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Friday Roundup: Our favorite posts from the week of June 16th

530 Fifth Avenue sells for $595 Million

‘Mayor should pay more attention to Office Development’

Shared Space of ‘Virtual Law Office’ Can Serve as Main Law Office Address

One Vanderbilt will be New York City’s Second Largest Tower

Friday Roundup: Our favorite posts from this week

As we do on Fridays, Corporate Suites rounds up 5 of the most interesting and relevant articles from the web in the Commerical Real Estate, Co-working and Office space realms.

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Real Estate Marketing Aims to Override the Power of the Photograph

Out with the old, in with the new. As New York becomes a new hub for tech startups, the city’s real estate industry has been gaining innovative approaches to its marketing techniques. Click the link above to read more.

Where Are the Hottest Startup Offices in New York City?

Listed with a Map ~

Welcome to the World of Virtual Biotechs

Biotech companies working out of Au Bon Pain? It’s happening…

Five Ways to make the Office a Happier Place

Certainly focusing on up-to-date technology.

 

 

 

Friday Roundup: Commercial Space News from Around the Web

The tradition holds strong! We’ve found the 5 most relevant articles about New York City’s Commercial Real Estate Market and have compiled it just for you.

1 World Trade Center Struggling to Fill its Office Space

What Do New York City Office Tenants Think About “Green” Certification of Office Buildings? “Meh,” Is the Consensus

The Office Space Race

Avenue of the Americas sees better time for Real Estate

Homepolish Designs Office Spaces for Startups

Friday Roundup: Commercial Space posts from around the web

Friday ‘Round up of the most relevant articles in commercial real estate, office space space and NYC news.

Time Inc. Saying Goodbye to Iconic New York Building

The media company heads downtown after splitting from parent Time Warner

Manhattan Startups Going-Brooklyn

Livestream, a Manhattan-based startup will be moving to the former 3rd Ward headquarters.

4 Must-Haves for Flexible Workspaces

The 9/11 Museum Opened This Week

Somber photos capture the space in its entirety.

Madison Square Garden hasn’t paid property taxes in 30 years

A special request granted to no other property in New York City, exceptions were made for the Dolan family’s For-Profit Business

Friday’s Commercial Space Round-up

Each Friday, we bring you 5 relevant articles through the week related to Commercial Space, Retail Space and Office Space in NYC. May 12th-16th, here is what we found:

Storefront, the Airbnb for retail spaces, raises $7.3 million dollars in its most recent round of funding

Over are the days of a paltry pantry; new office space trend yields kitchen spaces that are something to talk about

Is co-working a viable resource for Attorneys?

New deals in lower Manhattan will set the commercial office availability at 11.6%, lower than Midtown’s 11.8%.

When Wall Street moved to Midtown – Moving from Silicon Valley to San Fran Proper

 

Friday Roundup: Top 5 Real Estate Articles of the Week

It’s Friday! Time for a roundup of our top 5 favorite articles from this week in Real Estate, Business, Entrepreneurship and Events.

Real estate boom bites nonprofits.

Tech firms eat up space, pushing rents higher and leaving groups scrambling.

Hiring as an Art

Words from Barbara Corcoran who attributes to her past hiring mistakes to her new mastery. Barbara has recently published a book titled Shark Tales.

How to Create Big Success From Small Talk

Do you struggle with small talk? Here, Inc. columnists share how to make little words create big opportunities.

New York City Trophy Building Rents Are Back

“Pricing and velocity at the top of the market have reached their strongest levels since 2008,” said Peter Riguardi, president of JLL’s New York tri-state operations.

Discovering the Modern Workspace

“The white-collar people slipped quietly into modern society,” C. Wright Mills writes in “White Collar” (1951), his classic sociology text, as if he were describing a race of wan termites. Nikil Saval’s excellent new book, “Cubed: A Secret History of the Workplace,” was inspired by Mills’s book, and it’s a fresh and intellectually omnivorous extension of its themes.

Friday Roundup: Real Estate

This will be our first “Real Estate Roundup”; a tradition celebrated on Fridays to gather some of the most relevant news in the New York Commercial Real Estate Market.

Developers are finding that old bricks make appealing new haunts for trendy tenants — so long as stunning expanses of glass are involved. – New York Post

Mayor de Blasio Signs Legislation to Alter The New York City Building Code in Relation to Carbon Monoxide Detectors and Submission of The Executive Budget – NYC.GOV

Unemployment Rate at Lowest Since 2008 as Hiring Jumps — New York Times

Chinese now top list of overseas buyers in Manhattan; Firms going above and beyond to accommodate clients from the People’s Republic — The Real Deal

“Medium Meltdown — Grape” by Desire Obtain Cherish on display in the lobby of 1001 Sixth Avenue. (One of our 7 locations) — Bloomberg

Space Invadors: The biggest shared space providers in NYC

Shared office space providers are gobbling up space in Manhattan at an unprecedented scale. The Real Deal took a look at five of the biggest players in this emerging business, analyzing their business models, their overall footprint and the rents they pay.

1) Regus- Total NYC space: More than 1.6 million square feet

Regus CEO Mark Dixon and 104 West 40th Street

Regus CEO Mark Dixon and 104 West 40th Street

Headquartered in Luxembourg, Regus has over 1,500 worldwide locations, and is rapidly expanding in Manhattan neighborhoods such as Soho, Lower Manhattan and Midtown. In July 2013, the company took nearly 30,000 square feet at David Tawfik’s 104 West 40th Street. In May 2013, it inked a 32,000-square-foot deal at Edward Minskoff’s 101 Sixth Avenue. It also took 40,000 square feet at Brookfield Office Properties’ Brookfield Place in February 2013.

The average size of a lease inked by Regus is about 31,000 square feet, and the company pays an average rent in the low-$50s per square foot, according to CompStak data (Note: the average rent and lease sizes are weighted averages of only those deals represented in CompStak’s database — they do not include all of Regus’ deals)

Regus is trying different tactics to get brokers comfortable with its business model. In July 2013, the company signed a deal with residential brokerage Oxford Property Group that allows Oxford agents access to its 38 business centers in Manhattan and allows them use of Regus’ business lounges and cafes, exclusive discounts on business-related products, meeting rooms, day offices and video communications.

Regus does its deals through its national accounts group, said Mark Ravesloot, a vice-chairman at CBRE who is one of six brokers at the firm that work on Regus’ account in the city. The national accounts group reaches out to local brokers in each major market. Moving forward, Regus is eyeing spaces in the outer boroughs, he added, saying that their scale gave them a distinct advantage in the market. “They understand how to do their due diligence very quickly, from a construction standpoint and from a layout standpoint.”

2) WeWork – Total NYC space: More than 650,000 square feet (estimated)

Adam Neumann and 25 Broadway

Adam Neumann and 25 Broadway

Founded in 2010, WeWork is currently the most aggressive player in the shared office market, sources said. In January, the company signed a deal to take 115,000 square feet at 113-133 West 18th Street. The same month the firm also took 63,300 square feet at Himmel + Meringoff Properties’ 401 Park Avenue South. And in September, it inked an 86,000-square-foot lease at the Cunard Lines Building at 25 Broadway, as TRD reported.

The company is also in talks to take half a million square feet at the Brooklyn Navy Yard and is close to snagging all 300,000 square feet at Rudin Management’s 110 Wall Street, according to previous news reports.

WeWork is “very bullish on Lower Manhattan as well as other neighborhoods that serve as centers for innovative and creative companies,” Ben Kessler, the company’s director of marketing, said in a statement. Kessler wouldn’t comment on the company’s total square footage in New York City and declined to elaborate on how WeWork’s relationships with landlords had changed over time.

WeWork’s average transaction size is close to 69,000 square feet, according to CompStak data, and it pays an average rent in the low-$40s per square foot. As of January 2013, the New York-based WeWork had raised over $20 million from private investors, including Joel Schreiber, owner of Manhattan real estate investment firm Waterbridge Capital.

3. Corporate Suites- Total NYC space: More than 230,000 square feet (estimated)
Corporate Suites’ seven locations include 641 Lexington Avenue near Grand Central and 22 Cortlandt Street in the Financial District.

4. Virgo Business Centers- Total NYC space: 180,000 square feet

Arnold Fisher and 1345 Avenue of the Americas

Arnold Fisher and 1345 Avenue of the Americas

In November, Virgo took 40,791 square feet at Fisher Brothers’ 1345 Avenue of the Americas, as TRD reported. The deal was Virgo’s sixth in Manhattan since its inception in 1998 and its first on the West Side. The company also occupies a 20,000-square-foot space in the Empire State Building and a 40,000-square-foot space at 575 Lexington Avenue.

“The growth has obviously been big,” Virgo CEO Sarah Klein said of the shared-office sector in November. “Otherwise we would not have been expanding.”

5. Jay Suites- Total NYC space: Over 150,000 square feet
In November, Jay Suites, founded in 2009 by brothers Juda and Jack Srour – both were fresh out of high school at the time — took a nearly 28,000-square-foot space at 31 West 34th Street, as TRD reported.

The deal brought the company’s total Manhattan footprint to north of 150,000 square feet. Its other locations include 1441 Broadway, 369 Lexington Avenue, and 30 Broad Street. Jay Suites is in talks to acquire further spaces of between 20,000 and 30,000 square feet in the Columbus Circle and Union Square markets, Juda Srour told TRD. The company and is also mulling developing its own shared-office-space building on Downtown Brooklyn’s Willoughby Street.

Each neighborhood has its characteristic tenants, Srour added. “Downtown you get traders. Midtown East is the finance guys and the lawyers. And in Midtown South and Times Square, you have the tech companies.”

Jay Suites aims to compete on price, Srour said, and can undercut the competition by up to 30 percent because the company uses its own contractors to build out a space. He was very direct about how the company went about choosing its locations. “We really look at where Regus is located, and we try to open next door,” he said, adding that he estimated up to 40 percent of its clients were poached from the Luxembourg-based giant.

