The Durst Organization has inked two new leases at its 1155 Avenue of the Americas property in Midtown Manhattan. The asking rent for the leased floors in the 790,000-square-foot office tower was $95 and $110 per square foot, according to the owner.
Blockchain company R3 signed a 10-year contract for roughly 17,300 square feet of office space on the 34th floor, relocating from its previous offices at 11 West 42nd Street. The second tenant is Check Point Software Technologies, which signed a five-year lease for 9,600 square feet of office space on the 25th floor. The company was previously located at 500 Fifth Avenue, near Bryant Park.
The landlord was represented in-house by Tom Bow, Rocco Romeo and Tanya Grimaldo. Newmark Knight Frank’s Leo Paytas negotiated on behalf of R3, while Vicus Partners’ Waite Buckley represented Check Point.
The 41-story bulding’s tenant roster includes the likes of brokerage firm Keller Williams, accounting firm BKD, Take 2 Interactive and Indeed.com.
Built in 1984, the LEED Silver-certified 1155 Avenue of the Americas underwent $130 million in upgrades in 2017, coordinated by STUDIOS Architecture. The renovation consisted of improvements to the building’s lobby, elevators and dispatch controls, as well as an exclusive, 8,000-square-foot rooftop pavilion with a wrap-around terrace.
Throughout the tower’s facade, the owner also installed smart glass windows to conform with the Climate Mobilization Act. The new law requires owners of large buildings to meet carbon footprint standards and significantly improve building efficiency to avoid hefty fines.
Motivating employees has always been a challenge for employers. It’s very rare to find an entire workforce of employees who will engage and give their best, day after day, purely for job satisfaction and even rarer now than it might have been 20 years ago.
The Pew Research Centre defines a millennial as a person reaching young adulthood during the early 21st century (that is, somebody who was born between the years 1980 and 2000). This group has very different characteristics to the groups that preceded it (baby boomers and Generation X), largely as a result of being born into (and maturing during) a period of rapidly increasing connectivity and on-demand services.
Baby boomers (those born in the years following the second world war, during which there was a marked increase in birth rates) are and were likely to work for one company their whole lives, demonstrating loyalty to an organisation. Conversely, millennials are loyal to a what they’re working on (as opposed to what they’re working for) and, as a result, will frequently move from company to ensure that they’re exposed to the best opportunities and therefore maximizing their potential to realize their goals (both professional and personal).
This means that employers now have to work to build loyalty within their workforce and cannot work on the assumption that their employees will stick around for the good of the company. This means making staying the most attractive option, more attractive than going to the start-up down the road that offers flexible working hours and free lunches. So, how can a company motivate its workforce, foster loyalty and ensure retention?
Offer Perks and Benefits
While altruism isn’t an absent trait in millennials, it’s rarely a behaviour demonstrated in relation to their employer. It’s therefore important to give employees something so that they give something in return.
These offerings needn’t be financially significant or disruptive to everyday business. They can be very simple and apparently minor gestures, such as:
- Providing refreshments, such as an office coffee delivery service
- Offering quality soaps and skin care products in employee restrooms
- Organizing fresh fruit deliveries
- Arranging discounts and deals with surrounding businesses, such as bars, restaurants and retailers
These gestures may seem like an unnecessary expense initially. However, when their cost is balanced against the returns of a happy workforce or the expense of advertising, interviewing for and filling a vacancy, they pale in comparison.
Offer Prompt and Frequent Feedback
To an ageing baby boomer, frequent catch-ups to tell someone how they’re doing might seem like mollycoddling, but constructive criticism and affirmation can go a long way in bringing the best out of a millennial workforce.
Born into a generation that’s much more comfortable discussing their mental state, mood and wellbeing (and rightly so), younger workers will generally respond to feedback positively – regardless of whether it’s constructive advice on how they might perform better or praise for the work they’re doing.
It’s important that any feedback sessions are regular and, where feedback is offered following a specific event, as soon after the event as possible.
We live in an age of unprecedented connectivity and that brings with it the opportunity for flexibility.
If a company’s business allows its workforce some flexibility, be that on hours, location or days, then allowing the workforce to capitalize on that flexibility can seriously affect mood and therefore motivation.
Put measures in place that allow your employees to spend more time doing what they love and they’ll be more likely to bring a good attitude to work.
Philadelphia-based Rubenstein Partners recently announced the launch of a capital improvements program at Makefield Crossing. The campus is located near Interstate 295 and directly off Route 332, offering great access throughout the metro area. It’s a 20-minute drive to downtown Princeton and a 40-minute drive to Center City Philadelphia.
Rubenstein plans to make interior renovations and exterior plaza improvements as a first stage of a larger plan to reposition what the company considers to be the preeminent Class A office park in Bucks County, Pa. The overhaul applies to both the North and South Makefield Crossing campuses, as follows:
- Makefield Crossing North has an interior parking lot that will be replaced with a collaborative greenspace. Additionally, new amenities will be added, including a café and tenant lounge, a fitness center and a conference center. Renovation plans also include updated signage and common area updates to main lobbies, restrooms and corridors. The North campus includes five office buildings, encompassing roughly 190,000 square feet of office space.
- Makefield Crossing South includes four buildings, of which Rubenstein owns three that encompass roughly 277,000 square feet of office space. The company’s capital improvements program includes adding and upgrading amenities similar to the North campus — a fitness center, conference center, and full-service café and tenant lounge — as well as partially replacing the interior parking lot with a collaborative greenspace that connects the new amenities to waterfront decks. The building common areas — such as main lobbies, restrooms and corridors — will be upgraded, as will signage, to reflect the updated property branding.
