Stat of the Week: $20.16 Per Square Foot

As the “unofficial” start to the summer season approaches, what better way to celebrate Memorial Day weekend than by heading outdoors for some fun in the sun? Since it’s not quite warm enough to head to the beach, let’s stroll through some of Manhattan’s most famous parks and enjoy the cool breeze and greenery. Everyone knows office buildings with views of the 843-acre Central Park command a premium compared to the rest of the office leasing market. Analyzing the office buildings around three other parks within Midtown and Midtown South uncover similar results, as the average asking rent of $92.16 per square foot for buildings surrounding Union Square, Madison Square and Bryant Park are $20.16 per square foot higher than the Manhattan average.

The first park on the list is Union Square Park, which is bordered by 10 office buildings totaling more than 978,000 square feet. Currently there is more than 79,000 square feet of vacant office space in this park set, for a vacancy rate of 8.1 percent. Despite a vacancy rate higher than Midtown South’s 6.1 percent vacancy, at $74.94 per square foot, asking rents in these buildings are $5.01 higher than the Midtown South average.

The second park examined is Madison Square Park, which is surrounded by 12 buildings totaling more than 6.9 million square feet. This park set is extremely tight with only 169,115 square feet of vacant space—a 2.4 percent vacancy rate—370 basis points lower than Midtown South. Asking rents in these buildings are averaging $77.86 per square foot, a $7.93 premium over the Midtown South average of $69.93 per square foot.

The last park analyzed, Bryant Park, resides within Midtown, and this park set contains 20 buildings totaling more than 9.6 million square feet. Despite having the highest vacancy of the three park sets, at 9.3 percent it is still 10 basis points lower than Midtown’s 9.4 percent vacancy. In the Bryant Park set, asking rents are $101.91 per square foot and command a $23.12 premium over the $78.79 per square foot Midtown average.

So, as you stroll through Manhattan’s parks this season, keep in mind that even though money doesn’t grow on trees, you need quite a bit to look at them from your office window.

Connecticut-Based Darien Rowayton Bank Doubling UWS Digs



Darien Rowayton Bank, a lender that specializes in student loan refinancing, has inked a 4,550-square-foot lease to move its offices to a larger space within Cammeby’s Management Company’s 1995 Broadway.

The bank will occupy the entire 14th floor of the building between West 67th and West 68th Streets. It currently shares half of the 4,550-square-foot eight floor with financial planner West Side Advisors for its 14 employees, but will leave that space behind for its new digs. The bank is also hiring 20 more workers for the larger office, which will allow it to expand its technology and marketing capabilities.

Asking rent in the seven-year deal was in the $60s per square foot, according to a spokesman for the bank, which did not have a broker in the transaction.

Darien Rowayton Bank’s expansion “is a testament to the rapid growth we have experienced, and the growth we expect to continue to experience as we innovate and seek out new ways to serve our borrowers,” Aryea Aranoff, the chief strategy officer for the company, said in a news release.

A representative for Cammeby’s Management and an executive at Glen Equities, which handles leasing for the building, did not return requests for comment.

Darien Rowayton Bank was formed in 2006 and recently announced that in addition to student loan refinancing, it will begin offering home mortgages later this year.

The firm also signed a new lease to move its Connecticut headquarters to 855 Main Street in Bridgeport, Conn. from 1001 Post Road in Darien, Conn. The new HQ will be comprised of 11,900 square feet, making room for 120 employees.

York Capital Management Renews, Expands at GM Building

York Capital Management has signed a long-term renewal and expansion at the General Motors Building at 767 Fifth Avenue.

The investment management firm, a 10-year tenant in the building, occupies the entire 17th floor and a portion of the 21st floor and will supplement its existing footprint with a 7,179-square-foot sublease from law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges on 23rd floor. The firm will now occupy a total of to 53,445 square feet at the trophy tower. 

“This transaction enables York Capital Management to maintain its presence at the GM Building and accommodate the firm’s growth in New York City,” L. Craig Lemle, a senior managing director at Studley, who represented the tenant, said in a prepared statement.

Asking rent for space in the GM Building ranges from $125 to $225 per square foot, according to Crain’s New York Business, which first reported the lease.

Mr. Lemle represented the tenant alongside Studley Chairman and CEO Mitchell S. Steir, Jason Perla and Matthew Barlow. Mr. Lemle has represented the tenant since 2005 and the firm’s most recent lease is the seventh deal he has worked on for York.

The landlord, Boston Properties, was represented in-house by Andy Levin and Adam Frazier.

Founded in 1991, York Capital Management today boasts over $21 billion in assets under management. The firm also operates offices in London and Hong Kong.


Welton Investment Partners Moving NYC Digs to 8K SF at 888 Seventh Avenue

Carmel, Calif.-based alternative investment manager Welton Investment Partners is moving its New York City offices to 8,095 square feet in Vornado Realty Trust’s 888 Seventh Avenue between West 56th and West 57th Streets, a source told Commercial Observer.

The firm won’t have to move far as its New York City office is at Carnegie Hall Tower at 152 West 57th Street between Avenue of the Americas and Seventh Avenue.

At 888 Seventh Avenue, Welton signed a 10-year deal on Dec. 31 with an asking rent in the $130s per square foot, the source, who has intimate knowledge of the deal, said.

Welton will share the 40th floor of the 47-story building with Jonathan SorosJS Capital Management.

The 875,000-square-foot, 46-story building at 888 Seventh Avenue is two blocks from Central Park and adjacent to Carnegie Hall. It is home to Vornado’s headquarters, offices for Bill Ackman‘s hedge fund company Pershing Square Capital Management, private equity investment giant TPG Capital and private equity firm Lone Star Funds. Retail tenants are Brooklyn Diner and Red Eye Grill.

Jared Solomon of Vornado represented the landlord in the transaction and Cushman & Wakefield’s Kelly Broderick brokered the deal on behalf of Welton. Mr. Solomon wasn’t reachable and a spokesman for Cushman & Wakefield didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.