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Wharton arranges biggest sublease of the pandemic

Wharton Property Advisors, one of the city’s leading subleasing companies, has arranged a 137,000 s/f sublease at 55 Water Street on behalf of fintech firm, Dailypay.

CEO Ruth Colp-Haber, assisted by Eric Haber and David Alperstein, led the Wharton team on the deal, the biggest sublease from a glut of space on the market in 2021 as tenants maneuver through COVID seeking pandemic perspicacity.

The amount of sublease space in Manhattan ballooned during the COVID-19 pandemic, as tenants looked to cut costs by shedding space they thought they would not need.

According to CBRE, 19.3 million square feet of gross sublease space has been added to the Manhattan office market since the beginning of 2020, and sublease space now accounts for 26 percent of all available space as of June 1, 2021.

Colp-Haber sees the deal with Dailypay – a startup fintech unicorn that provides payroll services – as a harbinger of better days for the city’s office market.


“While no one size fits all for the office market, many savvy managers believe a robust office presence is necessary for successful business to be conducted,” she said.

“This deal is an affirmation of the three C’s – community, creativity and camaraderie.  It is also a wonderful example of a dynamic fintech innovator which is in the vanguard of the return to office and its commitment to New York City.”

DailyPay is more than tripling its office footprint at 55 Water Street, taking two thirds of the roughly 207,000 s/f of surplus space S&P Global offered for sublease through CBRE, whose Paul Myers and Michael Liss represented S&P and continue to market the remaining 70,000 s/f to potential tenants.

Meanwhile, Dailypay is looking to get comfy at 55 Water, planning a full renovation and customization of the two full floors it will occupy at the 53-story, 3.5-million-square-foot skyscraper and the second largest building in New York City by floor area after One World Trade Center.

Owned by Retirement Systems of Alabama, the building houses the headquarters for EmblemHealth, and Hugo Boss with other notable tenants including Invesco, the NYC Department of Education, Thrive Networks, West Elm, Justworks and Soho Works.

After Hurricane Sandy sent 32 million gallons of flood water into the building’s lobby and underground levels in 2012, ownership implemented a flood control infrastructure that was designed to protect against an eight-foot flood line, higher than 7.5 ft. flood line recommended by FEMA, to protect against storm surges for the next hundred years.

As Ida raged through New York last night, reports are that the building came through unscathed.

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