Human Rights Group Renews, Expands Headquarters at Empire State Building

In a 70,000-square-foot deal, the international advocacy group Human Rights Watch has renewed and expanded its headquarters space at the LEED-EB:OM Gold Empire State Building.

Empire State Building Green Leasing

The international advocacy group Human Rights Watch has renewed and expanded its headquarters space at the LEED-EB:OM Gold-hopeful Empire State Building. The 280-employee NGO monitors human rights conditions in over 80 countries around the world and publishes its findings in hundreds of reports and news releases each year. At the Empire State Building, the group renewed its existing 45,000-square-foot space on the entire 34th and part of the 35th floors. It also signed up for an additional 24,000 square feet on part of the 33rd floor and the rest of the 35th floor (so it now occupies a contiguous block across two full floors and most of a third floor).

“We are delighted to see Human Rights Watch renew and expand in the world’s most famous office building,” Tony Malkin said in a press release. “Throughout our portfolio, this is the best sign of our successful efforts- when quality tenants decide to stay and grow.”

The Empire State Building, of course, remains in the midst of a $550 million retrofit that has already earned it a Gold LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance rating from USGBC. High-end, pre-built office suites are still available throughout the building, along with fully white-boxed partial and full floors ready for tenant build-out from 10,000 square feet, and a contiguous large block of up to 275,000 square feet.

As we’ve noted previously, each of those pre-built suites are LEED-candidate and feature Energy Star-rated appliances, tenant-controlled HVAC systems, recycled-content and reclaimed interior finishes, natural daylighting, and submetered electricity. The spaces do not come LEED-certified; rather, individual tenants can opt to pursue formal certification or simply enjoy the benefits of well-built green office space. (Note it does not appear that Human Rights Watch is pursuing any formal LEED certification for its expanded headquarters.)

Terms of Human Rights Watch’s lease – including asking rents and the term – were not disclosed. In addition to its New York City headquarters space, the organization also has offices in Amsterdam, Berlin, Brussels, Chicago, Geneva, Johannesburg, London, Los Angeles, Moscow, Paris, San Francisco, Tokyo, Toronto, and Washington D.C.

About Stephen Del Percio

Stephen Del Percio has written for gbNYC+ since 2006 and currently serves as in-house counsel for one of the world's largest engineering, construction, and technical services companies. He earned a B.Eng. from Columbia, his J.D. at William & Mary, and lives in New York City with his wife and daughter. You can follow Stephen on Twitter, email him at, or join gbNYC on Facebook to continue the conversation.

about gbNYC

gbNYC is a multi-disciplinary consulting and real estate services firm. In addition to representing office tenants and commercial buyers in leasing and acquisitions, we also provide innovative consulting solutions from a unique, green building perspective. We advise on green building financial incentives, comment on proposed green building marketing strategies, author white papers, treatises, and market analyses, organize seminars on the LEED process and professional accreditation, and provide advice and analysis on green building risk management and the overall state of green real estate, leasing, and construction, in New York City and beyond.

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