Local Deals Startup Living Social Closes NYC Office Opting for Temporary Space

GroupOn rival Living Social is closing its luxury furnished offices in New York, reports The Next Web, asking employees, including those in advertising and marketing, to work remotely. The Living Social offices are currently at 101 Fifth Ave. and reportedly takes up more than 60,000 feet of Manhattan office space rental—the building’s entire fifth floor.

The daily deals company made the decision to close its Seattle office last month, asking those employees to work remotely as well. In New York, however, employees who cannot work from home will be offered office space in an unreported area somewhere in the vicinity.

A number of New York-based employees are facing layoffs, including Living Social’s events team, which created local special events like beach days and river tubing in over 30 markets across the country. The layoffs are expected to affect approximately 30 full-time workers. A number of part-time workers on the events team will also be let go, but Living Social would not verify the number that would be affected. The company will continue to offer local events, but instead will take each happening on tour to various markets.

Internet giant Amazon has invested heavily in Living Social, reportedly to the tune of $175 million. The startup employs 4,000 workers, of which more than half are in the United States. The company recently announced that it would be expanding its Tucson-area flagship customer-care call center by 50 workers.

Bloomberg Continues to Push for Midtown East Rezoning

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, in a recent weekly radio address, once again called for the city to rezone Midtown East to allow for new development of more modern office space. Allowing new construction in the area would help relieve traffic congestion around Grand Central Station and would help the neighborhood develop a competitive edge with other growing parts of Manhattan, especially in the availability of Midtown office space, he said.

TheRealDeal.com recently reported Bloomberg’s push to rezone the area. Currently no new office buildings can be built in Midtown East. If Bloomberg gets his way, the rezoning would allow a limited amount of modern office space development. New office space in New York, especially in Midtown, continues to be difficult to find.

Supporters of the rezoning plan point out that the costs will be picked up by developers, and not the city’s taxpayers. Bloomberg says it will bring more businesses, and more jobs, to the area and will help to relieve the commuter traffic at Grand Central.

The mayor is continuing to try to bolster the city’s economy by making it attractive to new business. He is spear-heading an effort to turn the Big Apple into a tech hub, and several companies, including Silicon Valley-based Google, have created an East-Coast presence in the city. The interest in growing the tech sector in New York City is part of Bloomberg’s strategy to diversify the city’s economy, which is currently primarily tied to Wall Street.

 

 

Arizona Digital Advertising Agency chooses Chelsea as Site for New York Office

myThings, the Arizona-based digital advertising agency for brands such as Adidas, Wal-Mart, Disney, Microsoft, and Best Buy, recently leased office space in Manhattan to create a presence in New York City. The new Lower West Side location is first expansion from the company’s Scottsdale office.

CNBC reports that in the first quarter of 2013, myThings acquired more than 80 new tier 1 clients for their custom, data-driven advertising services. The company stated in a press release that it experienced an 800 percent growth in revenues and anticipates a six-fold rise in demand over the next year.

myThings CEO said that the New York move was the logical next step in the company’s quest to become an international leader in data-driven communication. The new office will be advancing the myThings’ strategic plan to deliver cross-tunnel, data-driven ad solutions for tier 1 brands and agencies. It will focus on both the U.S. and emerging markets.

The eight-year-old company works with Facebook and other platforms to create algorithms related to targeted advertising. They customize advertising campaigns for each segment of their clients’ target audiences. It also operates proprietary bidder integration with 14 ad exchanges, including a direct seat on the Facebook exchange.

The company is not alone in creating a New York presence. Google, Facebook, and Microsoft announced earlier this summer plans to beef up the numbers of employees in New York. The tech industry is creating a market for virtual office space in New York as well.

Rapidly Expanding Boutique Gyms Flexing Muscle in New York Office Space Market

The market for specialized gyms is exploding, and the rapid growth is leading their corporate offices to look for additional office space to rent in Manhattan.

The HeraldTribune.com recently reported that several rapidly expanding concept gyms have expanded their corporate offices in New York. For one owner, finding the perfect space took an entire year. SoulCycle, a cycling studio that has grown from one location to 17 in the last seven years, recently located its offices to a former jewelry factory in Lower Manhattan. Its 85 employees take up two floors totaling 20,000 square feet. Their offices include a photo studio, a training area with cycles, and a stretching and workout area for instructors.

SoulCycle competitor Flywheel Sports is expanding its presence in the New York office space market by quadrupling its space on the Upper West side. The company’s owner says they have grown from one studio to 24 in just three-and-a-half years.

Another specialized fitness center, Tough Mudder, recently leased 35,000 square feet in a Brooklyn office building. The company, founded in 2009 in Southern Florida, provides challenging obstacle-course races, is rapidly expanding. The company will consolidate eight smaller offices into the space. Its seven-year lease includes an option to double its space over the next two to three years.

An industry analyst said that people are trading their gym memberships or adding specialized boot camps and cycling studio memberships to their fitness routine.

Tech Startups Moving into Manhattan with Subleased Space

The New York Times reports that startup tech companies are adding to the sublet office market with temporary office space in Manhattan. The article gives the example of the Soho space rental by Scholastic that has been subleased to Foursquare. Foursquare, in turn, sublet space to app designer Fueled, which subleases seats to tech entrepreneurs who are working on hitting the big time.

Burgeoning tech firms like subletting, The Times reports, because rent is usually a little cheaper and the contract length is shorter. Sublets also have a smaller deposit and are already built out, offering high-speed internet, conference rooms and more. If their product doesn’t make it past the development stage, it’s easy for the startup to shutter its doors.

An analyst at Studley, the commercial real estate firm, told The Times that flexibility is the key for tech startups, since they don’t know if they will be acquired or receive critical startup funding. The problem is that they could be left homeless if the tenant who is subletting goes bankrupt.

A Studley report found that a third of all tech companies that signed a lease in Manhattan during the first quarter of 2013 entered into a sub-leasing arrangement. Many of these companies are adding to the pool of virtual offices in New York City by subletting to solo consultants and entrepreneurs. The average length of a sublease contract is four years.

Even established companies like online news source Buzzfeed recently signed a two-year sublease with Tiffany at the jewelry company’s new corporate headquarters across from MadisonSquarePark.

 

 

Tentative Rental Agreement May Herald Rise of 3 World Trade Center

More office space rental in the Financial District may be up for grabs after media-buying company GroupM reportedly reached a tentative agreement to move to 3 World Trade Center. According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, the company has signed a letter of intent with developer Larry Silverstein.

GroupM would lease 515,000 square feet in the third of the four towers expected to be built at the 16-acre site. The third tower is expected to be home to 2.5 million square feet of prime New York office space. Currently it is planned to have eight floors, but that could change if more tenants come on board.

Silverstein’s 72-story 4 World Trade Center is near completion and half leased. Real estate analysts believe he needed the GroupM agreement to secure the bank funding for 2 World Trade Center and 3 World Trade Center. If Silverman signs a tenant for at least 400,000 square feet and raises $300 million in additional funds, the city and state will chip in a $600 million subsidy package to help finance the third tower’s construction.

One World Trade Center, which is being built by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, is currently under construction and expected to open in 2015. More than half of its 3 million square feet of office space has been leased, with Condė Nast as the anchor tenant. The publishing company signed a lease agreement for a million square feet of office space in 2011.

Study Finds that Office Space Demand is on the Rise in New York City

A new study found demand for office space in the United States is up in 60 out of 82 metro areas, including New York according to an article in the Denver iJournal. The study, conducted by real estate provider Cassidy Turley, found that office space occupancy is rebounding nicely from the recession. The findings explain why Manhattan office space rentals continue to be some of the most premium real estate in the nation.

The study, which was conducted in the second quarter of 2013, found that more than 15.1 million square feet of U.S. office space was absorbed in March through June. That’s up over 5 million square feet in the first quarter of 2013. Vacancy rates were lower, too, down to 15.3 percent from the 17.2 percent peak at the height of the recession.

The study found that most companies are continuing to be mindful of office space efficiency. In fact, researchers found most of the increase was created by business growth. The biggest demand for office space is at the top and low end of the market, a Cassidy Turley spokesperson said.

In fact, construction of new office space is still 30 percent below what it is normally, the study found, which is beginning to make new office space hard to find and rents for it skyrocketing.

The top market in terms of demand continues to be office space in New York, with 1.7 million square feet of absorption. The city was third in year-over-year rental appreciation, following Salt Lake City and Denver, at 9 percent.

New Tower in Meatpacking District to Open in 2016

A 12-floor building with a combination of retail and restaurant space is scheduled to begin construction soon at Ninth Avenue and West 15th Street, according to a recent article on therealdeal.com. The glass building will add approximately 115,000 feet of New York office space and conference rooms in Manhattan.

The first three floors of the new glass building will be dedicated to retail, and the fourth floor will be home to a variety of restaurants. The 172,000 square foot building was designed by architects Kohn Pederson Fox. Its rippling design was inspired by the waves of the nearby Hudson River. Plans also include a roof deck and two terraces.

Newmark Grubb Knight Frank will manage the leasing for both office and retail tenants. The project is scheduled to break ground in 2014 and open for tenants in January 2016. It will have 270 feet of storefront, with 100 feet along Ninth Avenue and 170 feet down West 15th.

The space is currently occupied by Prince Lumber Co, which will develop the project. It will relocate to West 47th Street in Hell’s Kitchen. A new building is currently under construction to house the company’s 40 employees. Prince Lumber bought the site in January for $10.6 million. The owner of the 90-year-old company insisted on staying in Manhattan.

According to the New York Post, the new building is the last of the remaining development sites in the Meatpacking District. It lies outside of the area’s historic-designated boundaries.

 

 

Proposed NYC Standards Designed to Make Buildings More Resilient

Proposed NYC standards designed to make buildings more resilient

In the wake of hurricane Sandy, the City of New York recently accepted proposals for building standards that would make buildings better equipped to cause less damage and bounce back more quickly after another weather-related disaster.

A recent article on realtytoday.com summarized the June 13, 2013 press conference that announced the 33 proposals suggested by the Building Resiliency Task Force, a group of 200 builders, architects, landlords, city officials and attorneys Mayor Bloomberg created after last year’s hurricane.

