Manhattan’s Worldwide Plaza Scores 900,000-SF Office Lease
- Jul 01, 2011
June 30, 2011
By Barbra Murray, Contributing Editor
The Manhattan office market is making a big comeback. Just one month after mega-publisher Condé Nast pre-leased 1 million square feet at the new World Trade Center development, financial services company Nomura Holding America Inc. has signed a deal for 900,000 square feet of office space at Worldwide Plaza. The deal marks the largest new lease in midtown Manhattan since 2004.
Nomura Inc. will set up shop on 20 floors of the 1.8 million square-foot, mixed-use complex along Eighth Ave. in midtown Manhattan, taking up 10 presently unoccupied floors and another 10 that will be vacated by Universal Music Group come year’s end. The lease agreement paves the way for the relocation and expansion of Nomura’s headquarters. The company’s current digs consist of 500,000 square feet at 2 World Financial Center, in addition to approximately 45,000 square feet at 277 Park Ave.
Commercial real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield represented Nomura in the 20-year lease agreement with the owner of the Skidmore, Owings & Merrill-designed building, WWP Office L.L.C., a partnership DRA Advisors, George Comfort & Sons amd RCG Longview. The group has owned the asset since taking it off the hands of Deutsche Bank for roughly $600 million in 2009. With Nomura’s commitment, the 11-year-old property is now 95 percent leased.
It’s been a good year for Manhattan’s office market so far, and it just keeps getting better. During the first quarter, office leases totaled 7.6 million square feet, marking the highest level of new leasing activity since the third quarter of 2006 when new leasing activity totaled 8.4 million square feet. Major transactions included the City of New York’s lease of approximately 620,000 square feet at Four World Trade Center and LF USA Capital Inc.’s 480,000 square-foot commitment at 350 Fifth Ave.
And the current vacancy rate offers yet more evidence of the city’s increasing strength. “At 10 percent, the Manhattan vacancy rate was at its lowest level in two years and stood 1.6 percentage points below the peak level of a year ago,” as per the report.