Apple to Start Growing at Kaufman’s 100 Fifth

100fifth 1 Apple to Start Growing at Kaufman’s 100 Fifth100-104 Fifth Avenue

When Apple launched its iAd application this past spring, people weren’t exactly pitching tents on Fifth Avenue. But for a little tech company in Soho, this was, as Steve Jobs would say, the day that changed everything.

Apple bought (and then absorbed) the entrepreneurial company Quattro Wireless to add an ad app to its growing iFamily. As an Advertising Age headline read, “Apple’s iAd Not Game-Changing, but Will Move Market.”

Other things had to move as well-namely the rapidly growing wing out of its hip downtown offices. Now Apple will take a 10,000-square-foot bite out of the Kaufman Organization’s Union Square gem at 101-104th Fifth Avenue. For now the techies have moved into a built space on a short-term lease, but Grant Greenspan, a principal at the Kaufman Organization, says they plan to extend it for a longer time, as the head count grows from 20 to 30 to 60.

This full-floor lease is the first the landlord has signed since it recently closed on the building in partnership with Invesco in December. The 270,000-square-foot tower a block from Union Square is about 70 percent occupied with nonprofits, an architect, small investment funds, and cheeky Virgin Mobile.

Mr. Greenspan told The Commercial Observer he’s keeping an eye out for tech companies looking to snap up space in trendy midtown south next year. “You’re not going to find the accountant who’s going to need another 50 people,” he said. “Smaller tech companies are experiencing growth through innovation. That seems to be what’s driving the recovery.”

Mr. Greenspan said that in 2011 he’ll hope to fetch $50 a square foot for buildings in midtown south, as opposed to around $40 a foot in good-old midtown. Kaufman is planning to acquire more similar buildings in the area. “I’m a strong believer in that particular neighborhood,” Mr. Greenspan said.

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