Lease Beat

Microsoft to Open Flagship Store on Fifth Avenue

677 Fifth Avenue.

Microsoft, that other tech company that has largely remained out of the limelight since its competitor Apple released the iPhone 6, is opening its flagship store on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue.

First reported by The Wall Street Journal, Microsoft will take over the space at 677 Fifth Avenue currently occupied by luxury retailer Fendi. The company will occupy the ground through fourth floors at the 5,000-square-foot lot, as well as space in the basement to be used for storage. This also includes fifty feet of frontage on Fifth Avenue. Read More

Lease Beat

Waggener Edstrom Inks Lease at 110 Leroy Street


Public relations firm Waggener Edstrom has signed a seven-year, 9,416-square-foot lease for the entire ninth floor at 110 Leroy Street, The Commercial Observer has learned.

“Opportunities to get a full floor in that area to call your own are few and far between,” said Chris Mongeluzo, of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, who represented the owner.

The tenant will pay rent in the mid-$50s per square foot for at the Hudson Square property, according to data from CompStak. Read More

Tech and the City

YouTube Going Old School?


Lights. Camera… YouTube?

In what may be window into the future of digital companies, video streaming giant and Google-owned YouTube has announced it will open a creative television/movie studio space in Chelsea next year.

YouTube will open a 25,000-square-foot collaborative video production studio at 22 West 21st Street in October 2014, where filmmakers can apply to be Read More

Wired City

Clouding Our Judgment: Plenty to be Wary About in the Cloud


Last Thursday, Forbes released a story called “Why the Cloud Is Making BYOD Risk-Free.” However, there are indeed reasons to be wary of hopping on this “Bring Your Own Device” party train.

First of all, Microsoft and Amazon, two leading cloud services providers, experienced outages in the past year, and public attacks do happen. Read More

Wired City

How to Stay Wired: Powering Through Natural Disasters, Sandy or Otherwise


Being down as the result of a natural disaster, flood or fire is always a major catastrophe for commercial buildings. Aside from simply switching to fiber cables, which are naturally more resilient, here are several ways to increase your chances of staying fully operational when you’re hit hard by one of the elements.

One of the biggest trends quickly gaining momentum: put it all in the cloud. Read More

Lease Beat

State Street Consolidates at 1290 Avenue of the Americas


State Street Bank has signed a 10-year lease for 105,951 square feet at Vornado Realty Trust’s 1290 Avenue of the Americas, a source familiar with negotiations confirmed with The Commercial Observer.

State Street will take space formerly occupied by Microsoft, which opted to relocate to 11 Times Square, as The Commercial Observer reported late last year. The tech giant’s 230,000-square-foot lease was the third largest deal of 2012. Read More


Fourth Quarter Promises, Annotated

CO 1-8 Page 22

Early indications suggest that the period between October and December will clock in as the most active fourth quarter since 2007, just before Manhattan’s office market imploded.

And while lease flow in 2012 was a far cry from 2011, when deals by Condé Nast and Nomura Holding straddled the million-square-foot precipice, a bevy of eleventh-hour transactions by Microsoft and Kaye Scholer in the fourth quarter of 2012 helped close the gap.

The Commercial Observer reviewed fourth-quarter leasing in Midtown South with Cushman & Wakefield Director of Research Jonathan Mazur last week in an bid to gleam a snapshot of the quarter. An annotated guide, after the jump. Read More

Lease Beat

Microsoft Inks 3rd Biggest Deal of 2012


Months of negotiations between SPJ Properties and Microsoft have finally paid off, with the tech giant signing a 230,000-square-foot lease at its new Midtown headquarters at 11 Times Square – and solidifying one of the top leasing deals of the year.

The company eyed the new space for months, as rumors swirled it would be vacating Vornado’s 1290 Avenue of the Americas, and last month transaction is the third biggest non-renewal leasing transaction of 2012. Read More

The Year in Review

2012: The Year Tech Invaded NYC Real Estate

year tech broke

This past February, 10Gen, developer of the computer system database MongoDB, was in search of new office space, specifically in tech- and media-rich Midtown South.

The company needed a large open layout for its workers, with an option for more space to allow the firm to grow—plus an option to terminate. Unfortunately, the ultra-tight market Read More


Microsoft Among Wave of New Retailers to “Pop Up” Across Manhattan


Microsoft is cashing in on the critical, but fleeting, holiday shopping season with two ephemeral New York retail outlets. The software giant’s local pop-up stores opened Oct. 27 in Times Square and at The Shops at Columbus Circle, and purport to ease seasonal shopping anxiety with a “curated” selection of the company’s best products.

But the holiday stores’ marquee piece will be Surface, the tablet that Microsoft shipped on the eve of the pop-ups’ opening. By pushing Surface using the pop-up platform, Microsoft is hewing to one of the retail model’s key tenets since it landed in New York about a decade ago.

Initially a form of stealth advertising and a way for retailers to wade into the waters of unfamiliar markets, pop-ups now increasingly qualify as retail events that attract, rather than chase, consumers and help make established companies seem hip rather than lend legitimacy to upstarts.

“There are two reasons why pop-ups continue to be popular: retailers want to test markets in new neighborhoods or, in Microsoft’s case, want to test new concepts,” said Faith Hope Consolo, chairwoman of the retail leasing and sales division at Douglas Elliman, who was not involved with Microsoft’s seasonal shops. Read More

Lease Beat

Negotiations Over Signage Delay Microsoft Deal


Negotiations over outdoor signage at 11 Times Square, among other issues, has delayed a deal between SPJ Properties and Microsoft expected today, sources told The Commercial Observer.

After eyeing the space for months, the company was shuffling papers around this week with owner SPJ Properties to get the deal completed; but the signing of a letter of intent, which sources said was scheduled to happen today, likely won’t be completed until after Thanksgiving, said people familiar with the deal.

The 16-year lease is for 260,000 square feet across floors four through 11, at a rate in the low $60’s, a broker who reviewed a preliminary version of the lease said. 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

Microsoft the Latest Big Tech Company to Come to Midtown South

641 Avenue of the Americas

After making plans to swap locations in Midtown, Microsoft is now in talks to take another space in Midtown South, an area of the city that has become a magnet for software and technology companies.

The company, which is close to releasing the latest version of its operating system Windows 8 and a new tablet computer that will compete with the iPad, is nearing a roughly 22,000-square-foot deal for the entire seventh floor of 641 Avenue of the Americas. Read More

Lease Beat

Talk About Windows! Microsoft Poised to Sign 400,000-Square-Foot Lease at 11 Times Square


Steven J. Pozycki has reeled in his white whale as one of the most sought after tenants in the entire city has landed at one of its most troubled office towers. According to numerous sources, Microsoft is poised to sign a long-term lease for 400,000 square feet at 11 Times Square, the office tower Mr. Pozycki’s New Jersey-based SJP Properties built just as the real estate bubble was bursting.

For months, the Seattle-based software company has been looking at new offices in New York as it mulled whether or not to leave its current home at 1290 Avenue of the Americas. Microsoft had been looking at space across Manhattan, but it seemed to have a special affinity for the West Side, having strongly considered Mort Zuckerman‘s swiftly rising 250 West 55th Street. For a time, Microsoft appeared interested in 11 Times Square but its focus faded in favor of other opportunities, until a last minute pitch by SJP brought the building back into the running and helped seal the deal. Read More