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Category ArchiveBryant Park

Uber Takes 35K SF at 1400 Bway for Second Manhattan HQ

Uber is cruising into new digs spanning nearly 35,000 square feet at 1400 Broadway.

The San Francisco-based ride-hailing company has taken 34,600 square feet on the entire 12th floor at the building between West 38th and West 39th Streets, landlord Empire State Realty Trust told Commercial Observer.

The office will serve as Uber’s second Manhattan headquarters, primarily housing Uber’s engineering team, according to The New York Post, which first reported news of the deal. Uber’s other Manhattan space is about 52,000 square feet inside The Terminal Stores warehouse complex at 636-638 West 28th Street in Chelsea, as CO previously reported.

Marc Donner, Uber’s director of engineering, said in a prepared statement provided to CO: “New York City has become the tech hub of the East Coast and we are excited to expand our engineering footprint here. With this new space, we plan to grow our engineering office and attract the top tech talent in the city.”

The asking rent in the 1400 Broadway deal was $62 per square feet, an ESRT spokeswoman said, declining to provide the length of the lease.

Thomas P. Durels, the director of leasing and operations for ESRT, said in a prepared statement: “In addition to the desirable location, 1400 Broadway has been modernized for the 21st century; will soon feature an expanded lobby and is located in the convenient Times Square South neighborhood just steps from Bryant Park.”

The building at 1400 Broadway is 37 stories and 927,683 square feet. As CO reported last September, immigration law firm Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy leased three full floors at the property. That lease was for 16 years.

CBRE’s Sacha Zarba and Alice Fair represented Uber in the deal. The brokers declined to comment via a spokeswoman. ESRT’s Keith Cody represented the landlord in-house, along with Newmark Knight Frank’s Scott Klau, Erik Harris and Neil Rubin. A spokesman for NKF didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Source: commercial

Humanscale Nabs 33K SF for New HQ at Grace Building

Humanscale, a designer and manufacturer of ergonomic office products, will be relocating its U.S. headquarters from 11 East 26th Street to the Grace Building, Commercial Observer has learned.

The company has leased 33,000 square feet for the entire 15th floor at the Midtown West building with an address 1114 Avenue of the Americas on Bryant Park. The deal is for 10 years, according to Brookfield Property Partners, which owns the building with The Swig Company. The space will house Humanscale’s headquarters as well as a design studio.

Brookfield declined to provide the rent, but on the building’s lower floors, the asking rent is in the high-$80s per square foot.

“Our new headquarters in the Grace Building represents a great opportunity for Humanscale to establish a space that is welcoming to our clients and reflects the values of our brand,” Humanscale Founder and CEO Robert King said in a statement. “The location of this iconic New York building will be a great benefit for our team as we open it up to more visitors and events.”

Once Humanscale moves in later this year, it will be able to have all employees on one floor. “Most importantly to King, the new location will feature a design that speaks to the brand’s core values: functionality, simplicity, longevity and sustainability,” according to a press release from Brookfield.

The property between West 42nd and West 43rd Streets is a 49-story, 1.6-million-square-foot office building, which includes 42,000 square feet of retail and a 30,000-square-foot outdoor plaza. Tenants include Gabriel Kreuther, Bluestone Lane, Joe & the Juice, Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate, Sweetgreen and STK.

“In addition to designing and manufacturing high-performance products that are simple, functional and that stand the test of time, we are committed to achieving a net positive impact on the earth,” King said in prepared remarks. “This imperative will be top of mind as we specify products and materials for the new space.”

JLL’s Deb van der Hayden and Paul Ferraro represented Humanscale in the deal. Brookfield was represented in-house by Duncan McCuaig and Alex Liscio, alongside CBRE’s Ken Rapp, Peter Turchin, Sara Pontius, Zak Snider and Cara Chayet. Spokespeople for JLL, CBRE and Humanscale didn’t respond with a comment.

Source: commercial

Energy and Metals Data Provider Inks Lease Extension Near Bryant Park

Advisory and analytics company Wood Mackenzie has signed an early five-year renewal for its 10,338-square-foot offices at 452 Fifth Avenue, Commercial Observer has learned.

The company, which serves the oil, gas, metals and coal industries, will continue to occupy part of the 21st floor of the 30-story building between West 39th and West 40th Streets near Bryant Park.

Eli Elefant and Alicia Popper of landlord PBC USA—the U.S. arm of Tel Aviv-based Property & Building Corporation—represented the landlord in-house alongside JLL’s Paul Glickman and Jonathan Fanuzzi. Tucker Shade and Gabe Marens of Savills Studley handled the deal for the tenant.

Wood Mackenzie has been in the building since 2012. Its extension begins in January 2018. The asking rent in the deal was not immediately clear. But Popper, a senior vice president at PBC, indicated that taking rents in the building can notch $100 per square foot.

“The Wood Mackenzie commitment not only solidifies the great relationship we have established between ownership and our tenants at 452 Fifth Avenue through stellar management, but also our continued achievement of triple-digit rents and 100 percent occupancy,” Popper said in a prepared statement.

PBC acquired the 865,000-square-foot office tower at 452 Fifth Avenue in April 2010 for $330 million from HSBC in a sale-leaseback deal, as the company announced at the time. It then completed a $45 million renovation of the building, which included a new multi-floor lobby, upgrades to the elevators and new emergency power generators.

The property is still anchored by HSBC, which signed a 548,000-square-foot lease renewal there in April for its U.S. headquarters, as CO previously reported.

The Savills Studley brokers did not immediately respond to a request for comment via a spokeswoman.

Source: commercial

Renfro Corporation Inks 29K-SF Deal at 1400 Broadway

Source: commercial

Schlesinger Takes Full Floor at SL Green’s 711 Third Avenue

Source: commercial

Office Provider Breather Branches Out in Midtown, Soho, Financial District

Source: commercial

With Retail Writhing, What’s the Secret of a Successful Mall?

