The Real Deal New York

Jack Sitt’s subletting website ramps up commercial component

Ditch the Space entering market for incentivized, short-term office space

November 12, 2015 05:55PM

Jack Sitt

Jack Sitt

After launching online subletting platform Ditch the Space in 2013, real estate investor Jack Sitt is now ramping up the website’s commercial section, which offers incentivized short-term office leases to prospective tenants.

While Ditch the Space has garnered roughly 25,000 listings in the two years since launching, virtually all of those are residential, and Sitt says the platform is now focused on gearing up its commercial portion in an attempt to “redefine the way people think about leases.”

“This could be a trillion-dollar industry,” Sitt told Bisnow of the short-term residential and commercial leasing market that Ditch the Space operates in. When asked to elaborate, Sitt reiterated that belief.

“I’m not saying that it is today, but it could be over the next 10 years or so,” he added, citing the success of Airbnb, which was recently valued at more than $25 billion after one of the biggest private funding rounds ever.

At the same time, Sitt stressed that Ditch the Space’s residential component doesn’t focus on “the three-day rental, the seven-day rental that Airbnb does.” The platform also looks to separate itself from competitors like Leasebreak by “promoting incentives” like free rent.

“What I see is that people want to move their inventory, and so they’re pricing them well and putting in these incentives,” Sitt said. “If you have a six-month sublet and someone’s giving one month free, it’s huge. And then they’re also throwing in furniture, which saves people money and time.”

“I think other websites out there just focus on one sector or the other [residential or commercial],” he added. “We’re focusing on both.”

Sitt is a partner at Sitt Asset Management, whose holdings include the 11-story, 360,000-square-foot 2 Herald Square office and retail building in Midtown. [Bisnow] — Rey Mashayekhi