The panel looked at ways for buildings in New York, especially vital areas like office space in the Financial District, to not only become more resilient but create less debris. The demand for virtual offices in NYC during the aftermath of Sandy skyrocketed because of the lack of habitable office space, and debris cleanup has cost the city billions of dollars.

Some of the proposed new building standards that would specifically affect office space include providing power failure backup and ensuring that drinking water would be available in lobbies and other public areas.

The new standards focused on resiliency to provide fewer interruptions in worldwide financial services. Limiting damage, according to the task force, is essential to limiting the number of lives lost in the next disaster. Strengthening building standards would save billions of dollars in the future, according to one task force member.

The New York Times reported that debris removal from Hurricane Sandy cost more than twice what it would have in other parts of the country. The Army Corps of Engineers, which spearheaded the removal, said the increased cost was due, in part, because of the logistical issues removing large amounts of debris from a major urban area.

Pop-Up Hotel Repurposes Manhattan Office Space Without Rebuilding

Open floors of Manhattan office space have the potential to become much-needed hotel rooms with a Danish architectural firm’s Pop-Up Hotel concept. Architects from Pink Cloud developed a pre-fabricated solution that requires no build-out or permanent changes to building interiors. The idea was developed as an idea to simply repurpose older office buildings in the Midtown area.

New York had a record number of tourists in 2012, which has created a shortage of hotel rooms for the city’s guests. Pink Cloud hopes to remedy that problem with color-coded pre-fab panels and more to create everything from luxury rooms to hostel-like bunks for the budget-conscious traveler. The rooms are designed with modular furniture.

The firm didn’t forget amenities for the hotel guests, either. The pop-up hotel concept includes on-site dining, lounge areas, entertainment venues, and recreational facilities. The components arrive by truck to Manhattan and fit in standard-size elevators. They can be easily erected or taken down and moved to another location. The design allows the space to be converted back into offices and conference rooms in NYC in a matter of days.

Pop-Up Hotel designers won a $10,000 first-place prize for the concept at the Radical innovation in Hospitality contest held at the Hospitality Design Expo recently in Las Vegas.

Similar models have implemented storage containers and even trucks to create short-term living space. The bedrooms, complete with showers, can also be used to provide emergency shelter. Other designs focus on creating temporary workspace or even short-term space for retail establishments.

 

Madison Avenue Office Buildings Sell at All-Time High Prices

Some of the biggest news to hit Madison Avenue recently was the $1.4 billion that the families of Chinese and Brazilian real estate developers spent for a 40 percent share of the General Motors Building. The sale resulted in the property becoming worth $3.4 billion – the most value office space for rent in the world.

The stake was purchased by the families of Zhang Xin, the founder of Beijing developer Soho China, and Brazilian property magnate Moise Safra. They formed a partnership named Sungate Trust to buy the share of the 50-floor building from Goldman Sachs United States Real Estate Opportunities Fund, which invests for countries of Qatar and Kuwait, and Meraas Capital, a Dubai-based investment firm.

The General Motors Building fills the block between 58th and 59th streets, and Madison and Fifth avenues. It is home to approximately 2 million square feet of office space. Its ground-floor retail space is leased by an Apple store.

The other 60 percent of the building is owned by Boston Properties. Both the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg report that the real estate firm is not planning to sell its stake.

Madison Avenue and other parts of Manhattan are becoming attractive for investors looking for high yield opportunities. Shortly before the General Motors Building purchase, another sale affected the office space on Madison Avenue. Crown Acquisitions and Highgate Holdings recently finalized a deal to purchase 650 Madison Ave. from the Carlisle Group for $1.3 billion.

 

Facebook to Double its New York Office Space

Facebook recently announced that it is doubling its office space in New York City. The social network giant, which is also expanding its Silicon Valley headquarters, is scouting out another 160,000 square feet of New York office space in the heart of Midtown Manhattan.

Real estate sources say that Facebook is eyeing the seventh and eighth floors of 770 Broadway, a 15-story building that takes up the entire block between 8th and 9th streets. Retailer J. Crew is currently headquartered in the building.  The space had been previously rented by Nielsen. The media company recently moved to Lower Manhattan.

The expansion is expected to double Facebook’s New York office space. Although Facebook offices some engineers and other tech employees in New York, the majority of its employees in the Big Apple are marketing and sales staff.

Several large tech firms, like Google, Yahoo and Microsoft, are creating more of a presence in New York City. The California companies are also eager to tap talent that does not want to move away from the East Coast. The mayor’s office has made attracting high tech companies to New York a top economic development priority.

Midtown Manhattan has earned the nickname “Silicon Alley” over the last few years with the influx of tech companies snapping up office space in New York. Yahoo and Microsoft recently inked leases outside of Midtown, where office space is at a premium. Yahoo is moving to the former New York Times location on 43rd Street, while Microsoft is moving its East Coast hub to Times Square.

Yahoo Buys Tumblr, Increasing its Visibility in New York City

Yahoo recently announced that it is purchasing New York-based Turmblr, Inc. for a cool $1.1 billion. The blogging network will continue to host its more than 1 million blogs, and founder David Karp is expected to stay at the helm.

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is banking that the hip Tumblr will rub off on the aging Yahoo in a bid to challenge Google and Facebook in the social networking arena. The display advertising markets in this sector is an estimated $17.7 billion.

Tumblr has become the hippest online venue for people to display their photography, artwork and writing online. The company is located in New York’s Flatiron district, home to many new technology startups that are snapping up office space in New York.

Some of the office’s decor includes the original red-brick walls of the building, giving it a hip, urban ambiance. It is also noted for its quirky, off-beat wall art.

The Tumblr New York office space features many of the amenities that are found in the digs of successful Silicon Valley startups. Dogs are welcome in workspaces. Fun is encouraged as part of the workplace culture, which includes a game room and a high-tech beer tap. Tumblr’s mascot, a Pomeranian named Tommy, also works on employee morale.

Karp, 26, founded Tumblr in 2007. The social networking site was started based on Karp’s interest in tumbleblogs, short-form blogs. He introduced Tumblr after no established blogging site created a platform for the blog form. Tumblr is just one of several high-profile technology companies with office space in New York.

One World Trade Center Spire Completion Symbolizes Comeback of Lower Manhattan

Recently construction workers erected a 408-foot spire on top of One World Trade Center, which makes the new building the tallest in the western hemisphere and the third-tallest building in the world.

The placement of the spire symbolically marked the comeback of the city, as well as the country, of the 9/11 terror attacks in 2001 that destroyed the two towers of the World Trade Center. The new building is built near of the former buildings’ site and features 104 stories of prime office space in New York City.

New Yorkers were glad to see the 67-ton spire now atop the building. At night it will be lit, serving as a beacon for miles around, as well as a remembrance to the tragedy that killed more than 3,000 Americans. People stopped in the street and cheered as the spire was raised.

The spire is made up of 19 sections, including three communications rings. It brings the building to a height of 1,776 feet – the year the United States declared its independence. It has function as well as form. The spire is an antenna for a broadcast facility that will be housed in the building.

Construction still continues on One World Trade Center. It is expected to open sometime in 2014. The rebuild will eventually consist of seven buildings to provide office space in New York.

Google Donates NYC Office Space to Cornell Applied Sciences Program

Another salvo has been fired in New York’s battle to rival Silicon Valley in their creation of an East Coast tech hub. This week, Google announced that it is loaning 22,000 square feet of its New York City office space to Cornell University until the school opens its new applied sciences campus.

Cornell is building its new campus on Roosevelt Island. The applied sciences curriculum will focus on economic development and entrepreneurship with the goal to get more of the faculty and students’ best new technology ideas to market. New York University is also beefing up its sciences program, building a campus and business incubator in Brooklyn. The new facility is a partnership between Cornell and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is spear-heading an effort to turn the Big Apple into a tech hub. He recently cited a number of tech startups that are hiring or expanding their office space in New York. The interest in growing the tech sector in New York City is part of Bloomberg’s strategy to diversify the city’s economy, which is currently primarily tied to Wall Street.

Google worked with the mayor on the donation to Cornell. According to an article in Forbes, The donated space is estimated to be worth $10 million.

Midtown East Prepares for New Development with Rezoning Plan

Midtown East – officially defined as the area between East 39th and 57th street between 2nd and 5th Avenue – is one of Manhattan’s most active business districts, encompassing Madison Avenue, the iconic shops of Fifth Avenue, Grand Central Terminal; and being just a few short streets from Times Square, the United Nations, and Rockefeller Center.  This year, it is being reviewed by the New York City Planning Commission as they hope to set a future for continued and sustainable development in the area.

According to a report by The Real Deal, Planning Commission Amanda Burden announced last week that the board would begin the public review process within the coming weeks to establish regulations for the renovation and development of buildings in the district. While Midtown East is already one of the most active New York City office space markets with thousands of square feet in office space available, the rezoning plan hopes to introduce new, more modern office space desired by technology-based firms now entering the New York City market.

One of the key focuses of the plan is energy efficiency as commercial buildings are remodeled and new developments are planned. The Planning commission has proposed a requirement for new commercial buildings to be more the 15% than the current city-wide building regulation standards.

In addition to energy, developers will be allowed to build taller buildings with more, larger floors, by paying $250 per square foot for ‘air rights’. The funds from this regulation would go towards public improvement projects including new transit projects. Places of worship are also asking to be included in the new regulations so that they can benefit from air rights.

This news comes as Midtown Manhattan office space demand has held steady and slowly increased as the economic recovery continues and sustains. Midtown East hopes to introduce new, more modern buildings to attract the attention of companies that have currently established themselves in Chelsea and Midtown South, which has seen a great amount of growth within the past two years with vacancies at all-time lows.

The Advantages of Having Your Own Space

A common scene in most families – teenagers demand their own rooms from parents, and young adults move out into their own apartments, citing the need for their own space to be able to have privacy and an environment more conducive to productivity. But the need for your own space – a calm environment that you can call your own – isn’t just limited to kids. As companies grow and become bigger and more successful, they too need to consider the need for a space to all their own.

