper, and will spread across 26,286 square feet. Read More

Lease Beat

Patent Litigation Firm Signing Lease at Empire State Building [Updated]

Empire State Building.

Year-old patent litigation firm Radulescu today is signing a deal to move from temporary digs at a Regus to permanent space at the Empire State Building, Commercial Observer has learned.

The firm is taking 12,200 square feet of prebuilt space on the 69th floor of the building at 350 Fifth Avenue, between 33rd and 34th Streets. The asking rent is $62 per square foot, according to Empire State Realty Trust, a real estate investment trust that counts the Empire State Building among its assets. The lease will be for 10 years and Radulescu will move in on Sept. 1, said Jonathan Anapol, president of Prime Manhattan Realty, who is representing the law firm along with Prime’s William McCollum. Radulescu’s current office is at Regus at 136 Madison Avenue off of 31st Street. Read More

Lease Beat

Bulova Moving to Empire State Building

Empire State Building

Luxury watch and clockmaker the Bulova Corporation will move its corporate headquarters from Woodside, Queens into a 33,214-square-foot space on the 29th floor of the Empire State Building at 350 Fifth Avenue by early next year, the New York Post reported this morning.

The 15-year lease at an average asking rent in the $60s will shift the company’s footprint back to the borough where Joseph Bulova founded the firm in 1875. Read More

Upgrading NYC, Wired City

Upgrading NYC: Empire State Building

Empire State Building.

“Upgrading NYC” is a new series sponsored by AT&T in which we interview owners of and tenants in Manhattan commercial buildings that have recently upgraded their wireless connectivity. Next up is the Empire State Building, which has partnered with Illinois-based network infrastructure company Extenet.

The Empire State Building is an iconic presence in the Manhattan skyline. Unfortunately for tenants, the tower’s soaring height also means that wireless cellphone reception is disrupted past the 25th floor. That is about to change. Lisle, Ill.-based Extenet is building a new wireless network using a distributed antennae system, or DAS, which is set to open around the late third quarter. Once installed, tenants’ phones will connect to antennas on each floor that will connect to various operators.

Extenet is in the process of installing throughout the building 41 active remotes and 740 antennas connected by 48,000 square feet of coaxial cable, said Steven Kingwell, the vice president of network engineering and implementation at Extenet. That equipment will connect to a head-end facility, which acts as a central switching office, in the building’s concourse level. Modernizing an 83-year-old art deco property gave the project a new layer of complexity. Read More

Cover Story

Tower Power Play: Up Close and Personal with the World Trade Center Amid Roiling Debate


The springtime breeze is nice on the 57th-floor outdoor terrace of 4 World Trade Center. With a vista stretching from the Statue of Liberty to the Empire State Building and across the East River to Queens, the building will reward employees of whatever company snaps up the available 34,000-square-foot floor with a break room in the clouds.

But far down below that rarefied air, there’s intense scrutiny of a potential construction loan to complete one of the six new towers at the site. The same goes for the memorial park, the transit hub, the retail center and the performing arts center that will also one day adorn the spot where the 9/11 tragedy destroyed the twin towers and their surroundings 13 years ago. Read More

The Sit-Down

Empire State of Mind: Tony Malkin on Empire State Realty Trust

Tony Malkin. (Credit: Aaron Adler)

Last year, the Empire State Realty Trust, a real estate investment trust that counts the Empire State Building among its assets, went public. Under the symbol ESRT, shares in the REIT have traded up over 14 percent since the initial public offering early last October. The road to the New York Stock Exchange was a somewhat rocky one for the REIT, with a small, yet vocal group of investors rallying against the initial public offering. Undeterred, Tony Malkin, the chairman, chief executive and president of ESRT, pushed forward, confident that the consolidation and public offering of the portfolio formerly known as Malkin Holdings was the best route for investors. Nearly six months since the NYSE’s bell tolled for ERST, Mr. Malkin’s confidence is paying dividends. Having just signed LinkedIn to a 160,000-square-foot lease at the Empire State Building, ESRT is committed to redeveloping both its globally beloved 34 Street asset and other properties in the portfolio. Mr. Malkin spoke to Commercial Observer last week about ESRT’s road to its IPO and what’s planned for the future. Read More

Lease Beat

LinkedIn Expands to 160,000SF at Empire State Building

Empire State Building. (Credit: Al Barbarino)

Social media networking company LinkedIn is reportedly expanding its presence in the Empire State Building by 44,000 square feet to approximately 160,000 square feet.

“The way the building’s lease expirations rolled allowed for a very creative expansion,” CBRE’s Sacha Zarba, who represented LinkedIn, told The Real Deal. “It’s very hard to find a building that can potentially work for your client five years down the line, but when you have a company that projects such explosive growth as LinkedIn, you have to think that way.”

Read More

Trading CRE

ETRE Financial Files for IPO


On Monday, ETRE Financial filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering of ETRE REIT (proposed ticker is ECAV) on the NASDAQ exchange. Operating as a limited liability corporation, ETRE REIT would allow public investment in individual commercial real estate properties with the properties held as separate real estate investment trusts. Read More

Lease Beat

Textile Firm Signs 2 Park Avenue Sublease

2 Park Avenue (courtesy of PropertyShark)

Israeli textile firm Delta Galil has signed a 47,012-square-foot sublease from cosmetics manufacturer Coty at 2 Park Avenue, Commercial Observer has learned.

The tenant will pay rent starting in the mid-$40s per square foot through March 2022, according to data from CompStak. The sublessor is paying rent in the low-$40s. Read More