Office landlords try outdoor amenities to bring in tenants

January 25, 2010 09:37AM

Office landlords are finding landscaped rooftops to be a relatively inexpensive way to add value and lure tenants in a challenging marketplace. At Richard Farley’s 160 Fifth Avenue, the 3,300-square-foot rooftop patio, with views of the Empire State, Flatiron and Clock Tower buildings, has been a big draw. RFR Realty has been able to lease half the building after a $30 million gut renovation despite scant demand for tenant space across the city. Vornado Realty Trust’s 330 Madison Avenue, along with 100 Park Avenue and 444 Madison Avenue recently added terraces to their lists of amenities. Whereas outdoor space used to bring big returns, now, landlords are more concerned with avoiding vacancies. Costing as little as $100 to $200 per square foot to build, owners could charge as much as 15 percent more per square foot for tenants taking advantage of the open air. LCOR recently added three terraces in its renovation of 545 Madison Avenue. “I’d love to tell you we were getting a premium rent [on the terrace space], but we’re not,” said David Sigman, senior vice present and principal at LCOR. “But they are bringing in a lot more interest.” [Crain’s]


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