The 10 Biggest Blocks Of Manhattan Office Space Hunting For A Tenant
It is not unusual for Manhattan, the biggest office market in the country, to have colossal blocks of space in need of tenants.
But in this current environment, with soaring costs and companies that are either pulling back or not in any rush to lock down space, the sheer number of these spaces is daunting — and growing.
At the end of June, there were 37 contiguous blocks of office space of at least 250K SF available in Manhattan, according to Colliers data. By comparison, at the end of the first quarter of 2020, there were just 15 of these blocks available.
“Over the last three years, supply has increased overall by nearly 80% to a record high of about 96M SF," Frank Wallach, executive managing director at Colliers, told Bisnow.
The available rate for offices in Manhattan overall is 17.8%, an all-time high, per Colliers data.
Some buildings are suffering from major vacancy and in some cases are completely empty. To get a sense of the buildings with the biggest slices of space to move, Colliers analyzed the data to provide a list of office buildings with the largest blocks of contiguous space.
Bisnow last published a list of the largest blocks of Manhattan office space in 2021, and while some buildings have seen a dent in the spaces, some remain on the list. The property at 111 Wall St., for example, still has more than 1M SF to fill, and RXR Realty’s 5 Times Square still has more than 800K SF looking for a tenant. The office building at 175 Water St. has the same problem, but a different owner, while the former textile property at 295 Fifth Ave. is still looking to lease up.
Other buildings that made the list in 2021 have graduated on the strength of leasing success, including Tishman Speyer’s The Spiral and Rudin Management's 80 Pine St. and 3 Times Square. The former Sony Building at 550 Madison, which had a 750K SF available block, is also absent from this year's list.
Wallach said the 2023 list paints a picture of the office availability issues in the city right now, with sublet space, new construction and gut renovation entering the market, scheduled tenant vacancies and the popularity of new construction buildings all playing a part.
“It’s really a building-by-building case to what some of these assets will do,” he said.
Read below for a look at the 10 buildings that have the largest blocks of contiguous space being actively marketed and ready for tenant possession within the next 12 months, according to Colliers.
60 Wall St.
Owner: Paramount Group
Block Availability: 1.57M SF
Total Building Availability: 1.57M SF
When Deutsche Bank announced it was moving to Columbus Circle in 2018, it meant 60 Wall St., the 1.6M SF, 47-story 1980s-era building would soon be empty. Deutsche began moving in 2021, and Paramount undertook a $250M revamp of the property, with tenants reportedly able to move in from the middle of this year.
So far, there have been no lease announcements, and much of the attention has surrounded the atrium beneath the building. The developer wants to modernize the public space, which it owns privately. However, their plans has attracted the attention of activists.
The the building is not a designated landmark, but was built to be “harmonious” with 55 Wall St. — and therefore the concern of the Landmarks Preservation Commission. In September, the LPC ruled to take no action on a planned revamp, which means it is continuing apace for now. A CBRE team is leasing the property, which has floorplates between 30K SF and 60K SF.
111 Wall St.
Owners: Nightingale Group and InterVest
Block Availability: 1.04M SF
Total Building Availability: 1.04M SF
The owners of this 1.2M SF, 1960s property paid $175M for a 49-year leasehold on it in 2019, borrowing $110M from SL Green, Crain’s New York Business reported at the time. Citigroup's lease expired that year, and the new owners undertook a $100M renovation plan.
Downtown has a particularly high availability rate, at more than 21% in the second quarter, per Colliers, far higher than the borough-wide average. This also isn't the only problem building for Nightingale. The company is facing foreclosure at its Whale Building in Brooklyn, a 420K SF office conversion, after its attempts to buy its own debt went south.
5 Times Square
Owner: RXR Realty
Block Availability: 820K SF
Total Building Availability: 880K SF
This 1.1M SF building was one of the famed victims of the great office migration west, when EY — which had been in the property since 2002 — opened its new headquarters at One Manhattan West in the summer of 2021.
