The Sit-Down

Anthony Malkin Talks About the Empire Building Business

PHOTO CREDIT: Yvonne Albinowksi/For New York Observer

Anthony E. Malkin, the chairman and chief executive officer of Empire State Realty Trust, oversees a New York real estate portfolio that has suddenly become quite relevant. ESRT owns nine Manhattan office properties which are attracting top-credit tenants drawn to these buildings’ energy efficiency, accessibility to mass transit, on-site amenities and commitment to technology.

“I think that what we’re seeing throughout the portfolio is a continued improvement in the market’s perception of who we are,” Mr. Malkin told Commercial Observer during a sit-down interview at his office at ESRT-owned 1 Grand Central Place. “We’re going to outperform the market no matter what. If it goes downward, we’re gonna outperform up. If it stays the same, we’re going to outperform because we’re seeing better and better tenants coming to look at us.” Read More

In the Office

Puppy Perks: Inside TAMI Office Culture


It’s doggone nice to work for tech companies these days. Employees at online content discovery platform Outbrain welcomed four canines from a doggie daycare and boarding business next door to the firm’s office near Union Square on a recent afternoon.

The 120 New York City employees of the company, which posts recommended links on the websites of media outlets like CNN and ESPN, enjoy office perks like the food and ping-pong that are becoming the norm in the highly-sought class of tenants in the TAMI–technology, advertising, media and information–sectors. But the company also distributes unconventional goodies such as daily personal allotments of $10 worth of the company’s digital ad space and the hour-long visit to Outbrain’s Kramer conference room last week by dogs from Biscuits & Bath Dog Retreat. 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

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

Tech Beat

Honest Buildings Launches iPad App

Screenshot of the new Honest Buildings app

Connection engine Honest Buildings has launched a free iPad app for real estate service pros who have submitted projects on the website so they can share their work in real-time on-the-go to prospective clients, Commercial Observer has learned.

“We kept getting examples of people’s work in the PDF two-page document that every vendor in the real estate industry has to showcase what they have,” said Riggs Kubiak, the company’s CEO. “We thought we could drastically improve that experience.” 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

Lease Beat

Online Charity Relocates in Midtown

71st Annual Peabody Awards has signed a 10-year lease for the entire 10,000-square-foot 11th floor at 134 West 37th Street, The Commercial Observer has learned. Touted by Oprah Winfrey and Stephen Colbert, the charity will relocate from nearby 213 West 35th Street. allows public school teachers across the country to post classroom project requests online. Donors are able to view each request and make donations online and once the funding goal is reached, sends materials to the school. Read More

ICSC 2013

Retail on the Rebound: Spirits High at ICSC Event

(Credit: LeVar Thomas)

In 2009 and 2010 “you could have rolled a bowling ball down the aisle” at the International Council of Shopping Centers’ RECon conference “and it wouldn’t have hit anybody,” Massey Knakal executive vice president of retail leasing Benjamin Fox told The Commercial Observer.

But when an estimated 33,000 real estate professionals converged upon one million Read More

Lease Beat

LinkedIn Leases 31,196 Square Feet at Empire State Building


LinkedIn inked a full-floor deal for 31,196 square feet at the Empire State Building, bringing its total footprint there to 109,719 square feet.

Sacha Zarba led a team from CBRE representing the tenant. William Cohen and Ryan Kass of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank represented the landlord, Malkin Properties. The social networking site became a direct tenant in the Midtown landmark in 2011, with 31,742 square feet on the 25th floor. It has since expanded to the 23rd, 24th and 39th floors. Read More


Empire State Building Tenant Roster Cut to Third of Size Since 2006: Malkin

Murray Hill Boundaries.

The Empire State Building is becoming a more exclusive address.

The tenant roster in the iconic 81-year-old skyscraper has been cut to 171 companies from more than 600 in 2006, before Malkin Holdings took over supervision of the property. The average rent has increased to $42.10 a square foot from about $26. The building, which is among the few notable commercial assets in Murray Hill, is approximately 20 percent vacant, partly because Malkin is keeping space off the market as it looks to assemble offices suited to larger users. Read More

Lease Beat

LinkedIn Expands its Office at Empire State Building

Empire State Building.

LinkedIn, the social network for work professionals that boasts more than 187 million members across 200 countries, is expanding its New York office space in the iconic Empire State Building. The company has inked a 10-years lease for 40,781 square feet of space on the 23rd floor of the building, where it is reaching a total occupancy of 72,523 square feet. The asking rent for the new space was $51 per square foot. Read More

Midtown South

Computing Midtown South: Tech Is Booming, but for How Long?

Midtown South.

Late last year, when the education publishing company Scholastic offered up about 60,000 square feet of sublease space at the top of the Soho office building 568 Broadway, the firm quickly found it wouldn’t be difficult to fill.

Within weeks, a host of tenants were competing for it, including several tech firms, one of the most active sectors of the leasing market in Manhattan right now. Tumblr, foursquare and AppNexus, all well-known names in the industry, moved to the front of the pack.

On the face of it, such a decision would seem easy. Of the three, only AppNexus, a firm that specializes in online advertising and is backed by the software giant Microsoft, is known to be profitable. But in a tech boom in which riches don’t always flow from the most likely sources, the deal for the space took a different turn.

The competition soon boiled down not to AppNexus but to Tumblr and foursquare, two companies that have become top brands in the new internet boom and have raised tens of millions of dollars in venture capital between them, but have yet to find income-producing platforms for their services. Read More

Lease Beat

LinkedIn Grabs 10K In Empire State Building

Courtesy of Wikipedia

LinkedIn is set to expand 10,400 square feet on the 24th floor in the Empire State Building.

“Their sales force is expanding in New York City and they are out of space on their main floor,” Sacha Zarba, a senior vice president ofCBRE explained.

LinkedIn initially moved into the building in 2010 and has maintained Read More