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September 4, 2008
 
       
 

UPSCALE
ON 34TH ST.


If you don't know us, we're the best read business publication in Washington (is that an oxymoron?), now on the scene in NYC. After all, Vice Presidents Palin and Biden seem to have things covered for us now, so we can get away.


 

The Knicks season at MSG may have ended in April (and some argue sooner) but SL Green is banking on a $10 million revamp of 333 West 34th St to keep offices and shoppers in the neighborhood year round. We dropped in on director of leasing Steve Durels to see what's in store for the 349k SF Smith Barney Bldg. built in 1954.

 

Steve was part of the team that snagged the 10-story building back in April '07 for $184 M, or $530/SF. Renovations will begin after Citigroup's lease on the whole building expires next year and be complete in time for the Segal Company (benefits, compensation, and HR) to move in Q1 '10. With landlord broker Cushman and tenant rep CB, Steve secured Segal for a 15-year lease of 156k SF on floors 2-5 (asking rent was $55 SF gross). They'll be leaving behind digs at One Park Ave., a former SL Green building they outgrew.

 

Though it may appear Steve is a devoted Muhammad Ali fan, the photo was just a random find in a building SL Green acquired. 333 West 34th boasts some cool infrastructure updates: new bathrooms, windows, HVAC, and store front, doubling of the lobby, and repositioning of the current cafeteria space to create a ground floor retail opportunity of 21k SF. The building already has its own back-up generator, and a 5k SF basement data center courtesy of Citigroup.

 

SL Green acquired 32 office properties over the past 10 years making it the largest office landlord in Manhattan. Here in his own office in the Graybar building on Lex with leasing VP Amy Schustek, Steve pretends for our photographer to discuss four active redevelopment projects: 1515 Broadway (VIACOM and MTV headquarters) for $160M; 16 Court Street ($20M); and 810 7th Ave and 711 3rd Ave (roughly $10 million each). Things are looking surprisingly good this year: One million SF of leases signed in the first half, and 96% occupancy. The Westport native, who's been at the firm 10 years, recently did a trip to Florence with his wife and daughter, and of course some summer fly fishing at their place in Sun Valley. But now he's back on the job with his leasing team of 15 working to keep up those numbers for Q3

 
 
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