Employees who work from home can attest that it’s not the paradise it sounds like – distractions abound from children, spouses, deliverymen and from the home itself, it can be hard to focus in on work without a dedicated area to call your own. Besides the obvious distractions, there are many downsides to working from home for start-ups and entrepreneurs to consider.

A virtual office in New York City or another major local business district can help give you a professional appearance at a low cost, but what about when it’s time to meet with your clients? For many start-ups who use virtual offices, they must rent conference rooms by the hour and are limited in their ability to reserve conference rooms at the time and location they need – and the cost of an hourly conference room can add up quickly when used several times per month. Having a dedicated office of your own eliminated time constraints, and may be more cost-effective if you meet with clients on a regular basis.

A dedicated room in your home may help you focus on your own work – but the limitation of space offers many disadvantages, particularly when it comes to hiring. It is significantly harder to attract talent and provide a great workplace for them when limited by space and resources, and the lack of available space and resources, combined with the environment of a ‘home office’ can cause decisions based on a lack of space, rather then hiring the talent needed for continued business success. A executive suite in NYC with dedicated desks, high-speed internet and corporate amenities provides a better environment for both attracting and retaining talent – giving you a dedicated, peaceful space to be creative and accomplish your business goals.

Office Space Demand Improves with Employment Outlook

The first quarter of 2013 has been filled with indicators of a recovering, growing economy – with the stock indexes reaching new highs, and employment numbers seeing continued growth, particularly in the New York City area. The demand and asking rent for office space in New York City, as well as other major cities such as San Francisco, Houston and San Jose; is up in the first quarter of 2013, as a result of increased hiring and growth among small businesses.

A recent report by Yahoo News! explained that the office vacancy rate fell only slightly during the first quarter of 2013 nationwide, but growth in areas that are concentrated with technical services such as San Francisco and New York saw a much more pronounced decrease in vacancies, as well as pronounced increase in the average rent for office space.

Nationwide, the average effective rent grew at a rate of only 0.7% to $28.66 per square foot – but follows a quarter of 0.8% and has not declined in several months, a positive economic indicator. While still below 2008 highs before the recession, the slow but steady growth is a sign that the economy is still moving forward.

Phoenix, Las Vegas and Detriot – some of the cities impacted hardest by the recession and housing bubble collapse – have seen extremely high office space vacancy, a troubling sign for the local economy. San Francisco and New York – both of which have become the leading home for companies providing technical services such as software development, internet marketing, social networking and website design – have seen a constantly declining vacancy rate over the same period.

While growth in demand for office space may seem lackluster, it’s important to note that many companies choose to use virtual offices in New York City, San Francisco and other locations – using an office space part-time while still maintaining their business presence. Hiring is also seen by economic analysts as a lagging indicator of economic recovery – the hiring follows a few weeks or months after a strong economic surge, and a pronounced increase in hiring should be within the coming months.

 

World Trade Center One Offers A New View

One of the most iconic New York City experiences for visitors and residents alike is getting a great view of the city, taking in the size and majesty of America’s busiest, most populous cities. Most of the visitors looking for a great view head to the top of 30 Rockefeller Center in the heart of Midtown at 47th-50th Streets on Avenue of the Americas – drawing an estimated 2.5 million visitors each year. The iconic Empire State Building on 34th Street and 5th Avenue drawing millions more.

World Trade Center One plans to offer more then just a plethora of class A financial district office space. According to a recent report from the New York Times, The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is expected to approve a multi-million, 15-year contract with Legends Hospitality Management to operate an observation deck at New York City’s tallest building, which could generate hundreds of millions in revenue for the Port Authority over the next 15 years. Set for completion late this year, World Trade Center One is hoping to draw visitors that would otherwise head north to Top of the Rock or the Empire State Building.

The World Trade Center’s observation deck just barely edges out the height of the deck at the Empire State Building and is only second in the country to Chicago’s Sears/Willis Tower. The hundreds of millions in revenue expected will help offset the tower’s cost of more then $3 billion to complete.

WTC One plans to offer more then just a great view – once visitors take a dedicated elevator to the 102nd floor of the 1,776 foot tower, they will be greeted with a presentation storying the history of the tower’s design and construction after the September 11th attacks before opening to reveal the Manhattan skyline. A gift shop and restaurant, as well as an area for private parties, add to the experience of visiting one of New York’s newest icons.

Morgan Stanley Concentrates Office Space in NYC

Morgan Stanley, one of the world’s largest investment and financial firms, has announced a shift in its real estate and locations – focusing on growing their NYC office space location and consolidating other offices into its premier location in the Financial District at 1 New York Plaza. This comes after the iconic building sustained heavy damage during Hurricane Sandy. Now back at full operation after repairs from the damage, Morgan Stanley hopes to expand its space at Manhattan’s southernmost skyscraper which looks out over Battery Park.

Like many other multinational firms, Morgan Stanley has always had major operations within New York City, but in the past spread out its ventures to attract new talent and have redundancies in case of emergencies – such as the September 11th attacks or Hurricane Sandy. Its most notable operation outside of New York City is across the river at 34 Exchange Place in Jersey City, part of the Harborside Financial Center, with neighbors such as Charles Schwab and Dow Jones. Many of these sites were developed after September 11th to provide support and recovery, and Exchange Place continues to be home to many financial firms.

But Morgan Stanley, who also has operations in Brooklyn and Princeton, New Jersey; is looking to consolidate to save on office space rental costs and bring its focus back to the Financial District. In a report from Bloomberg, Morgan Stanley filed a notice with the New Jersey state department on its decision to close its Princeton location which is home to 95 employees. CEO James Gorman has emphasized the needs to cut costs while retaining talent and improving returns on equity. The staff of the Princeton, New Jersey location – which is located 50 miles southwest of New York City, but is home to many New York City commuters via the Northeast Corridor rail line – will be offered positions at other Morgan Stanley locations such as 1 New York Plaza or at its Philadelphia offices.

Tech Startups in NYC Drive Office Space Growth

New York City already has an established presence in technology – with Google now running major operations out of Chelsea, and many other startups and established companies focusing their expansion on Union Square, the Lower East Side, Flatiron, and other neighborhoods south of the traditional office space in Midtown Manhattan that firms in other sectors typically seek.

This area – referred to as ‘Midtown South’, encompassing the area between Soho to the south and 28th Street to the north – has seen rents increase by over 70% in the past decade with a large portion of that growth coming within the last three years, according to a recent report from Forbes. In the past two years, B-grade office space has reached almost $60 per square foot – outpacing the traditional home of technology companies, Silicon Valley, which currently has a market average of $46 per square foot for the same class office space.

Why do so many technology firms prefer Midtown South – as more office space for rent in New York City’s other neighborhoods has become available, particularly in Midtown East, Times Square, and the Financial District – which now has fully recovered from the effects of Hurricane Sandy and offers plenty of space available as well as lower rents?

The short answer is the culture and neighbors these companies gain from renting an office in Chelsea, Union Square or Flatiron. Many companies in Midtown ‘North’ are focused in advertising, marketing, financials, accounting, or legal services – and the Financial District is primarily focused on finance, although many marketing firms with a focus in digital advertising have taken residence there recently.  But Midtown ‘South’ attracts technology firms, which in turn, attracts other tech ventures – companies that desire to work together, collaborate and rub shoulders.  For many of these companies, coworking is a better option than a private, furnished office – allowing them to share ideas freely between companies – but many still prefer a private, furnished Manhattan office.

Williamsburg’s Proposal To Transform Office Space Market

Brooklyn’s revival in the past decade has been unprecedented, as more and more people move to New York’s largest, most populous borough that’s becoming known for being more than just Manhattan’s neighborhood – developing a culture of its own with a food and music scene unmatched by many other cities and becoming a home to everyone from financial professionals to artists and musicians. It’s becoming more then just a home to Manhattan-bound commuters – it’s gaining a business presence of its own as many small companies look across the rivers and bridges for lower rents in Jersey City, Queens and Brooklyn.

Office space in New York City has always been focused on Midtown Manhattan and the Financial District – but as new, younger companies have emerged looking for space in Soho, Chelsea and Flatiron; they have also begun to look to Brooklyn due to its extensive transportation system and young workforce with educational backgrounds in computer science, marketing and software development. As residential development has seen great increases in Williamsburg, Greenpoint and Bushwick; office space hasn’t been a priority for these neighborhoods.

A proposal by Two Trees Management Company hopes to change that, according to a report from DNAinfo. The proposal plans to transform the former Domino Sugar Plant Site – directly across the Williamsburg Bridge from Manhattan – into 631,000 square feet of prime waterfront office space, attempting to attract both high-end companies and lucrative, quickly growing startups to the neighborhood.

The plan for this new, prime office space is still in its earliest discussions – as government officials and residents debate the pros and cons of the new development. Some residents claim the office space would change Williamsburg’s residential and creative focus, while others claim a class A office space for companies is necessary to change Williamsburg from a commuter neighborhood into a city all its own. The goal is to keep businesses in Brooklyn, instead of having them move across the river into Manhattan or to operate out of their homes while using a Manhattan virtual office address for business. Time will tell if the development gets approved and is successful, but it’s an interesting development for one of NYC’s fastest growing neighborhoods.

East River Blueway Concept Designed to Prevent Flooding

Immediately following the effects of Hurricane Sandy, politicians and citizens alike began looking at possible ways to reduce the damage of future hurricanes, particularly to minimize the flooding damage which effected Lower Manhattan in the days following Sandy, cutting off power and disabling subway lines for over a week. The storm’s damage displaced residents and cost millions in lost economic activity.

WXY Architecture + Urban Design has proposed a plan that will turn Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn’s coastlines of the east river into not only a green area that accommodates both pedestrians and traffic, turning the gritty desolete areas belong the Brooklyn Bridge and FDR drive into an area for citizens and tourists to enjoy.

Known as a “Blueway”, the redesigned areas would feature a variety of landscapes and plants to bring increased biodiversity as well as prevent issues of flooding on the banks of the East River. Sandy soil and marsh-like conditions help to slow and control the flow of high waters onto the coast, and can withstand hurricane-like conditions. A series of tidal pools serve as an ideal location for visitors to wet their feet without being subject to undertow currents.

