Condé Nast and Interpublic Group were the gifts to New York that kept on giving, as the former added 138,773 square feet to the 1 million it inked last year at One World Trade Center and the latter blazed through a series of deals throughout the year, beginning with a whopping 220,359-square-foot transaction in October and ending with a smaller one last month.
In all, the city’s 10 biggest office leasing transaction were modest compared to 2011, when deals by Nomura Holding and Coach reached nearly 2 million square feet alone.
Still, a wave of transactions from a variety of business sectors—from government and education to legal, financial services and media—proved that, even during economic doldrums, bold can be beautiful.
After the jump, the 10 biggest office deals of 2012.
Editor’s Note: Renewals were not included in this list, nor were deals completed after Dec. 18, the date the final tally was published.
For much of the past decade the only hope for a broker looking to make money off of Downtown office space was to do a deal like 70 Pine Street: Take a lavish 62-story Art Deco headquarters that was once owned by a spectacularly failed financial firm like AIG and turn it into opulent apartments where bankers would rather live than work.
Deals like 70 Pine Street, which instantly wiped off one million square feet from Downtown’s commercial real estate inventory when it was sold for $200 million in 2011, have been propping up statistics for the neighborhood’s office space market for years. Ever since large banks and financial companies started fleeing offices in the financial district, an influx of young families and bankers wanting to live Downtown, rather than just work there, have kept the vacancy rate from tanking even further by reducing the math on the supply end.
Now, say the brokers who have long suffered the horrors of Downtown’s commercial market, those residential conversions are starting to also pay off on the demand side. A flurry of infrastructure and amenities building to keep up with the new residents in the neighborhood is also making the area more enticing for large corporations to move in.
“It’s a chicken-and-egg scenario,” said Mark Shapses, executive managing director at Studley. “Downtown is seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.”
Lease of the Week
Officials at Investment Technology Group, a brokerage and market research firm with offices across the globe, knew there was no such thing as a dull moment when it comes to behind-the-scenes wheeling and dealing at a Manhattan office tower.