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860 Washington makes Meatpacking debut as new wave of tenants arrives

By Dan Orlando

City brokers got their first look at the new Meatpacking office building 860 Washington this week as leasing agents predicted the Highline neighbor would attract new tech tenants.

“Why do they want to be here? It’s not off the beaten path,” said Stuart I. Romanoff, vice chairman of brokerage at Cushman & Wakefield, during a tour of the 860 Washington construction site. “You’ve got hotels, restaurants, nightlife, galleries, retail and now you have first class office buildings in a neighborhood that has these types of amenities.”

Stuart Romanoff

Stuart Romanoff

In recent years, the neighborhood has attracted of marquee tenants like Samsung and Google, lured by the beauty and the foot-traffic of the Highline, which runs alongside 860 Washington and the area’s bustling nightlife.

As 860 Washington, a joint project being developed by Property Group Partners and Romanoff Equities, prepares to open its doors at the end of 2015, Romanoff said the goal is to mix the upper-tier rub from nearby hotspots like the Standard Hotel and converge it with the appointments that one would expect from traditional Midtown office space.

At 10-stories, the glass coated structure was designed by James Carpenter. The final product will feature eight floors of “perfectly proportioned” office space, which Romanoff said would appeal to a large gambit of New York based companies.

Though the building was officially presented to brokers late last week for the first time, Romanoff said that he is already in talks with several companies that are interested in claiming space.

“From fashion, to financial, to family offices and hedge funds,” said Romanoff of the potential suitors, “companies that are not so dissimilar to Apple, Google, Samsung. [Potential tenants] are drawing upon the young intellectual talent that’s coming into the area.”

Romanoff said that 860 Washington’s main allure is that it has “the amenities that tenants want but with a downtown loft type of a feel.”
The office building will buck the local office trend with a plethora of tenant amenities that include 24-hour concierge, attended lobby, video surveillance, intercom systems, bike storage, showers and the lobby will host a rotating display of artwork from the Louis-Dreyfus Family Collection. “Today, tech companies, financial companies, they want an open environment and culture. It’s more efficient and it’s more collaborative,“ said Romanoff.

Although the building could hold eight separate office tenants in addition to the 113,848 s/f of retail that will occupy the bottom two floors, only a handful of tenants may be accepted as there is currently interest by some potential suitors in combining multiple floors. The prime spot will be the fourth floor, which will offer 11,126 s/f of indoor space combined with an outdoor terrace. The other floors offer between 10 and 12,000 s/f of space.
Romanoff — who is a member of the Romanoff family which has owned the site for decades — is confident that 860 Washington will set a trend for more office tenants to continue the migration south west.

“Meatpacking is a very small neighborhood,” he said. “Unlike Chelsea or SoHo, it is only seven-eight blocks.
“Within those blocks, 860 Washington sits right smack in the middle.

“There’s such a high demand for space down here. The vacancy rate is the lowest in the United Sates as a submarket. It’s at 4 percent. Midtown is at 10 percent.”

“There is no space at all and now you’ve got a world of tenants who are looking down here aggresively.ˮ
The developers are looking for rents in excess of $100 psf for the office towers on floors from three through 10. Ground floor retail rents are $600 psf.

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