Green Buildings Top List of First Quarter Leasing Transactions

It’s anecdotal, of course, but LEED-certified buildings are replete in Collier’s list of New York City’s largest office leases signed during the first quarter of 2009.

Last Friday, I gave a presentation at the Albanese Organization’s LEED Platinum hopeful Visionaire condominium project in Battery Park City to an audience of mostly real estate brokers. After presenting the CoStar and RICS studies (both of which we have reviewed in detail over at GRELJ), I put up two slides that I had converted from articles here at gbNYC setting forth the top fifty leasing transactions in Manhattan for 2008 and 2007. If you remember, we used the lists prepared by CoStar and plucked out leases that were finalized in LEED-certified, LEED-registered, or Energy Star-certified buildings during the course of each year. I noted to the audience on Friday that although such data is purely anecdotal, it does suggest the importance for brokers to understand the purview of third-party rating systems, including some of the risk management issues which I identified later on in the presentation.

That being said, Colliers ABR has prepared a report about the New York City commercial leasing market during the first quarter of 2009, and some familiar buildings dot its list of the ten largest leasing transactions during the quarter. Similar to what we’ve done at the end of the past two years, we present below each of the four leases that were signed at existing or green buildings under construction, along with the tower’s third-party certification status (if any), tenant, and total square footage of the deal. Again, while I don’t think we can draw any ironclad conclusions from lists like these, I do think it is instructive to identify the buildings that are having success in terms of attracting and retaining tenants in this market; it’s of course also interesting to note that 4 out of the top 10 leases were finalized in green buildings.

#1, 375 Hudson Street (2007 Energy Star Award)

Tenant: Penguin Group USA, 297,980 square feet (renewal/expansion)
Submarket: Hudson Square

#3, 1 World Trade Center / Freedom Tower (Pursuing LEED-NC Gold)

Tenant: Beijing Vantone, 190,000 square feet (new)
Submarket: World Trade

#4, 731 Lexington Avenue (Pursuing LEED-EB certification)

Tenant: Bloomberg LP, 180,000 square feet (expansion)
Submarket: Plaza

#7, 153 East 53rd Street (Pursuing LEED-EB certification)

Tenant: Kirkland & Ellis, 120,000 square feet (expansion)
Submarket: Plaza

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