Benchmark Properties

Leasing News

January 2023

1/25/2023

Tech Office Leasing Plummeted in Fourth Quarter

Big tech once appeared to be a savior in the office market. A year later, it’s more of a harbinger of doom.

Leasing by tech companies fell drastically in the fourth quarter, down 57 percent across the country from the previous quarter, according to Savills data reported by Bisnow. The report noted that the 2.2 million square feet leased in the fourth quarter was barely a quarter of the 8.5 million taken a year earlier.

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1/12/2023

Hedge Fund Two Sigma Keeping 265K-SF 100 Avenue of the Americas Offices

Two Sigma signed a renewal to keep its 265,000-square-foot offices at 100 Avenue of the Americas for another seven years, according to a source with knowledge of the deal. Asking rent was in the mid-$80s per square foot.

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Investment News

January 2023

1/3/2023

Office Owners Already Reeling From Remote Work Now Face Recession Risk in 2023

Owners of office buildings stumbled through 2022 when their holdings underperformed most every other type of commercial real estate. Things look poised to get worse in 2023.

Landlords have been longing for employees to head back to office buildings in greater numbers. But the national return rate has crept up slowly. For the past three months, it has plateaued at about half of what it was before the pandemic.

Now, a possible recession is making the outlook for 2023 even gloomier. New business searches for new office space, after rebounding in 2021, fell in 2022 to 44% of what they were in 2018 and 2019, according to VTS, a firm that operates a data platform that tracks tenant demand.

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Workplace Trends

January 2023

1/23/2023

How ChatGPT Could Change Commercial Real Estate

Brokers are turning to the bot developed by artificial intelligence firm OpenAI to assist with everyday tasks. The free technology produces conversational answers to inquiries rather than responding to questions and scraping the internet for search results.

Gparency’s Ira Zlotowitz says that the bot will ultimately close the knowledge gap among brokers and further emphasize the importance of personal connections.

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Leasing News

December 2022

12/27/2022

Manhattan’s ‘Commodity’ Office Space Might Be on the Mend

There is a revival of leasing activity in the more “commoditized” space, not just the Class A trophy space that heretofore has been the hallmark of the post-pandemic semi-recovery — one that has had owners of Class B and C buildings worried that a comeback at their level might never happen, meaning they will have to consider converting their buildings to another property type, like residential.

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12/19/2022

Gaming Platform Joins RAL’s Union Square Property

A Dick’s Sporting Goods subsidiary inked a deal with RAL Development to join its Union Square boutique office building.

GameChanger, a youth sports platform for live streaming, signed a 25,000-square-foot lease at Zero Irving, the New York Post reported. The company will occupy the 17th and 18th floors of the technology-focused property at 124 East 14th Street.

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12/16/2022

Here’s a Look at the Largest Office Projects Coming to Manhattan

Stalled office occupancy, sluggish leasing activity, high construction costs, and rising interest rates have the pace of office construction well below pre-pandemic levels. Still, these developers are banking on future demand for premium space. Much of the strategy, like so much else in real estate, comes down to a well-worn adage: location, location, location.

The largest office projects proposed over the last 12 months are concentrated around major transportation hubs in Midtown, including three that will be a short walk from Grand Central Terminal.

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12/5/2022

Accounting Firm Leases at Rudin’s 3 Times Square

Anchin, Block & Anchin signed a 45,000-square-foot lease at 3 Times Square, the landlord announced Monday. The 10-year lease at 3 Times Square covers the entire 25th floor of the property, as well as part of the 24th floor.

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Investment News

August 2022

8/25/2022

Pension Funds Are Selling Their Office Buildings

Major U.S. and Canadian pension funds are cutting back investments in office buildings, betting that prices will likely fall as the five-day office workweek becomes a thing of the past. This shift is part of a broader transition away from traditional real estate holdings in offices and shopping centers as the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the rise of e-commerce and remote work.

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