Could 11 Times Square, the newest, most modern and efficient building in midtown Manhattan, lead the way to renewal??

I recently had a chance to meet with Steve Pozycki, chairman, SJP Properties and his friend Steve Siegel, Chairman, Global Brokerage, CBRE. They are working on a speculative $1 billion, 1.1 million square feet LEED Gold certified tower they are respectively developing and leasing.

What does the CREOpoint community (now over 1,700 CRE professionals from 20 professions and 40 countries) know/think about this evolving market, challenging situation and interesting building? It could have interesting consequences for society, our industry and how government, business and the media look at it.

Times Square is an area of New York City that went through a very successful renewal under Mayor Guiliani. Pozycki and Siegel have been successful client focused entrepreneurs many times before. Let's wish them the best in attracting large US and non-US occupiers. This would show the world that the NY real estate is on a path to renewal.

"This is the last site in Times Square," Pozycki said. Of the eight other buildings with 200,000 square feet or more available for lease, only 11 Times Square "will be new, LEED-certified." Most of the Midtown office buildings that 11 Times Square is competing with date to the mid-20th century and no other towers are expected to open nearby before 2014.

With 40 floors and 1.1M sqft of floor space including 55,000 sf of prime retail space, 11 Times Square etches a majestic 600ft presence along the New York skyline. The building features an outwardly sloping design, where upper floors are larger than lower floors, with spectacular views from every floor. This LEED, Gold certified landmark, which boasts the best and latest in green construction, including a unique high performance energy efficient glass curtain wall, is on track for completion in 2010. The building's structural steel and concrete core system were developed to optimize its functional, architectural and safety needs. This is the first time in New York history that the concrete core was completed before the steel frame, creating one of the mosy efficient and secure buildings in the world.

Steve Siegel is a five-time winner of CREOpoint partner Commercial Property News’ Brokerage Executive of the Year Award. He had stated that rents “could arrive at or near the $100 figure with the tower floors." Pozycki, who shared with me his interest in accounting and law firms, said they would be open to the high $70s. By the way, rents in New York City are down 30% but are widely expected to be back by 2012-2013. At 8.5%, the office vacancy rate is still well under the U.S. average of 14.7%. A better comparable anyway is probably London, where the worst may be over. For more information visit or contact Stephen Siegel at or + 1 212.984.8100

In the meanwhile what do you know/think about this evolving market, challenging situation and/or interesting building?

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The developers of 11 Times Square are to be commended for their foresight in going for the gold with this development in this location. With so much focus on efficiency and sustainability in the built environment, not to mention heightened interest in corporate social responsibility in the post-recession/depression/correction (you choose) world we may be moving into, such a building in such a location should appeal to tenants that want to make a statement to their various stakeholders about what they stand for. Challenfing situation? maybe, interesting building? definitely.
This is a tough time to develop in any market, but New York has always been a draw. I've even heard speculation that Washington, D.C., won't really take away the moniker of being the nation's financial capital. Beyond that, green is an important color to wear, according to market research on corporate preferences, and likely to become more so (for more data on this, click here for the write-up on the recent RICS-CPN Global Sustainability Survey), yet it is still not a color very prevalent in New York City. Such a commitment makes this building stand out above many.
If you want to hear further analysis of sustainability perceptions, there's now an interview with Simon Rubinsohn, chief economist with RICS, on CPN Radio. Click here to hear the discussion.
The developers of the 11 Times Square building have taken an important step in bridging the gap between mainstream business and green technology. Going green and applying efficiency technology are no longer options. Organizations that do not apply green business practices and strategies will be left behind. By seeking the LEED Gold certification for such an important project (built on spec) in one of the world's financial centers, demonstrates SJP's (and partners) forward thinking and commitment to the future of the commercial real estate industry. It's one thing for companies to talk about going green, and it's something else for them to actually commit their resources to the green economy.
The last sentence also applies to you Victoria. Congratulations on the launch of Green Force Media, Global Public Relations & Media for the Green Economy!


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