So, will trees, marshes and sand be joining office spaces in Lower Manhattan? Manhattan officials have already pledged $3.5 million to the project which will take several years to complete. The lead designer of the project noted “the social side of infrastructure is becoming more and more urgent as our infrastructure gets more dilapidated and the climate becomes more erratic”. WXY hopes to strike and move forward with it’s plan while the thoughts of Sandy still linger on the minds of some New York City residents – it’s certainly a project to watch throughout the year.

 

Samsung taps NYC’s talent with new office

New York City is widely considered as one of the most creative cities worldwide – a mecca not only for the performing arts with world class musicians, dancers and renowned art galleries. It’s creativity spills over into the business world – only behind the Bay Area. With a plethora of office space for small businesses available in New York City, in the middle of one of the most productive corridors with highly educated workers in the labor force, NYC has become a new hotspot for startups,  creating new products and revolutionizing communications.

Samsung is the latest company to look to New York City for help in advancing their products and building their business. They’ve invested in a new office space in the trendy Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan, according to the latest reports. It’s called the Samsung Accelerator – with it’s own website - calling it a space “devoted to entrepreneurs who want to help [Samsung] develop products and services that can become the connective tissue between our family of devices”. The open office, sharing space with other startups in the neighborhood, will accomidate 40 to 50 people. Samsung is operating a similar incubator in Palo Alto, California.

Samsung hopes it’s efforts will help it keep it’s position as the worldwide leader in smartphone devices and help it build it’s U.S. audience where it is behind the maker of the iconic iPhone, Apple. Samsung spends about 6% of it’s budget on research and development, compared to 4% for Apple.

The Chelsea location joins a growing list of technology firms operating in Chelsea, Flatiron, and Union Square. Google is Chelsea’s most notable tenant along with many quickly growing small businesses. The firms range from software development to using the internet as a marketing tool and are a major driver of employment growth in the city.

Attorneys in New Jersey now have Virtual Office Option

Many businesses use virtual office as an alternative to maintaining traditional office space. For many firms, having a physical office just isn’t necessary – this is particularly true for sole practicioners and consultants, who are constantly on the road; and able to carry out the functions of their job from home.

Marketers, accountants and other professionals have had the ability for years to use a virtual office as their business address, while conducting the majority of their business from a home office. However, attorneys in the state of New Jersey were not allowed that luxury, due to outdated restrictions set by the state’s supreme court that required legal professionals to maintain a physical location. Fortunately, a recent ruling by the state’s Supreme Court has relaxed those restrictions, making it possible for attorneys in New Jersey to use a virtual office for their business. 

This decision comes after years of debate between the courts, attorneys and the ethics commission, which debated the legality of a virtual office for attorneys, claiming they needed to have a ‘bona fide’ office and time-sharing arrangements were not acceptable. The largest argument for virtual office has been the cost – a virtual office package with phone, mail, and office space usage is usually between $200 and $600 per month; where traditional office space rentals start around $1,000 per month and rise to double, triple, or more depending on the location and the amount of space needed.

That figure is just rent alone – not including the cost of staff for a physical office. With a virtual office, a receptionist handles many clients, including the attorneys, and is included with the cost of the virtual office package.

Virtual office services in New York City have been used by attorneys in New York for years. Philadelphia, Washington D.C., San Francisco and other major cities see a high demand for virtual office services from legal professionals. And with this new ruling, New Jersey – a state with an incredibly robust legal market – will join that group.

 

 

NYC Parks Throw “Snow Day” For Residents

Although some areas of Long Island and Connecticut were pounded by Winter Storm Luna and left under a foot of snow, the effect was much milder in Manhattan – were several inches of fluffy powder didn’t cause much trouble for those traveling to their office space in New York City . Instead, Manhattan was treated to a winter wonderland – with the Parks Department lending some help to make the winter fun experience complete.

“At first, it started out as a giant mountain of snow”, said James Lederer-Michaels to the Central NY news network of Syracuse . “Then, we just made a giant hole, and then some walls, and other kids helped.” James is one of many city residents – both young and old – that descended on the city’s parks to enjoy the best snow of the season, embracing the crisp winter air for snowball fights, sledding and games in the snow. Winter Storm Luna was  the first major snow acclimation of 2013. For those trying to keep warm, the Department of Parks and Recreation provided free hot chocolate to parents, children and parkgoers. They reported little to no damage in the parks due to the storm – stray branches cleaned quickly. Within city limits, the MTA subways operated on a normal schedule. Some LIRR and MetroNorth services experienced delays which were quickly resolved by hard-working teams – after handling Hurricane Sandy, a bit of snow wasn’t a challenge for the transit teams.

Temperatures are expected to rise in time for the work week, and spring is fast approaching. But for the next few weeks, winter fun is still a priority – right outside the Corporate Suites office space center at 275 Madison Avenue, city residents and visitors are still enjoying the ice skating in Bryant Park, and further north, Central Park still has plenty of scenic winter views, waiting to be enjoyed.

 

Green Energy Planned for Midtown’s Javitis Center

New York City has been making big moves in terms of making the Big Apple greener, through various environmental projects ranging from recycling to clean air, and particularly in clean energy from wind and solar sources. The newest development is the installation of a massive green roof at the Javtis Center in Midtown Manhattan, home to some of the areas biggest conventions and events.

The Javtis Center’s plans, as outlined in a recent report , span 292,000 square feet. Upgrades include replacement of the building’s roof and curtain wall as well as upgrades to the electrical system that will reduce energy useage and cost by a quarter, as well as improving the experience for convention center guests. The project is certified to meet LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver status, and will be the second largest green roof project in the United States, only behind the Ford Motor Company’s River Rouge Plant.

“Green” refers to more then just energy savings – grasses planted on the rooftops will decrease stormwater runoff, preventing 6.8 million gallons of wasted stormwater per year. The grass on the roof also absorbs sunlight, greatly decreasing cooling costs during the summer months, and can be seen from adjoining high-rises, making for excellent views for the neighbors.

The Javtis Center is one of the top attractions in New York City, providing a meeting room for rent  capable of seating thousands of attendees. It’s most common use is conventions, ranging for everything from cartoons to new cars. Over 2.5 million people visit the convention center every year in Midtown Manhattan, generating great revenues for hotels, eateries and more in the area. Javtis Center, through this project and others, will make the experience of New York City more green – promoting a public image of the city that’s focused on environmental improvements.

Toronto Adds More Office Space, Passing NYC in Space Available

New York City office space is usually one of the hottest comodities on the market – everyone wants to work and run a business in a city that’s as busy, with as many customers, a talented labor force and dozens of opportunities for growth, like Manhattan. But even with new buildings opening throughout the Big Apple – including World Trade Center One and Hudson Yards – it’s about to be passed in terms of office space volumes by a city to the north.

According to a recent report by Bloomberg News, Toronto will add more prime office space then any other city in the Americas by 2014, fueled by low borrowing costs and high demand. Traditionally Toronto has been at the core of the Canadian financial industry, much the way NYC is the core of the US financial industry, with firms such as Royal Bank of Canada as well as Deloitte & Touche LLC occupying vast amounts of space in Downtown Toronto. Toronto’s central location and high population – with over 50 residential towers being built within the past decade, an extremely educated labor market and developed downtown core – makes it an ideal place for both Canadian and multi-national firms to call home. One of the reasons for the growth in office space is demand from firms such as Google, who’s Canadian team operates in Toronto and is looking to expand even further in the city.

In 2012, Toronto’s space available only grew 100,000 sq. ft. and is operating at a vacancy rate of 5.1%, near historic lows. For comparison, the New York City office space vacancy rate is about 7%, with over 900,000 sq. feet of space being added this year, mostly attributable to the opening of World Trade Center One in the Financial District.

While New York City still leads the Americas as the leading center of commerce, Toronto appears to be growing consistently, and is posed to remain one of the premier business cities worldwide.

Push to Renovate Midtown Landmarks Underway

A long anticipated zoning proposal will be going before the New York City Council within the coming weeks, shaking up some of the most active, most historic parts of Midtown Manhattan – the area and the historic buildings around Grand Central Terminal. The Historical Districts Council has identified buildings that they feel should be exempted from redevelopment or reconstruction in the neighborhood, if the area does see a change in zoning.

The “Midtown East” rezoning plan, supported by the Bloomberg Administration and commerce associations, aims to redevelop older buildings to increase floor space and ceiling heights. The rezoning plan would almost double the amount of triple-A NYC office space available in Midtown East by allowing buildings to raise ceilings and widen their footprint. Proponents of the plan claim it’s a necessary measure so that office spaces can be changed to suit demand – the open floorplan favored by many companies requires more space, and technical infrastructure requires higher ceilings. The rezoning plan would allow these buildings to be renovated or updated to meet the office space needs of today’s companies.

But the need for offices for lease in New York City shouldn’t mean giving up critical pieces of the city’s history. “The blend of new and old is what keeps New York vital and unique. That principle should be a starting point for revitalizing this significant area, not an afterthought as it is presented.” is the argument of Andrea Goldwyn, leader of the NY Landmarks Conservancy. Some of the buildings that they seek to protect include the Graybar Building, The Lexington Hotel and the Union Carbide building.

Many other areas of Manhattan have seen incredibly growth in terms of office space available – with the opening of World Trade Center One, and the new development of the Hudson Yards project. But, advocates argue that “new office product is needed in Midtown Manhattan” – replacing the old with the new. Ideally, both sides will come to an agreement which preserves the city’s glorious history while providing modern working spaces.

 

 

Google+ Creates ‘Virtual Office’ On Demand

Connecting with coworkers beyond the office is not a new concept – one that dates back far before the advent of social networking. Connections between employees of the same organization have never been strictly based in the office – with discussions about business taking place over dinner, at a sporting event, or the phone. Many employees are friends, both on Facebook and in-person.

Google+ is taking this concept one step further with the introduction of what it refers to as a virtual office service, which allows employees to connect with each other through the popular social networking platform. This news comes from Google’s enterprise division, who focus on developing Google products for business, such as Google Drive for Business.

