Silverstein Properties this month leased a 50,000-square-foot block of space at 120 Broadway to Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners LLP, taking advantage of the incipient migration of a new breed of tenant into the Financial East area.
The prewar buildings that predominate in the submarket, which includes the financial landmarks along Broad and Wall Streets, have long since ceased attracting the biggest banks, law firms and insurers. Still, while vacancies in the submarket remain at almost 14 percent, local landlords and brokers say the flow of nontraditional tenants into the area is beginning to gain momentum.
The submarket “has and will continue to benefit from Midtown South tenants not wanting to pay increases in rents,” said Cassidy Turley Vice President Stephen Bellwood, referring to the technology, new-media and creative companies that have filled up the funky office market to the north. “As these companies grow, they’re growing out of mid-block buildings” and are being attracted by rents that are “10 to 15 percent less that what they’re finding in Midtown South.”
Beyer Blinder is currently located at 41 East 11th Street.
Built in 1915, 120 Broadway was once the biggest office building in the world, with 1.8 million square feet of space. Joe Artusa, a senior vice president at Silverstein, said the property had a 17 percent vacancy rate at the beginning of the year, and he expects it to be 95 percent leased by the end of the year. The building boasts H-shaped floorplates that “allow an enormous amount of light—and eight corners,” he said. The building also offers direct access to the 4, 5, M and J subway lines.