Source: commercial

Why Major Landlords Still Believe in Midtown

While the rise of shiny towers of the World Trade Center and Hudson Yards have turned a lot of heads, some of the top developers and real estate professionals who attended Commercial Observer’s “Midtown Means Business” panel yesterday are warning not to count the older Midtown out.

The event was at RXR Realty’s redesigned 75 Rockefeller Plaza, where industry experts said Midtown’s older stock of buildings needs to be modernized to compete with the towers in the rising other submarkets, but the demand for space is definitely there.

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Bruce Mosler, Jonathan Mechanic and Andrew Mathias. Photo: Jared Siskin/PMC

“Landlords who invest in this way will be winners in terms of the choices that tenants make,” said Cushman & Wakefield Chairman of Global Brokerage Bruce Mosler, a member of the first panel “Marketing Midtown Real Estate for Today’s Modern Tenant.” “Tenants are looking for a number of things, but mostly what are drawing tenants are column-free, efficient floors, great location and access.”

The first panel also included SL Green Realty Corp. President Andrew Mathias, UBS Managing Director Terry Goulard, RXR Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Scott Rechler and Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson Real Estate Department Chairman Jonathan Mechanic, who moderated the panel (and plugged his own firm so many times Rechler described him as “shameless.”)

To illustrate Mosler’s point, Goulard explained that in 2010 UBS started to look at options as its 900,000-square-foot anchor lease at 1285 Avenue of the Americas between West 51st and West 52nd Streets, a building which RXR acquired with David Werner in 2016, was up for renewal.

“At the time [Rechler] stepped into the picture and sat down with us and said ‘Terry what do I need to do to keep you in the building,’ ” Goulard said. “We had a very open and honest dialogue. I came up with two pages of things that I needed to stay.”

Rechler said that Midtown will continue to be relevant if older buildings are redeveloped because of its centralized location and the iconic addresses that have an “irreplaceable” New York feeling, which younger workforces crave.

“[Millennials] appreciate authenticity and character,” Rechler said. “One of the things about buildings like [75 Rockefeller] or the Helmsley Building is that you can’t replace it. You can’t replace the authenticity or the character of New York that comes with that. That is a very unique factor.”

RXR completed the $150 million renovation of 75 Rockefeller in February, and signed a 185,343-square-foot lease with Bank of America and Merrill Lynch Wealth Management to anchor the office portion of the building. The landlord then signed a 40,000-square-foot lease with American Girl to anchor the retail part.

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The crowd at the event included brokers and developers from a wide variety of firms. Photo: Jared Siskin/PMC

Few of the panelists could better discuss how new construction will fit into the Midtown constellation than Mathias, whose company is designing One Vanderbilt, a 1.7-million-square-foot, 1,400-foot tall office building that is under construction across from Grand Central Terminal. And to a certain extent, SL Green will have the market of new Midtown buildings to itself, at least until some definitive answer is offered on the city’s proposed Midtown East rezoning.

“There is definitely a shortage of shovel-ready projects in Midtown,” Mathias said. “How many projects you’ll actually see get started right away under that rezoning it’s hard to see, because Midtown is thriving right now and generally buildings are [fully leased].”

In the second panel, “Keeping Midtown Competitive: Renovations, Infrastructure Upgrades & Tenant Amenities,” Fisher Brothers Partner Winston Fisher made the point that in order for Midtown to compete, it needs to do more than just focus on upgrading building.

“Midtown needs to reinvent itself with new restaurants, programming and bringing art into the streetscape,” he said. “There are a whole series of things that could make Midtown more dynamic. Why is the center of Park Avenue a bunch of crappy plantings? At this point you’d think you could do something better with it.”

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David Falk. Photo: Jared Siskin/PMC

Sitting with Fisher were Newmark Grubb Knight Frank New York Tri-State Region President David Falk, Take-Two Interactive Software Senior Director of Facilities Management Larry Charlip, Hines Senior Managing Director of New York Tommy Craig, Rockefeller Group Co-President and CEO Daniel Rashin and Zetlin & DeChiara Founder Michael Zetlin, who moderated the group.

The panelists agreed that transportation is the main reason why Midtown still thrives. However, Falk said that to increase its competitiveness the buildings there need better “first impressions.”

“You just can’t be good, you have to be great,” Falk said. “I think [owners of] Midtown buildings just need to try harder to say ‘what can we do better?’ ”

That’s why Rashin said Rockefeller Group revamped its 1221 Avenue of the Americas between West 48th  and West 49th Streets when Société Générale and McGraw Hill moved out recently.

“We had a building that had some very, very tired aspects to it,” Rashin said. “The experience of walking into a 1221 lobby was dreary [and] it was dark. We changed

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Dan Rashin. Photo: Jared Siskin/PMC

the lobby up, brightened it up, took non-structural columns out. It’s a change you experience when you walk in.”

In the case of the tenants themselves, Take-Two Interactive Software, which took a 61,383-square-foot lease at 1133 Avenue of the Americas last year, said that the key to its decision to relocate from Noho to Midtown (which was not necessarily the first choice of a tech company) was the centrality, large floor plates and nearness to Bryant Park

Charlip said that normal concessions like free rent are important but also, “Can my employees bring bikes into the building? Can my employees bring pets into the building?”

“One question I was asked over and over again when we announced to our employees that we are moving to Midtown was ‘Do we have to change the way we dress for work,’ ” Charlip said to audience laughter. (He was wearing a suit without a tie.) “Honestly, I never go to work dressed like this. I wear jeans and sneakers everyday—so I’m dressed up today. And if I go to the office, people are going to ask me if I had a job interview.”

Source: commercial