Most social networks – LinkedIn, Facebook, and Google+ – have personal information such as employment and personal information such as contact information. Google+’s virtual office concept makes it easier to find your coworkers on Google+ by labeling with their title within the organization, making it easy to identify the right decision makers when having conversations over Google+. The labels for each person are only visible to employees within the organization, so they can make sure they’re posting to the right person – a good feature to have with so many common names that can be mistaken. Employees can then share files, or participate in video conferences, using the Google+ Hangout feature.

Of course, the term “virtual office” in this instance, is abit misleading. “Virtual office” usually refers to address services at a location, phone reception and mail delivery to a promiment Manhattan business address, giving a professional address to freelancers, small teams, and virtual teams. New York City virtual office services don’t focus as much on teams working together, as simply providing the physical address. Google+’s service does provide an interesting new approach to sharing information and connecting with coworkers virtually – and it will be interesting to see if it becomes an accepted medium of business communication in the coming months.

New York Enters 2013 with New Green Energy Projects

As part of both a push by the federal government and the state government of New York, new wind power generation areas may be developed off the coast of Long Island. The Obama administration is considering the development of new offshore wind power project about 11 nautical miles south of Long Beach, according to a recent report by Bloomberg. 

Offshore wind power development is nothing new – with projects in both New England and the Mid Atlantic currently being constructed. But for New York, the generation of wind power is one of many green energy projects by the state. New York City in particular has made a recent push to limit coal power generation to reduce air pollution and keep skyscrapers cleaner, and new office space in New York City contains green energy construction materials, energy efficient lighting and other design components designed to not only save electricity and reduce long-term costs, but to minimize environmental impact.

The wind farm would join two others currently under construction, one in Delaware and one in Massachusetts  The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, part of the U.S. Interior Department, grants approval and permitting for construction of off-shore wind farms. The agency issued a request for competing interest in the lease area, which is about 130 square miles. If no private contractors submit bids on the project, the New York Power Authority can be granted a lease on a non-competitive basis.

The project would generate 350 to 700 megawatts of power for New York City and communities of Long Island, enough to power tens of thousands of homes each year. The Long Island Power Authority and Consolidated Edison Co. both support the project and will work with the New York Power Authority or the chosen private contractor to deliver the power to homes.

 

NYC Office Space Availability Rises

Office Space in New York City is now more available than ever, with the highest availability in 19-years, according to a recent report by Bloomberg news.

Ending 2012, top-quality office space availability in Manhattan moved to 14.5% for the last quarter of 2012, up from 12.3% in the 3rd quarter. That’s not to say this office space in Manhattan is vacant – the report, compiled by brokerage Studley Inc.; defines ‘availability’ as empty floor space zoned for commercial usage, plus executive suites and furnished offices that are slated to become available for lease in the next twelve months.

The majority of available office space in Manhattan is in the downtown Financial District. Midtown Manhattan has seen an increase in space available, but new developments affecting financial district office space means that much of the growth and availability is located downtown in America’s 3rd largest business district.

Some businesses in the financial district are delaying decisions due to economic and environmental circumstances. After Hurricane Sandy in late October, many buildings in the financial district were not usable due to power outages, flood waters and damages to building infrastructure. As a result, many firms are still recovering from the damage and disruption to businesses. Smaller firms, particularly those in web and computer related industries, were aggressive leasers of office space in the financial district during 2012; but demand has been supressed due to storm-related damage and recovery.

Economic circumstances, such as the recent election, United States budget discussions, new regulations affecting the financial industry and economic conditions in Europe have affected the decision of some financial firms, causing them to delay leasing decisions until the economic environment is more stable.

Finally, perhaps the biggest factor in the rise of availability in downtown and financial district office space is the opening of the new World Trade Center and World Financial Center buildings. 4 World Trade Center contains 2.3 million square feet of office space, with 1 million square feet currently available for rent. The World Financial Center has 3.3 million square feet either available or becoming available due to the expiration of major bank leases.

With space available, landlords in the area are optimistic that space will be leased in 2013 as economic conditions become more stable and the city of New York makes full recovery from the damage of Hurricane Sandy. The opening of 1 World Trade Center will also boost traffic to the financial district and bring in new tenants not only from the financial industry, but technology, marketing, and government based firms.

 

 

 

NYC Hits Tourism Record in 2012

They say there’s no place like New York City, and tourists agree. On one of the busiest days for tourism of the year – New Year’s Eve, where tens of thousands descent upon not only the iconic ball drop in Times Square but in bars, concert halls and other venues throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn; New York City reported that they had attracted a record 52 million tourists. This number represents an all-time high, and a 2% increase over 2011.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg set a goal of 55 million visitors and $70 billion in economic impact from tourism by 2015. The city has spent significant resources in promoting tourism, with marketing offices throughout the world and targeted marketing campaigns. This year, tourism and hospitality created an economic impact of almost $56 billion  and visitors spent $37 billion. Tourism and hospitality provided almost 360,000 jobs this year, up 25% from 2000. The city aimed to improve it’s tourism and hospitality industry to gain additional revenue and become less reliant on traditional revenue streams such as the presence of the financial industry.

17 new hotels were opened in the city this year, bringing the city’s total number of hotel rooms to almost 92,000. Despite so many available rooms, hotel occupancy was almost 90% throughout the city during the year, with of course, peak periods during holidays such as Christmas and New Year’s Eve. From hotel tax revenue alone, the city collected over $500 million.

New York City has always been associated with business – Manhattan offices of marketing, finance and accounting firms in Midtown and the Financial District now being joined by the rising tech industry throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn. With the focus on business, it’s easy to forget all the exciting things to see and do – the Rangers and Knicks at Madison Square Garden, the beauty of Central Park, the excitement of Times Square, theaters, music venues and more! For both residents and visitors, there’s no place quite like NYC.

Rent Virtual Office Space

Go beyond renting just a virtual office address in New York City – you have access to corporate professional temporary office and meeting space, and when you are ready, the ability to rent a full-time office.

Mailing Addresses

A central virtual office location in Manhattan makes all the difference – you will have access to a central Midtown, Midtown East or Downtown virtual office with reception, serviced kitchen, meeting space, copying, printing and fax.

Virtual Phone Call Answering

Your phones can be answered during business hours with live reception phone answering. Our staff can forward your calls to voicemail, they can answer, screen and forward them to your personal phone number, or our virtual office phone system can ring to a VOIP telephone set which we can provide you.

Business Mail Forwarding

Pick up your mail at your staffed virtual office location in NYC during business hours, have it forwarded to you by UPS, FedEX or USPS, or immediately access your virtual mail with e-mail scanning by our staff.

Virtual Phone Services

A local 212 phone number and fax number will capture your clients’ attention. Tailor your virtual office phone services with customizable voicemail, voicemail to e-mail, fax to e-mail, VOIP, hunt group, and call attendant service options.

Virtual office Address

Instantly access a central office address in New York that is easily accessible by local airports, subway lines and transportation hubs – Avenue of the Americas, Madison Avenue, Lexington Avenue, Third Avenue or Cortlandt Street.

NYC Retail Rents Among World’s Highest

New York City is well known for it’s shopping, with landmark locations of almost ever major retailer, particularly fashion retailers, in the city. People come from around the world, particularly in the Christmas season, to visit some of the largest, most luxurious retail establishments in the world.

The shopping districts in the city are many and varied, from busy, extravagant flagship stores of Times Square – which the landmark Toys R Us location contains an indoor ferris wheel – to Fifth Avenue, known for luxury. Stores like Saks Fifth Ave, Lord And Taylor and Macy’s set their flagship locations in Midtown Center, along 7th and 5th Avenues, with tens of thousands of square feet in floor space – and windows with stunning displays lining the heavily-traveled streets of Midtown Manhattan. Further south, botique retailers line the avenues and streets of Soho and the Meatpacking district; and Brooklyn has emerged in it’s own right as an retail hotbed, with local businesses and national chains alike carving a stake into neighborhoods like Willamsburg and the Atlantic Yards / Barclays Center.

With all this activity – from travelers coming from accross the country and accross the globe, along with affluent residents both in the city itself and suburbs – makes it no surprise that New York City is a premier retail district. But just how strong the demand is may be surprising.

In a recent report from CBRE Group, New York City is only second to Hong Kong for the highest retail rents in the world. Compared to Hong Kong, New York City seems like a bargain: Hong Kong retailers, on average, pay approximately $4,300 per square foot, per year for retail space. New York City’s retailers pay on average $2,900 per square foot, per year for retail space.

Like any city, demand and price are stronger in some areas rather then others. The managing director of CBRE Group’s Retail Services Division, Anthony Buono, noted “We are continuing to see strong demand and price velocity on the very best, most active retailer corridors in gateway cities…..Particularly in Manhattan, where every brand must be located in order to claim a ‘global’ identity.” Retail, much like financial services and marketing, sees a New York City office location as critical to maintaining and establishing global legitimacy and identity. The highest impact corridors in New York include Fifth Avenue, Madison Avenue, Times Square and Soho/Meatpacking, per the CBRE report. Other international cities noted for their strong retail demand in the report include Tokyo, London, Paris and Moscow.

With Christmas less then a week away, we are sure these retailers will see returns on their investments as shoppers descend upon Manhattan to complete their last-minute shopping!

 

New York City Now the Second Largest Technology Market

A recent report from New York City Public Radio reports that New York City is now the second largest market for technology and internet based firms, only behind California’s iconic Silicon Valley. In 2012 alone, more than 40 technology ventures have been acquired or launched in New York. This, combined with an advertising and funding push from the city itself, has made it one of the premier markets for everything ranging from application development to Search Engine Optimization and Internet Marketing firms.

New York’s emergence as a leading market for the technology sector is hardly an overnight event. Since 1995, the city has been sponsoring events and programs that connect technology entrepreneurs with venture capitalists and larger firms. After the dot-com ‘bubble’ of the late 90′s and early 2000s, the city’s tech industry began it’s major resurgence and growth.

