Condé Nast Leads the Creative Types in Dominating Downtown Relocations
Tom Acitelli Aug. 16, 2011, 6:52 p.m.
Does not reading Vogue mean the terrorists will have won?
Unlikely, but Condé Nast’s 1.046 million square feet at 1 World Trade Center represent by far the single biggest company relocation downtown since 2005, showing a confidence in the area below Chambers Street, and a continuation of the rebuilding in the area post-9/11.
Other creative types are following suit. According to statistics obtained by The Transom, 18 percent of the 307 biggest company relocations downtown since 2005 were by what the Downtown Alliance—the behemoth business improvement district—calls “creative services” firms. These moves accounted for 33 percent of the relocation space leased since 2005—more square footage (2,406,855) than any other industry. By comparison, the city’s animating triumvirate of finance, insurance and real estate (let me stand next to your … ) accounted for 16 percent of relocations, covering 21 percent of the space taken overall.
Other big creative relocations post-9/11 include: Sirius XM Radio’s 250,000 square feet and Niche Media’s 45,000 at 100 Church Street (Sirius’s was third among all the deals, behind Condé and Morgan Stanley); American Media’s 99,054 and the Daily News’s 99,050, both at 4 New York Plaza; and American Lawyer’s 91,818 at 120 Broadway. (There’s even Poets & Writers’s 7,549 square feet at 90 Broad and The Paris Review’s 2,342 at 62 White!)
Six of the 10 biggest creative-services relocations were after 2007, suggesting that, while the likes of Aon and Empire Blue Cross acted earlier, these tweedier concerns were waiting to see what would happen down there. Or, more to the point, the Daily News (hell, even The Knot, which jumped on space at 195 Broadway earlier this year) was likely sniffing out bargains, such as the copiously chronicled one at 1 World Trade involving the Durst Organization, the Port Authority and Si Newhouse’s baby.
Although, given that most of the relocations were from offices in midtown, like 4 Times Square, downtown rents, even without incentives, must have seemed a steal at any point in the past six years. Rents in top-shelf midtown buildings average around $70 a square foot; in downtown, about $40.
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