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New York is making a move to be the country's next tech and pharma hub. (Why settle for one when we can have both, Charlie Sheen wonders.) Alexandria Real Estate Equities founder Joel Marcus says Big Pharma is showing more interest in NYC real estate than in the life sciences and tech mainstays in our headline.
Michael Atkins, Joel Marcus, and Guy Benn at 601 Lexington on Oct. 12, 2011
Joel (flanked by MLA Risk Advisory's Michael Atkins and Savills'Guy Benn) was in the Big Apple yesterday all the way from Pasadena for a ULI-NY event on employment drivers. He says NY has the Ivory Tower brains but has been missing the lab space to court biotech companies. Until now. The 300k SF first tower of his firm's 1.1M SF Alexandria Center (between FDR and 1st Avenue and Bellevue and NYU) is all leased up to firms like Eli Lilly and Pfizer. And if interest rates, the financing climate, and pre-leasing cooperate, he'd love to start the 400k SF second tower next year.
Sacha Zarba and Todd Bassen at 601 Lexington on Oct. 12, 2011
CBRE's Sacha Zarba, with Invesco's Todd Bassen, says tech is no longer a silo but rather is dependent on NYC's core industries: financial services, media, and even fashion. Startups and other tech firms need to be close to their customers, so now they've got"NYC or bust" signs on their car windows (not to mention NY's well-connected but unemployed entrepreneurs who are launching tech businesses, according to DFJ Gotham Ventures principal Thatcher Bell). Sacha says tech firms want shorter leases and built-out spaceand they like Midtown South, though there's not much space to be had there, with 6.5% vacancy and 1.5% sublease availability, both the lowest in Manhattan. Meanwhile, NYC Economic Development Corp prez Seth Pinsky says the City intends to select an engineering university program to locate here by year's end and to have public approvals done by the time Mayor Mike leaves office.