Reds Go Green: Chinese Communist Party Newspaper Signs Empire State Building Lease

Chinese news agency People’s Daily Online has moved into office space on the 30th floor of the LEED-EB: OM Gold-hopeful Empire State Building, continuing a trend of international tenants drawn to the iconic tower’s ambitious retrofit project and green features.

ESB in Red - LEED-EB-OM

A few years ago, we wrote about the Communist Party USA’s $1 million green renovation of its national headquarters space at 235 West 23rd Street. Dubbed “more Macy’s than Marx,” at the time we thought the story was worth noting mostly because we didn’t realize that such a party even existed (it actually has 3000 members nationally), much less that it’s headquartered in Chelsea.

But perhaps there’s something particularly attractive about green building practices to organizations on the left: W&H Properties has announced the signing of yet another international tenant to its lease roster at the Empire State Building (which remains in the throes of a $550 million retrofit that should result in a LEED-EB: O&M Gold certification from USGBC). People’s Daily Online – which is an offshoot of the official newspaper of China’s Communist Party – moved into a 30th floor suite at the iconic skyscraper earlier this month. People’s Daily was founded in 1948, has a current circulation of over 3 million, and is one of the top ten global newspapers by circulation. The agency publishes 10 newspapers under its umbrella, as well as 6 monthly magazines.

This lease is notable not only because it’s the second Communist-related, green building story we’ve come across here at gbNYC, but more importantly because deals at the Empire State Building continue to close with frequency: People’s Daily joins numerous other international tenants that have moved into the tower in recent months. Air China, Lufthansa, Turkish Airlines, Skanska, and Funaro are just a few of those high-profile tenants, several of whose deals we’ve noted previously here at gbNYC.

In fact, since 2006, companies from Europe and Asia have signed 26 leases (new deals, renewals, or expansions) at the Empire State Building. According to W&H, these deals have accounted for 28 percent of the building’s new tenants and 2/3rds of the overall office space that has been leased in the building (whose total overall square footage is 2.85 million square feet).

Indeed, Tony Malkin seems confident that the Empire State Building’s stature – and green retrofit efforts – are playing a significant role in its recent leasing successes. “The Empire State Building is the world’s most famous office building, one of the few offices a company can have that requires no street, city, state, or country to be listed on its business card. Now, with the near completion of our $550 million Empire State ReBuilding program and our ground-breaking energy efficiency work, we are also a destination for leading global businesses,” Mr. Malkin said in a press release. “International firms appreciate the cachet of our world-renowned landmark and address, as well as our convenient location and the state-of-the-art office environment.”

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