You Can Always Go Downtown: HarperCollins Moving From Midtown to 195 Broadway

It’s not every day that we get to cover transactions involving more than one green office building here at gbNYC. But – as the Observer reported yesterday – when its lease expires in 2014, the global publishing house HarperCollins will leave its eponomously named, Energy Star-labeled headquarters at 10 East 53rd Street for greener pastures downtown at the historic, landmarked, and similarly Energy Star-rated 195 Broadway. The 180,000-square-foot deal is for fifteen years and will give the company four-and-a-half floors. Asking rents were in the high $40s per square foot. It’s unclear whether HarperCollins received any options to expand at some point in the future.

HarperCollins has been a longtime anchor tenant at SL Green’s 10 East 53rd Street, occupying 204,000 square feet – nearly 60 percent of the tower’s total space. 10 East 53rd Street dates from 1972 and earned a 2009 Energy Star label on the heels of a major retrofit and renovation program. The 29-story, 1 million-square-foot 195 Broadway is a larger tower but dates from 1929 and was once the headquarters of AT&T. After the telecom giant moved to Midtown in the 1980s, the tower went through an aggressive retrofit program that resulted in a 2008 Energy Star award that scored 87.

The deal leaves SL Green with a major hole to fill at a trophy Midtown property in a 2013 commercial office leasing climate that – at best – can be described as soft. Downtown, HarperCollins will join fellow media company Conde Nast as the neighborhood in and around the former World Trade Center continues to be one of the most dynamic leasing environments anywhere in the country.

“Coming as it does on the heels of the recent Conde Nast signing at 1 World Trade Center, this becomes a very significant and transformative leasing transaction that bodes well for the continued resurgence of the downtown marketplace,” Daivd Levinson, CEO of L&L Holding Company, which owns 195 Broadway in partnership with Beacon Capital Partners, told the Commercial Observer.

Other tenants at 195 Broadway include the Omnicom Group, an advertising agency, which leased an additional 40,000-square-foot full floor last summer (bringing its total to 260,000 square feet), and media companies The Knot and Thompson Reuters.

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