2003 marked the landmark year where ‘Silicon Alley’ took off and began constant growth, with firms like meetup.com, MediaMind and DoubleClick launching and establishing themselves in Manhattan. In 2009, over $1.4 billion in venture capital transactions related to technology firms. Until recently, Boston was the second-largest market for technology firms behind Silicon Valley. Boston and New York share similar characteristics – hotbeds of financial activity and strong educational institutions nearby. However, the recent surge in technology activity in New York City – in part fueled by funding for incubators and small business incentives from the city and state’s government – has helped push New York City over the top and into the #2 spot.

The trend of technology companies seems to move against the typical NYC office space trend. ‘Traditional’ companies – those in finance, accounting, marketing, advertising and consulting, typically choose to headquarter themselves and run operations out of Midtown Manhattan and the Financial District – the traditional business districts. While some technology firms have founded their ventures in neighbors typically not known for being business hotbeds. One example is Google’s New York City corporate office at 9th Avenue and W. 15th St., in the heart of Chelsea. The term ‘Silicon Alley’ is widely used, referring to clusters of tech companies centered in Flatiron, SoHo, and Tribeca along the Broadway Corridor. Today, the Silicon Alley is still a dominant area for technology firms, but Midtown’s business districts such as Times Square and Bryant Park have seen increases in the number of technology firms operating in the area. The Financial District, as well as the Brooklyn neighborhood DUMBO are also seeing a rise in technology firms.

New York City is long established as one of the world’s business capitals, the financial hub of the world, the epicenter of journalism and media. Now, joining those ranks, is the technology industry, leading the city into the future and helping create new jobs and bolster an already outstanding economy.

 

Financial District Office Space – Still Recovering

According to the New York Times, “there is now more vacant office space in Lower Manhattan than in many cities.” More than a month after superstorm Hurricane Sandy, many buildings have still not been reoccupied by former tenants. While the majority of buildings are now operational, several have encountered repair delays and have had issues with telecommunications services.

Substantial progress has been made in terms of restoring power and pumping salt water from buildings. Office space in New York City that was under feet of salty water from the East and Hudson rivers is now dry, and some buildings have been able to make a recovery. One major success was a building at 120 Wall Street, a 600,000 square foot, 34-story building near the East River that is home to many nonprofits, was able to reopen after Thanksgiving.

According to  Jones Lang LaSalle, a real estate consultancy that has been tracking recovery operations in Lower Manhattan, 49 of 183 office buildings in the world’s third largest business district which closed because of mechanical failure as of November 26th, that number now revised to about half of that figure. The City of New York’s buildings department quoted that only 9 buildings in Lower Manhattan were unsafe to reoccupy, and Consolidated Edison says the grid was restored to 100% of the city by November 15th.

A surprising setback, after power was restored and buildings declared safe, has been a lack of telephone and internet services at some locations. Verizon Communications claimed that it’s copper wire network, which provides internet and telephone to the financial district, had been compromised by salt water damage. Newer, more advanced fiber optic networks received less damage, but are still inactive due to server damage. Verizon is in the process of replacing the former copper-wire network with advanced fiber optic cables that are less prone to damage. While few buildings remain without heat or power, many are still without telephone and internet services. Verizon’s current timetable quotes a January 1st repair date, but officials at the company are working as fast as they can, regardless of deadline. For those who have been displaced from their office space, even a few more weeks feels like years.

Corporate Suites has been fortunate enough to have power restored to it’s financial district office space location at 22 Cortlandt St. and has been providing temporary recovery offices for businesses in New York City. We look forward to seeing the Financial District reach 100% recovery, and be filled with not only employees, but people enjoying the eateries and entertainment in the district.

 

 

Rockefeller Center’s Iconic Tree Lights Up Tonight

A few blocks from our newest NYC virtual office and office space location at 1180 Avenue of the Americas, one of New York’s most storied Christmas traditions will return this evening, as the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree will be lit this evening at 9 PM tonight, November 28th.

The lighting of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, like many New York City ns, has evolved from a small event into a blockbuster entertainment event, broadcast on  NBC 4 and watched around the globe via the internet. Thousands from both the New York City metro area and internationally will be lining 47-50th streets, 5th and 6th Avenues to watch New York’s largest Christmas Tree light up and add to the already brilliant Midtown Manhattan sky at night. The tree is far from the only attraction – the Radio City Rockettes will be performing, and ice skaters performing on the Rockefeller Ice Rink. Crowds are expected for musical performances by popular musical acts such as Rod Steward, Tony Bennett, Cee Lo Green, Mariah Carey and Billy Crystal.

But, the event wasn’t always so big. It started in 1931 when workers building Rockefeller Center put up a small 20 foot tree, decorated with simple strings of berries, paper garland and a few tin cans and tin foil blasting caps. There was no tree put up in 1932, but the tree returned in 1933, during the Depression. Since then, it’s been a New York City Christmas icon, and the celebration grows every year!

The first tree is in stark contrast to this year’s tree. A eight-foot Norway Spruce has been selected as this year’s tree, from Mount Olive, New Jersey – about an hour from Manhattan. The owner, Joe Balku, lost power and many other trees on his property during Hurricane Sandy, but the 80-foot tree, which is 50 feet in diameter and weighs 10 tons, was unmoved by the storm. The decorations have come a long way as well – long gone are the days of tin foil and paper garland. This year’s tree constants 30,000 energy-efficient LED lights, attached and powered by 5 miles of wiring; and is supported by 4 guide wires. The star topping the tree is a 9.5 foot Swarovski star that weighs 550 pounds. After the tree is taken down, is is used for lumber by Habitat for Humanity, mulch for the Boy Scouts of America, and the largest portion of the stump is given to the US Equestrian Team in New Jersey to be used as a jumping obstacle. The tree will be lit from 5:30 to 11:30 PM daily, and all day Christmas Day; and will be turned off on January 7th.

For those in attendance, the most popular subway stop is 47-50th St. Rockefeller Center station on the B/D/M/F lines, but it is also easily accessible from other stations including the 5th/53rd stop on the M/E or south at 5th/59th St. on the Q/N/R. If you’re coming from an office space in New York that’s near Grand Central Station, like our center at 275 Madison Avenue, you can take the 6 from Grand Central to 51st/Lexington; or walk and enjoy the crisp winter air! We hope you get to see this iconic New York landmark and enjoy the spirit of Christmas in New York City.

 

 

 

Smart Phone Booths Prove to be a Smart Move for NYC

New York City is one of the world’s most advanced, connected cities in the world. A walk through Manhattan will reveal commuters, business professionals, students and artists with the latest in smartphones to help them stay connected with the fast pace of city life.

With smartphones so prevalent, it may seem surprising to even think about payphones or phone booths – a technology that is quickly going the way of the typewriter and telephone operators. However, during Hurricane Sandy, many New Yorkers without electricity to charge their mobile devices relied on payphones to make calls and check on family and friends. Phonebooths provide a vital source of communication during times of disaster, particularly if cell-phone towers are out of service.

Phonebooths in New York City are getting an upgrade from coin-operated landline phones to Internet-enabled hotspots with community information, directions to landmarks and local retailers, and emergency assistance. The large, touch-screen displays are similar to a smartphone screen, and are used not only to make outgoing calls and receive information in times of emergency, but provide helpful information on local retailers, the subway system and maps of the city.

Some questions remain about the physical durablity and safety the new, hi-tech booth. Tom Touchet, CEO of City 24×7, the company leading the project – which works with Cisco to provide the network technology which powers the LG Flat Panel displays – attested to their durablity, noting that they have been installed in other high-traffic areas such as Newark, New Jersey without sustaining damage. The booths were operational in areas with power during the hurricane, providing a vital form of communication – displaying emergency information from City Hall.

City 24×7′s current plan is to install 250 “Smart Phone Booths” across all five boroughs of New York City, including high density areas such as Times Square, Grand Central Station and World Trade Center. They also plan to expand to other major cities including Miami, Los Angeles and Boston.

While New York City offices might still rely on landline connections, it has become clear that the future will be dominanted by smartphones. The innovation seem in these new smart phone booths will not only help travelers and residents navigate the city and find a bite to eat, but have already proven useful in emergency situations, including Hurricane Sandy and during a police incident in Times Square.

 

 

 

Financial District Office Space Update

In the days after Hurricane Sandy, business came to a halt in Lower Manhattan due to flooded subway lines and power outages from Chelsea down to the piers. Utility crews, transportation workers and city staff have worked around the clock to restore power and subway service to most of Manhattan, although lingering problems still exist. For example, the PATH service connecting Jersey City, Newark, Hoboken, and the World Trade Center reminds under repair due to water damage. The MTA has restored service to many of it’s lines, but several lines remain inaccessible  including the R train between Cortlandt St. and Jay St – Metrotech in Brooklyn. A full map of the current subway operations is available from the MTA as of November 6th, and will be continuous updated as service is restored.

According to the New York Post, approximately 10% of office space in the financial district is currently closed due to flood damage and electrical issues. Peter Riguardi, CEO of Jones Lang LaSalle, estimated between 10 and 15 million square feet of office space is currently not available for use. One notable property is 55 Water St., with over 3.8 million square feet of office space, the city’s largest office tower, which sustained substantial water damage. 400 tradespeople are working around the clock to get the building operational once more, pumping out between 32 and 52 million gallons of ocean water from the first three levels of the building.

However, a week following the hurricane, it is notable that progress is being made. Subway service is being progressively restored, more buildings have power, and more people are getting back to work in an area that looked like a ghost town after the hurricane’s landfall.

We are fortunate to say that our location at 22 Cortlandt St. is operating and excited to welcome our tenants back. And while the hurricane has proven disruptive, the Financial District recovered from a much greater tragedy and came back stronger then before. We hope all our clients are safe after this historic storm, and are thankful to be part of such a resilient city.

