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 Wednesday January 9, 2013
Tech’s Footprint on Real Estate.
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.
“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
The flexible office suites company WeWork and the Boston-based investment firm AEW Capital Management are in contract to pay Extell Development $33.5 million for a long-term leasehold at 175 Varick Street in Hudson Square, several sources familiar with the deal said.
WeWork and AEW signed the contract to buy the long-term lease in August and the deal is expected to close in November, the sources said.
The Jones Lang LaSalle capital markets team of Richard Baxter, Jonathan Caplan, Scott Latham and Yoron Cohen was marketing the property on behalf of Extell.
WeWork, which leases flexible office space to short-term tenants, moved into the building nearly a year ago after signing a 15-year lease for 75,000 square feet in the building where it is now headquartered. The firm has six locations in Manhattan and one each in San Francisco and Los Angeles.
WeWork is part of a rapidly growing industry that leases office space to start-ups and other firms that have a limited presence in Manhattan. Other competing office companies active in the city include Virgo Business Centers, Emerge, Corporate Suites and Jay Suites. The company OfficeLinks recently inked a lease for its fifth location in Manhattan.
“The market is booming,” said Juda Srour, president of Jay Suites, which has five locations in Manhattan.
Extell bought the leasehold on the 185,000-square-foot office building located at the corner of Charlton Street, in 2005, for $24 million, data from CoStar Group shows. The building is owned by members of the Lehman family. Extell hired the JLL brokers last fall to market the leasehold, which city records show runs until the end of 2017.
Extell and JLL declined to comment. AEW and WeWork did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
When it comes to careers, young people are often advised to find their true calling. But for many, the sense of fulfillment grows only over time, as they become better at their jobs.
In the spring of 2004, during my senior year of college, I faced a hard decision about my future career. I had a job offer from Microsoft and an acceptance letter from the computer science doctoral program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. I had also just handed in the manuscript for my first nonfiction book, which opened the option of becoming a full-time writer. These are three strikingly different career paths, and I had to choose which one was right for me.
For many of my peers, this decision would have been fraught with anxiety. Growing up, we were told by guidance counselors, career advice books, the news media and others to “follow our passion.” This advice assumes that we all have a pre-existing passion waiting to be discovered. If we have the courage to discover this calling and to match it to our livelihood, the thinking goes, we’ll end up happy. If we lack this courage, we’ll end up bored and unfulfilled — or, worse, in law school.
To a small group of people, this advice makes sense, because they have a clear passion. Maybe they’ve always wanted to be doctors, writers, musicians and so on, and can’t imagine being anything else.
But this philosophy puts a lot of pressure on the rest of us — and demands long deliberation. If we’re not careful, it tells us, we may end up missing our true calling. And even after we make a choice, we’re still not free from its effects. Every time our work becomes hard, we are pushed toward an existential crisis, centered on what for many is an obnoxiously unanswerable question: “Is this what I’m really meant to be doing?” This constant doubt generates anxiety and chronic job-hopping.
As I considered my options during my senior year of college, I knew all about this Cult of Passion and its demands. But I chose to ignore it. The alternative career philosophy that drove me is based on this simple premise: The traits that lead people to love their work are general and have little to do with a job’s specifics. These traits include a sense of autonomy and the feeling that you’re good at what you do and are having an impact on the world. Decades of research on workplace motivation back this up. (Daniel Pink’s book “Drive” offers a nice summary of this literature.)
These traits can be found in many jobs, but they have to be earned. Building valuable skills is hard and takes time. For someone in a new position, the right question is not, “What is this job offering me?” but, instead, “What am I offering this job?”
RETURNING to my story, I decided after only minimal deliberation to go to M.I.T. True to my alternative career philosophy, I was confident that all three of my career options could be transformed into a source of passion, and this confidence freed me from worry about making a wrong choice. I ended up choosing M.I.T., mainly because of a slight preference for the East Coast, but I would have been equally content heading out to Microsoft’s headquarters near Seattle. Or, with the advance from my first book, I could have hunkered down in a quiet town to write.
During my initial years as a graduate student, I certainly didn’t enjoy an unshakable sense that I had found my true calling. The beginning of doctoral training can be rough. You’re not yet skilled enough to make contributions to the research literature, which can be frustrating. And at a place like M.I.T., you’re surrounded by brilliance, which can make you question whether you belong.
Had I subscribed to the “follow our passion” orthodoxy, I probably would have left during those first years, worried that I didn’t feel love for my work every day. But I knew that my sense of fulfillment would grow over time, as I became better at my job. So I worked hard, and, as my competence grew, so did my engagement.
Today, I’m a computer science professor at Georgetown University, and I love my job. The most important lesson I can draw from my experience is that this love has nothing to do with figuring out at an early age that I was meant to be a professor. There’s nothing special about my choosing this particular path. What mattered is what I did once I made my choice.
To other young people who constantly wonder if the grass might be greener on the other side of the occupational fence, I offer this advice: Passion is not something you follow. It’s something that will follow you as you put in the hard work to become valuable to the world.
Smartphone users now spend more time on Instagram than Twitter.
In August, some 7.3 million people pulled up Instagram on their phones every day, compared to only 6.9 million who opened Twitter’s mobile platform religiously, according to data released by comScore, a digital market research firm. What’s more, fans of Instagram, which lets users snap, edit and share photos, spent almost 4½ hours using the app in August, compared with just under three hours for serial tweeters, who blast out short messages to “followers.”
Twitter still has more smartphone users, but not as many log in daily. The social media start-up had 29 million unique mobile visitors last month, compared with 22 million who used Instagram. Twitter also has almost 300 million total visitors — including those logging in from desktop computers — while Instagram is only on phones.