The future of real estate tech will be on display at this years #RETechNY 2013 Demo Day - Conference 
 Click Here to Register: http://retech.eventbrite.com/

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Tech’s Impact on Real Estate // Jotham Sederstrom - Moderator (The Observer Media), Jesse Middleton (WeWork Labs), Ashkán Zandieh (TechStarter, ABS Partners), Sacha Zarba (CBRE), Jamie Katcher (Cushman and Wakefield)

Whether they realize it or not, the people behind New York’s start-up and media scenes have had an historic and pivotal role in shifting the real estate landscape in Manhattan. How they tweaked leasing statistics and office design in the Big Apple and why it matters. 

Internet Week NY - Tech's Impact on Real Estate Panel Discussion — TechStarter

Internet Week New York 2013 - Panel Discussion on Tech’s Impact on Real Estate. Yesterday I join the stage with Jotham Sederstrom (The Commercial Observer), Ash Zandieh (TechStarter/ ABS Partners), Jesse Middleton (WeWork Labs), Sacha Zarba (CBRE) and Jamie Katcher (Cushman & Wakefield) to talk about how technology and startups are completely changing the real estate world in Manhattan and beyond. #RETech

One of the perks of working in Midtown South,  running into David Karp (co-founder, Tumblr)

Culture Drives Midtown South Demand (and could drive tenants to NoMad)

The popularity of Midtown South is no secret in the New York commercial market, but NoMad may be the natural landing point for firms priced out of the city’s most popular office neighborhood.

The umbrella term, “tech,” is used too often, according to Ash Zandieh, director of TechStarter—the creative division of ABS Partners.

Specifically, it’s the media, fashion, ecommerce, mobile and advertising tenants that are really driving the run on Midtown South, according to the firm’s recent fourth quarter report on New York’s startup scene. Those sectors drove rents up by 10 percent since the first quarter of last year, reaching nearly $70 per square foot.

The real estate and economic footprint of the city’s technology companies has increased, on average, by 44.74 percent since the beginning of 2012.

The so-called NoMad neighborhood, or the area north of Madison, has the cultural draw to attract media and creative startups without the price point of Midtown South, said Mr. Zandieh, pointing to the rise of the Ace Hotel at 20 West 29th Street. And culture is one of the reasons New York’s Silicon Alley exists, he said.

The attraction an area like Midtown South has for media startups is the promise of interaction with others in the same field, Mr. Zandieh added. There’s also the added advantage of having potential professional collaborators a short walk away, enhancing the ease of adaptability that is a startup’s greatest strength, he added.

Finally, there’s the added location bragging rights that can mean the difference between securing the best personnel and having to hire B players.

“The (most) scarce resources are developers and engineers,” Mr. Zandieh said. “In New York City there is a lack of developers and engineers and the ones that are coming here are coming from the west coast, from Silicon Valley.

“Those engineers that are coming from the West Coast to the East Coast only know what they read, and they understand that Silicon Alley is traditionally Union Square and Flatiron, between 23rd and 14th streets, and some parts east, some parts west.” That reputation, plus advantages in transportation and nightlife, could drive continued interest in the neighborhood as not only a prime industry location but also a recruitment tool.

Other fledgling media and technology companies will find their way to lower Manhattan, where a glut of vacancies and decent price points will benefit startups looking to save capital. One such tenant is Socratic Labs, an education technology incubator that ABS placed into 15,000-square-foot lease at 44 Wall Street after the firm decided to leave its current location at The Alley—a co-working location on Seventh Avenue at 37th Street.


Ash Zandieh, director of TechStarter – the creative division of ABS Partners – opined recently that priced-out tenants could seek space in NoMad, due to its close cultural ties to Midtown South.

Downtown is a sleeping giant, in terms of office and retail space. Developments such as the One, Three and Four World Trade represent about 7.5 million square feet due to come online within the next three years. Combined with other properties currently in development – such as Hudson Yards and Manhattan West, among others – and there are just over 21 million square feet scheduled to become available in Manhattan by 2016, of which only about 3.5 million is spoken for.


- Commercial Observer - Midtown South Submarket May Have Peaked - By Karsten Strauss

City Seeks to Birth a Staten Island Incubator


NYCEDC is seeking a developer to build, operate, and maintain a new business incubator on Staten Island. We will consider incubator programs for startup and small businesses in the technology, new media, services, arts/cultural, culinary and other business sectors; co-working space for freelancers, entrepreneurs, small businesses, and startups; or a combination thereof.

Read more in Crain’s New York and download the Request for Proposals for more details. Responses are due December 19, 2012.

“Along with important development projects moving forward on the North Shore waterfront, this new incubator will encourage innovation and entrepreneurship, and once again demonstrate that the future of Staten Island is bright.”

-NYCEDC President Seth Pinsky

Tech Booms in New York City, And So Do Meetups
As the New York City tech sector continues to grow, so too have the number of meetups, happy hours, demos and networking events – somewhere in the ballpark of hundreds a month are held throughout the city.

The crown jewel of these tech events is the New York Tech Meetup. Each month, founders from a handful of start-ups get a few minutes to demo their new sites, products or services to about 850 attendees at New York University.

“You can try to get tickets, but they sell out in about 10 minutes,” said Pinku Surana, a computer consultant. “It’s more popular than a Dylan concert.”

The Meetup was founded in 2004 and now boasts 26,000 members on its listserv. The monthly event, which costs $10 to attend, consistently sells out in minutes.

Because of such high demand, Tony Bacigalupo regularly organizes a live web stream of the presentations in the shared office space he runs in Chinatown. Attendees pay $10 to drink beer, mingle and watch the demos.

“Now just the sheer volume of people is so massive that there’s all kinds of people to meet,” Bacigalupo said, noting how the Meetup has changed over the last five years. “It’s really less about meeting or getting involved in the intimate sort of tech community, but now becoming aware of the entirely of the industry.”

That industry has been a bright spot for the city in today’s tough economy and a reason many attendees want to work in technology.

“I’m a bored, very bored accountant who works in a boring cubicle corporate job,” joked attendee Chris Armstrong, who tries to go to two or three tech events a week to network and research new start-ups.

He said he has found some events too promotional and said he avoids events that are free.

“That seems counter intuitive, but I’ve found that the quality of the meeting or the members usually goes up when there’s a fee associated,” he said.

IT Consultant Marghretta McBean agreed that it’s important to be selective when it comes to choosing which events to attend.

“I had to cut back,” she said. “I found myself going to far more [events] and I realized, how many tchotchkes can you get? How many stupid t-shirts? I was like, ‘No, just a minute. Quality over quantity.’”

McBean now limits herself to two or three events per month, usually “a hackathon a month, a tech meet-up a month and maybe one other technical-type meeting,” she said.

“I’m looking for something that will make me start thinking.” McBean said. “I’m looking for something where maybe this is a business venture. I’m looking for tomorrow.”