At the start of 2022, Roku leased 240K in the property. The deal was for eight floors, and 100K SF more than the firm was first interested in leasing, with rents in the $90 per SF range. But in April, Roku's tune changed, with the company saying it was planning on terminating leases and subletting space amid restructuring and layoffs. At least two of the eight floors it leased in the property were placed on the sublease market, Bisnow reported.
175 Water St.
Owner: 99c LLC
Block Availability: 680K SF
Total Building Availability: 680K SF
Once the site of AIG's headquarters, a Canadian billionaire led a group of buyers to pay $252M for this property last year, The Real Deal reported. Vanbarton Group was the seller, and the buyers used an LLC for the purchase, according to the publication. The property had previously been owned by Metro Loft, but when the Nathan Berman-led firm fell behind on its loan in 2022, lender Vanbarton took possession of the 31-story office tower. Berman had previously planned to turn the top half of the property into a residential building.
AIG’s lease expired in 2021, but the property was built in 1983, which means it is not presently eligible for residential conversion, per The New York Times.
295 Fifth Ave.
Owners: Tribeca Investment Group, Meadow Partners, PGIM Real Estate
Block Availability: 672K SF
Total Building Availability: 672K SF
In 2019, Tribeca Investment Group, PGIM Real Estate and Meadow Partners picked up the 99-year ground lease for 295 Fifth Ave., a former textile building. The new owners spent $400M on a revamp of the property, turning it into a 19-story, 710K SF office tower. Elliott Ingerman, a principal at Tribeca Investment Group, told The New York Times last year the renovation would create a “very amenitized” building and that he expected tenants to be signing leases soon. Deutsche Pfandbriefbank provided a $150M loan to the group in November.
Block Availability: 640K SF
Total Building Availability: 1.37M SF
Penn 2, one of two towers Vornado is renovating as part of its $1B Penn District project, has already rented seven stories to MSG Entertainment. However, it is missing an anchor tenant for what is called the “bustle,” a space inspired by a dress that stretches across two city blocks, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Vornado is leasing the space as it plots a new pathway for its presence in the District. The developer controls most of the sites around Penn Station, and was set to develop office properties to fund the station overhaul. But Gov. Kathy Hochul has said the developer and the government are “decoupling” as the city and state move forward with plans to renovate the station without Vornado’s involvement.
522 Fifth Ave.
Block Availability: 600K SF
Total Building Availability: 600K SF
Aby Rosen's RFR bought this 23-story tower from Morgan Stanley at the start of the pandemic in March 2020, paying $350M. The following year, the company bought the retail portion of the building, with the view of creating a build-to-suit office property for a single tenant. Morgan Stanley’s lease ran through to 2025, but Aby Rosen told Commercial Observer in 2021 that the bank could leave earlier than expected.
636 11th Ave.
Owner: The Hakimain Organization
Block Availability: 550K SF
Total Building Availability: 550K SF
WPP, the British advertising firm, announced in 2020 that it would cut 700K SF from its real estate footprint. Most of its cuts affected the building at 636 11th Ave., which had been home to subsidiary agency Ogilvy & Mathers' headquarters. WPP said the company was joining fellow subsidiary Grey Group at 200 Fifth Ave. The 11-story 636 11th Ave. building was built in 1917. Ogilvy leased 550K SF there in 2008, but had recently subleased several of its floors, per Business Insider, which first reported WPP's plans to downsize.
750 Third Ave.
Owner: SL Green
Block Availability: 510K SF
Total Building Availability: 580K SF
SL Green’s property at 750 Third Ave., on one of the corridors of the city that has been awash with space, is largely vacant and reportedly a candidate for sale. The property spans 730K SF, and it has not been totally quiet, with the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Poland to the United Nations inking a renewal there for 17K SF in 2022. SL Green has said the building could make for a good partial or full conversion to residential space, per The Real Deal.
Owner: L&L Holding Co.
Block Availability: 470K SF
Total Building Availability: 470K SF
The property, across from the Fulton Street subway station, has Zara at its base and office tenants including Condé Nast and WeWork, but still has a 470K SF space to fill. Floors two through 14 are immediately available, per its marketing website. The floorplates span between 1K SF and 39K SF, according to VTS.