Energy Star Winner 14 Wall Signs 20 Percent of all 4th Quarter Downtown Leases

After nearly $50 million in capital improvements that resulted in an Energy Star label, this historic tower has boosted occupancy from 68 to 95 percent, and accounted for nearly a quarter of all Downtown leasing activity during the fourth quarter of 2008.

The New York Observer recently profiled leasing activity at 14 Wall Street, the landmarked 37-story, Trowbridge & Livingston tower that dates from 1912. Here at gbNYC, we noted over the summer that the property, which is owned by Capstone Equities and The Carlyle Group, had earned a 2008 Energy Star award from EPA. Perhaps not unsurprisingly, then, the Observer reports that 20 percent of all Downtown leasing activity during the fourth quarter of 2008 took place at 14 Wall.

Lease renewals came from TheStreet.com (10 years for 36,095 square feet on the 15th floor) and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (67,210 square feet, though it did shed 39,000 square feet reflecting recent staff cuts). Other new leases during the fourth quarter came with W.R. Berkley (15,197 square feet), the American Lung Association (8546 square feet), law firm Rawle & Henderson (7,926 square feet), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (8406 square feet) and insurance company MCIC Vermont (13,102 square feet). All told, the Observer reports that 14 Wall signed up 159,391 square feet of leases during the fourth quarter, or 20 percent of the total 814,474 square feet that was inked across the Downtown submarket during that same period.

While it’s obviously purely speculative as to whether the Energy Star designation swayed any tenants – both from a financial and marketing perspective – into executing their leases, it is clear that Capstone & Carlyle have gained a competitive advantage in this lousy market by investing in 14 Wall Street’s infrastructure. According to the Observer, the owners purchased the property in 2007 at a 68 percent occupancy rate, which they have since boosted to nearly 95 percent thanks to nearly $50 million in upgrades to the lobby, building common areas, and mechanical systems.

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