The industrial vibe of Hudson Square has beckoned media and tech firms in recent years, including New York magazine, MTV and now the New York Genome Center.
Now, analysts predict that the next industry on the list for Trinity Church, the religious institution that controls much of the area’s property, will be fashion.
Trinity Real Estate brokers lured high-end fashion designer Thakoon Panichgul into a 12,000-square-foot space at 225 Varick Street while also signing leases with Tory Burch and 3.1 Phillip Lim in recent months.
Vacancy rates are still very low in Hudson Square, sitting at 8.2 percent in the third quarter of 2012, according to data from Jones Lang LaSalle. However, nearby Greenwich Village could benefit from that, as it has a much larger amount of open space, to the tune of 12.9 percent, according to the same report.
One of the hottest properties in the area is 101 Avenue of Americas, where the New York Genome Center, a biotech company, recently inked a 20-year lease for 175,692 square feet, a result of landlord Edward Minskoff’s recent upgrades to the property.
“It’s rather unique to find Class A space in a skyscraper in this area,” said Paul Glickman of Jones Lang LaSalle, who added that most space in the area is converted loft space. The two neighborhoods have just seven buildings that offer Class A space, and only a little more than 200,000 square feet is still available, according to a third-quarter report by Cushman & Wakefield.
“In Hudson Square, you’re going to find larger buildings with larger footprints,” said Greg Taubin of Studley, adding that such virtues would appeal directly to the media companies the area has attracted. “With rents that aren’t as high as other areas in Midtown South, it makes sense for a lot of tenants.”
The next big push will come from Trinity, which is spearheading a major effort to open up the neighborhood to residential development by adding pedestrian plazas and tree-lined space with tables and chairs and wider sidewalks that will cater to office workers and merchants as well.
The building at 330 Hudson Street could be one of the crown jewels of the area. The asset is currently undergoing a $113 million renovation, which will create a 440,000-square-foot office tower for Pearson, the British publisher of The Financial Times and Penguin Books. Beacon Capital Partners signed a 99-year ground lease with Trinity for the property. Trinity did not respond to requests for comment.
“I am a very competitive person,” Trinity Real Estate President Jason Pizer told The New York Times. “The thrill for me is the marathon. Once you cross the finish line, it is sort of a letdown.”
Even with 300 years of ownership in the area, Trinity, it seems, may just be getting started.