Lease Beat

55 Water Street Lands Liberty Mutual Renewal and Expansion

55 Water Street

Liberty Mutual has signed a 10-year, 120,000-square-foot lease at 55 Water Street, a success story to emerge amid a massive renovation project launched in response to a string of misfortunes brought by Hurricane Sandy.

The insurance company doubles its space in the building with the deal, moving from the 18th floor to the 22nd and 23rd floors.

“It’s great news for the landlord and it’s great news for Downtown,” said CBRE’s Brad Gerla, who represented the landlord with Mary Ann TigheHoward Fiddle and Evan Haskel.

New Water Street Corp. is putting $200 million into the building after it took on some 32 million gallons of water during the storm.  The project includes the transport of key electrical, mechanical and communications equipment to the 3rd floor and storm-proofing to protect against future disasters.

“This landlord went over and above to secure the building and to make sure that something like this doesn’t happen again,” Mr. Gerla said. Read More

Cover Story

We Are OK: New Technology and Existing Resources Are Allowing Sandy’s Victims to Avoid Subleasing


On Thursday, Nov. 1, Virgo Business Centers made 27,321 square feet of temporary, furnished office space available at 14 Penn Plaza. Companies displaced by Hurricane Sandy filed in one by one, and by the following Thursday, the space was full.

“Typically, that process takes about a year,” said Pasha Erkin, director of sales at the company. “It’s all about readiness. You could literally bring me 40 people today, and I could have the space ready tomorrow. All you have to do is walk in, flip on a switch, plug in and start working.”

In that building alone, the company took on 177 employees from displaced companies like Coronet, amfAR, Linda Decorato, Ambrose and others located on the eastern tip of Downtown and other areas hit hard by the hurricane. Read More

Lease Beat

McGraw Hill Contemplating Another Large Sublease

1221 Avenue of the Americas

McGraw Hill may put space on the market at 1221 Avenue of the Americas, several sources familiar with the company claim, although the firm itself and leasing executives who work with it on its space needs denied the rumor, albeit on background and on the condition their identities be withheld.

Several brokers and executives who have knowledge of the company however insist it is contemplating releasing as much as 200,000 to 300,000 square feet at the approximately 2.7 million-square-foot office tower, a block of space that it occupies at top of the 52-story skyscraper. Read More

On the Market

McGraw-Hill Offers 200,000 square feet

2 Penn Plaza

McGraw-Hill is tossing a little over 200,000 square feet onto the sublease market at 2 Penn Plaza, several sources have told The Commercial Observer.

The publishing company has its headquarters at 1221 Avenue of the Americas but uses other locations like 2 Penn Plaza for ancillary locations. Read More