There’s much to admire about FXFOWLE’s LEED Gold office building at 11 Times Square. With the recent revelation of the building’s energy-efficient glass curtain wall — Curbed has pics here — we can add a relatively classy use of glass to what was already an impressive suite of green building and green design measures and that ambitious (and still in progress) curtain wall. Up until recently, though, all of that good stuff was pretty well overwhelmed by the one less-than-admirable thing about 11 Times Square: its timing. As of October of 2009 — around six months ago, for those of you without access to calendars — 11 Times Square was exactly zero-percent rented. And that was after a 25 percent price cut in rents per foot. So, as good as the plans for the building looked, and as appealing to us gbNYC types as the prospect of a LEED Gold office building in Times Square was, it’s safe to say that things didn’t look good for 11 Times Square back then. This would maybe be the part of this blog post where we apologize for the spoiler-alert headline.
While things started looking up for 11 Times Square after they inked their first deal back in February, that deal — which was with a Toronto developer named Jerry Shefsky, and was for a combination pirate museum and aquarium on 11 Times Square’s lower floors (no, seriously) — was so weird that it almost seemed not to count. So the news that 11 Times Square has signed its first big non-aquatic tenant in law firm Proskauer Rose comes as something of a relief. With the news that Proskauer Rose will be leasing 406,000 square feet of office space at 11 Times Square, the building is suddenly around 40 percent rented, per The Real Deal, and what looked likely to become a very responsible, very forward-thinking boondoggle for SJP Properties is suddenly looking like the green real estate comeback story of the year. The deal between Proskauer Rose and 11 Times Square was brokered by CB Richard Ellis on both ends, and is (per Proskauer’s press release) the biggest office relocation in Manhattan in two years.
The triple-filtered air and energy-efficient curtain wall at 11 Times Square were more than enough to win us over here at gbNYC, but it’s good to see that 11 Times Square seems destined to be more than Times Square’s most beautiful and energy efficient ghost tower. This lease may not be as interesting/baffling/hilarious as the one for the aquarium, but as 11 Times Square looks to continue its comeback, it definitely seems to bode well for 11 Times Square’s future.