The Motor Vehicle Accident Indemnification Corporation has taken 22,300 square feet at 100 William Street for rent in the high $30s per square foot.
The deal is one of several in recent months that have brought the building to near full occupancy.
The success of 100 William Street contrasts its vacancy just a few years ago. Nearly a third of the property, which is owned by the Japanese real estate investment company Mitsui Fudosan, was empty in 2009 and it was just another building in an area of the city filled with competing vacancies.
A CBRE team led by Mark Ravesloot, a vice chairman at the firm, took over leasing the property then and employed a strategy to attract insurance companies.
Insurance industry tenants had traditionally been located in the Financial District, particularly on William Street, John Street and Water Street, Mr. Ravesloot said, but had scattered in recent years as the neighborhood’s identity began to change to a low cost provider of office space that catered to a broader group of space users. But Mr. Ravesloot said its history as a stronghold for insurance tenants made drawing that sector back an easy sell.
“Insurance tenants recognized this building,” Mr. Ravesloot said.
Mitsui Fudosan helped the building’s desirability by also undertaking a renovation in recent years to upgrade the 21-story, 415,000-square-foot property. Mr. Ravesloot said various improvements were made, including an upgrade of the building’s lobby and elevator system. Over the past 18 months Mr. Ravesloot and his team began bringing insurance tenants in for major deals, creating momentum to the deal flow that appeared to feed on itself.
Tower Insurance leased 14,000 square feet, New York Property Insurance Underwriting Association signed on for about 18,000 square feet and OdysseyRe, a reinsurance company, took slightly over 40,000 square feet.
“The renovation of the building had a major impact on attracting these tenants as well as the property’s proximity to transit,” Mr. Ravesloot said. “Once you start getting deals going, it can start to build.”
Mr. Ravesloot and his team, which includes CBRE executives Scott Sloves and Jonathan Cope, have also brought technology firms, a booming tenant group in the city, to the property. The online travel accommodation reservation service Priceline.com started out with about 3,000 square feet in the property a few years ago but has since expanded to about 18,000 square feet. The company’s prominant brand was a big deal for the property and has helped put it on the map for other tech companies looking for space, Mr. Ravesloot said.
“We hope to bring in more tech tenants,” Mr. Ravesloot said. For now, most tenants will have to wait. Mr. Ravesloot said the building is roughly 97 percent leased.