Grand Central sees Healthy Hotel Growth

Grand Central Terminal is usually not thought of as a place to go for improving health, wellness and physical fitness. However, with the introduction of “Even”, a new hotel with a focus on health and wellness, InterContinental Hotels Group is hoping that business travelers can stay on-track with their fitness goals near the major MTA MetroNorth Hub

New York was ranked as one of the top 50 healthiest cities in the USA and has undertaken several health-based intiatives, including smoking cessation programs and restrictions on soft drink sales. Combined with the high demand for hotels in Midtown Manhattan, IHG believes that Even will be a success, and hopes to expand operations throughout the country, with the Grand Central location being the flagship property.

The hotel, to be part of a newly constructed tower near Grand Central, will contain about 200 rooms, with meeting and conference rooms as well as dedicated indoor and outdoor areas for exercise. In addition, dedicate laundry service for workout gear and nutritious dining options give guests the tools to stay healthy while traveling.

‘Even’ is not the only option for business travelers looking to stay healthy. The Fairmont Hotel in Washington, D.C. offers gym clothes and athlethic shoes to it’s guests; and the national Sheraton hotel chain has invested over $100 million in upgraded gym facilities and guest services focused on fitness.

Of course, those looking for a more traditional hotel experience have plenty of options in New York’s busiest business and tourism district, near Times Square, Bryant Park and other major landmarks. The Westin Grand Central recently opened to new guests, with a ribbon cutting cermony from Mayor Bloomberg this past Friday.

We offer several office space locations near Grand Central Station, but no matter where you’re going, we hope you stay healthy and happy in your travels!

 

New York City Accelerating $1 Billion in Improvements

Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced accelerated spending on capital improvement projects throughout New York City including “critical” projects such as bridges, roads, schools and libraries. The projects, at a projected cost of $1 Billion, were originally part of New York City’s four year capital plan. Originally  a capital advancement of $2 Billion was proposed by city Comptroller John Liu. Bloomberg announced the revised plan along with  Liu and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn on October 17th.

The city cited historically low interest rates for borrowing and the need for growth in employment; as well as the urgency of certain projects including removal of toxic chemicals from over 100 school buildings. Other projects include resurfacing of 300 lane-miles of roadways, street repairs, and waterfront improvements.

These improvements are expected to create approximately 8,000 jobs according to Mayor Bloomberg. While the city’s total unemployment rate is up 0.8% percentage points from the same period last year, certain industries have seen gains. Employment in the private sector for the city of New York rose 2.9% over the past twelve months according to the Department of Labor. This, combined with recovering demand for retail and office space rentals in Manhattan, has helped to keep the private sector economy thriving. However, construction jobs fell 0.6% in the past twelve months to it’s lowest point since 1998. The city’s capital improvement plan is designed to stimulate growth in that sector.

We hope your next trip through the city, for business or pleasure, goes smoother as a result of improvements to New York City’s bridges, roads and streets.

 

Lower Manhattan Sees Growth in both Business and Tourism

According to the Lower Manhattan business improvement district, the amount of tourism and leisure has increased dramatically, with the area seeing a continuing increase in the number of visitors each year. It is projected that TriBeCa, the Financial District and other areas south of Canal Street are the second-most visited landmarks in New York City, behind only Times Square.

It’s an exciting time for Lower Manhattan, which has had to endure a long recovery process after the 9/11 attacks. The September 11th memorial that opened last year has already been visited by thousands, and many have come to see the nearly completed One World Trade center building, which will be the tallest in Manhattan after it’s completion. The completion of the project will also bring a large amount of additional commerce into the area. This, combined with a stabilizing financial market, means that the Financial District is seeing a steady increase in the amount of both workers and visitors.

Aside from the new One World Trade Center and September 11th memorial, many tourists come to visit Zuccotti Park, where the Occupy Wall Street protests took place, as well as the New York Stock Exchange and Financial District. With these additional visitors, local eateries and entertainment venues have also seen increased business, keeping the area busy into the evening hours.

With increased tourism, not everyone is happy, however – many residents of the area who were drawn to it for the quiet streets and low traffic in the non-working hours now say that the streets and subways have begun to crowd and created noise into the evening hours. But, for better or worse, Lower Manhattan has resurged, and doesn’t plan to slow down any time soon.

Big Changes for NYC’s Yellow Cabs

Recently, there have been some interesting changes in the city’s iconic yellow taxicabs. The Taxi and Limousine Commission has approved a rate increase for cabs throughout New York. The change goes into complete effect as of September 30th, but the majority of taxis are already charging the new rates, which must be displayed on the side of the vehicle for potential riders. The increase is from 40 cents to 50 cents for each fifth of a mile or 60 seconds in slow traffic. On average, the typical total fare will increase 17% for riders.

It may be getting more expensive, but it is getting easier to catch a cab. Uber, a service that originated in San Francisco and has now expanded service to New York City, has created a smartphone application that signals a taxi to your location. A small number of taxi drivers are currently participating, but the number is expected to rapidly expand.

Currently, the application and several others like it are being reviewed by the Taxi and Limousine Commission to ensure compliance with all legal regulations. But with smartphones becoming more prevalent, it is certain that the future of hailing a cab is here, and applications like Uber will grow in popularity.

New York’s Parks End Summer with Exciting Events

New York City is often referred to as an urban jungle – with awe-inspiring skyscrapers, bustling city streets filled with yellow taxis and construction vehicles, subway stations abound. But in all of this, there is some peace and greenery to be found in the beautiful parks in Manhattan.

The most noted, most visited urban park in the United States is Central Park. Aside from the beautiful views and urban oasis it provides, there is a constant series of events going on within the park. Wrapping up this week was the Central Park Summerstage concert series featuring everything from comedy and classical to dance music and hip-hop. Starting this past Tuesday is the Central Park film festival, running until Friday, August 24th. Admission is free and it’s a great chance to watch movies and enjoy the beautiful summer weather.

A few blocks south at 42nd St and 5th Avenue, Bryant Park has just ended their summer film festival, occurring every Monday, presented by HBO. The final film shown was Indiana Jones’ Raiders of the Lost Ark. “It’s a great experience – sitting out of the lawn and watching a movie. It’s different, it’s fun and it’s one of the really exciting things that you can do in New York that make it such an interesting place to live.” noted Lucien Vonwehren, a business consultant who works from our furnished executive suites at 275 Madison Avenue, near Bryant Park “It’s great whether you’re young or old, with friends or your family – It’s something everyone can enjoy.”

There’s more to enjoy at our city’s parks going into the autumn and winter. For more information on events in parks throughout New York City, visit http://www.cityparksfoundation.org/calendar

Subway Shuffle

The New York Times had an excellent video and article recently about the challenges facing subway riders in New York City. With office space available near major MTA subways stations such as Grand Central Terminal in Midtown and Fulton St. Station in the Financial District, many of our customers rely on the subway system to get them where they need to go every day. New York’s subway is the largest rapid-transit system in the US. Only Tokyo, Moscow, Beijing and a few others see a higher ridership. It is estimated that 5.3 million people use the New York City subway on a typical weekday.

Every day, many of these riders make the “subway shuffle”. This delicate dance of commuters happens at many subway stations, but the New York Times chooses to focus on the N – Q – R platform at 34th St. at Herald Square. One train arrives, and commuters must bolt across the platform, sometimes in a vain attempt to make a connection. Other times, a train will be waiting at the station – the same train arrives across the platform, and is gone before the original train has even departed.

In a city that is moving faster than any other, these seconds and minutes matter to New York City’s commuters and residents. It can be the difference between being on time for an important meeting, and having to use the excuse “the train was late”. And more outside the city deal with delays from NJ Transit and LIRR service. Not to mention, the foot and motor vehicle traffic isn’t exactly light in Midtown at Midday. Everyone has a shuffle to make – but we hope you make it to your office safe, sound and on time no matter how you’re getting there.

NYU Plans to Expand

Plans to expand New York University have been approved by a City Council board last week, passing a modified version of the NYU Core expansion plan. In a nearly-uniramous vote, council members gave the okay to a series of new zoning permits and amendments that allows the university to greatly expand its real estate in the Greenwich Village section of Lower Manhattan.

Seven new buildings will serve as office space, apartments and dormitories for the university. They will be placed in addition to two current apartment complexes, Washington Square Village and Silver Towers, south of Washington Square Park, which house 40% of the university’s full time faculty members.

Some opposition arose, as many residents in the nearby areas expressed displeasure with the noise, dirt, and inconvenience associated with the new construction. Facility members and area residents expressed concerns of the new buildings affecting the Village’s low rise, charming nature and harm to the environment by adding bulky structures and increasing traffic in the area. The university contends that it needs additional space for its 50,000 students and 17,500 employees as the university sees increasing enrollment.

The footprint for the project was reduced 26% from its original proposal. Work on the project is slated to begin in 2014 and will provide additional construction employment opportunities as well as full-time positions with the university, according to John Sexton, the university’s president.

Flatiron District – Manhattan; Silicon Valley East?

The Flatiron District of Manhattan, surrounded by historic areas such as Madison Avenue, Union Square and Greenwich Village; has seen a major boom as more and more technology companies, both big and small, set up operations in this Manhattan neighborhood.

Formerly known as the “Toy District” for it’s various toy shops, and then the “Photo District” due to the large number of photography studios, Flatiron is now seeing a shift torwards advertising, media, computer and technology-related companies. The growth has been rising rapidly after a downswing during the dot-com bubble of the early 2000s.

Recently, a 20-story office tower near the Union Square area sold for $140 million. The 14,000 square foot office and retail space will be available for lease in early 2014. But, that’s not the only area of Manhattan seeing a technology boom – Facebook is currently looking north to Times Square and considering a lease there.

Why are tech companies choosing Manhattan? Talented employees from Princeton, NYU, Rutgers, UConn, Columbia, NJIT, and so many other world class educational institutions with top-ranking computer science programs. Ease of access, with three massive airports and the US’ most extensive rapid transit system. All of it makes Manhattan a perfect place to do business.

Corporate Suites has had the privilege of working with several information technology companies in the area – ranging from temporary office space in Financial District, to virtual office mailing service and phone answering services, providing coders and programmers who work from home to maintain a professional business address and presence without the cost and commitment of a full time office. And we look forward to working with many more as Silcon Alley expands!

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