“New and existing tenants have embraced our previously announced capital improvement plan for Makefield Crossing, which we are now executing after securing unanimous approvals from the Township,” said Louis Merlini, vice president of asset management at Rubenstein. “We believe that Makefield Crossing will become even more attractive to users as we proceed with our plans and the end result comes into focus. This will be a fully modernized, amenitized campus with new outdoor spaces, better fitness offerings and updated finishes. There will be nothing like it in Bucks County.”
The company has added several tenants to its portfolio roster during the past 12 months. Notable office leases in the Philadelphia area include: a 21,000-square-foot lease by Biohaven Pharmaceuticals Inc.; a 22,000-square-foot expansion and renewal of Cello Health lease; and a 22,400-square-foot renewal and expansion of Jubilant Pharma space.
JLL Executive Vice Presidents Doug Newbert and Mike MacCrory led the leasing team for Makefield Crossing on behalf of Rubenstein.
Property images courtesy of Yardi Matrix.
A Flatiron district landmark building changed hands on Tuesday for $48.5 million, or $725 per square foot. A joint venture consisting of AXA Investment Managers and the Kaufman Organization became the owners of the 67,000-square-foot, mixed-use property at 56 West 22nd Street after acquiring it from an entity linked to the Blum family.
Bob Knakal, Stephen Palmese, Jonathan Hagerman, Brock Emmetsberger and Patrick Yanotta of JLL represented the seller. A team consisting of Andrew Pikearski, Michael Kazmierski and Lorenzo Bakewell-Stone represented AXA and Kaufman. The property at 55 West 22nd Street had come on the market last September for an initial asking price of $50 million. According to New York City public records, it had last been sold in 1961 for an undisclosed amount.
The 12-story property has roughly 6,300 square feet of retail space and 55,200 square feet of Class B Midtown Manhattan office space. It is ideally located within a five-block radius of seven subway lines, as well as within walking distance of Penn Station.
The 113-year-old property is currently 55% leased ― with many of the current leases expiring in 2021 ― and will be subject to extensive improvements, per a prepared statement by the new owners. Kaufman will supervise the renovation efforts, which will include improvements to the building’s systems, lobby and elevators.
AXA and Kaufman had previously joined forces to acquire another Midtown office property at 40 West 25th Street. That 12-story asset had previously belonged to Japanese investment firm Unizo Holdings, which fetched a hefty $121.5 million for the 132,700-square-foot office space in the closing months of 2019.
The online publishing world is a vast and sometimes intimidating ecosystem of sources. But, even given the overwhelming numbers of results that the internet can produce, some online news outlets still manage to rise above the fray.
Whether you’re a broker, investor, economist or just an avid reader with a passion for all things real estate, here are some online publications you can follow to keep you up with the latest deals, industry-specific events and expert insights. In no particular order, these are your most reliable commercial real estate (CRE) resources.
Looking for straightforward stories on the latest CRE transactions, development projects and market trends in a highly digestible format? GlobeSt – part of the ALM Real Estate Media Group, which publishes 33 national and regional magazines and newspapers – has its eyes on macro issues, such as emerging technologies and major political decisions and their influence on real estate markets. The company also organizes conferences and tradeshows for real estate, business and legal professionals.
The Business Journals – also known as the Bizjournals – are part of the American City Business Journals newspaper chain, based in Charlotte, N.C. The site publishes both national and regional news on a daily basis, covering 43 markets and attracting millions of visitors. Furthermore, Bizjournals hosts an impressive archive of more than 5 million business news articles dating back to 1996.
Founded in 2003 by publisher and film producer Amir Korangy, The Real Deal is a go-to publication for readers interested in the latest scoops in both the commercial and residential real estate industries. It currently covers New York and the tri-state area, as well as Los Angeles, South Florida and Chicago, and its reports include exclusive interviews and relevant statistics on topics ranging from construction, lending and finance to architecture and property management.
Furthermore, the company publishes a yearly Data Book, which contains current and historical information on the state of New York City’s real estate market. Additionally, for more than a decade, The Real Deal has also hosted annual real estate forums, where panels of industry professionals and experts discuss the latest trends and issues within the industry.
Part of the Observer Media family of companies, Commercial Observer began publishing 2009, at the height of the financial crisis. It has been going strong ever since, offering crucial details on the latest sales, leases and financing deals. The site’s content is divided into several categories, including politics, business and technology, arts and entertainment, and style and design.
If you want your CRE news with an extra serving of personality, Bisnow is – as its motto quite accurately states – “Almost Never Boring.” The publication inherits some of its charm from its founder, lawyer and talk show host, Mark Bisnow, who wanted to create an upbeat site with an irreverent, Buzzfeed-like tone. Over the years, a number of highly regarded editors and reporters – such as Catie Dixon, Jarred Schenke, Jon Banister and Cameron Sperance – have shifted the tone of the publication to a more hard-hitting real estate news source. But, as stated in the site’s description, this publication still aims to please those with a nerdy passion for all things real estate.
The publication currently covers 27 metropolitan areas across the U.S., Canada and the U.K., and is also a prolific organizer of real estate events. Its invite-only conferences attract roughly 70,000 attendees yearly and feature various networking activities and forums.
When in doubt, just ask the professionals, and what better place to turn than REALTOR Magazine, the official publication of the National Association of REALTORS® and the business tool for real estate professionals nationwide. This is the place to go if you need practical advice on sales, law and management, or want to learn more about the latest regulations or state or federal laws that might affect the industry.
Commercial Property Executive – CPE for short – keeps you in the loop with authoritative analysis on financing, property management, legal and regulatory issues, sustainability and technology. Its coverage extends across all major property types and business sectors, documenting both U.S. and foreign investments. What’s more, the site’s newsletters provide weekly news roundups and biweekly coverage of capital market areas, including investment, finance, real estate investment trusts (REITs) and leases.