Most SL Green Tenants Back in the Office By September, CEO Says

Marc Holliday says New York City's undergoing "a vast reawakening"

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Most tenants of SL Green Realty Corp., New York City’s largest office landlord, plan to return to the office between June and September, according to Chairman and CEO Marc Holliday.

Holliday mentioned the return window during both a Thursday morning appearance on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” and the real estate investment trust’s quarterly earnings call later in the day.

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“The big question on everybody’s mind is when are people coming back to the office,” Holliday told “Squawk Box” host Andrew Ross Sorkin. “SL Green has been back in the office 100 percent since June of last year.”

Holliday was understandably bullish on other companies coming back, too. And he also talked up the success of SL Green’s newest office property, the 77-story One Vanderbilt near Grand Central Terminal in Midtown East. The REIT cut the ribbon on the tower in September 2020, despite concerns about COVID’s effects on the leasing market.

SL Green has signed nine leases at the tower during the pandemic, Holliday said. The 1.7 million-square-foot building is 77 percent leased, he said during the call. The company expects that figure to tip to 90 percent by year’s end, ahead of its internal forecasts. The latest lease, sealed on Wednesday night, was for 35,000 square feet, Holliday said. It’s unclear who the tenant is, and SL Green has not disclosed the identity yet, per a spokesperson.

Holliday described the city as undergoing a “vast reawakening” as job growth picks up and vaccinations continue to roll out. Any such success would be welcome news to the commercial real estate industry, which the coronavirus pandemic has pummeled. Manhattan’s office vacancy rate reached 16.3 percent in the first quarter of 2021, the highest level since at least 1994, according to brokerage Cushman & Wakefield.