Bike storage proliferates in Manhattan offices

November 16, 2011 12:40PM

From left: RXR Realty’s 1330 Sixth Avenue, 601 West 26th Street and 340 Madison Avenue all have bike storage space

Amidst many obstacles, bike storage rooms are becoming more popular in New York City offices, according to the New York Times.

Office buildings including the Empire State Building, 520 Eighth Avenue, 345 Hudson Street, 1330 Sixth Avenue and 340 Madison Avenue have several hundred square feet of space for biking. RXR Realty, which owns the latter two properties, even has 1,800 square feet in its recently acquired Starrett-Lehigh building at 601 West 26th Street dedicated to bike storage for the 150 tenants that commute to work on two wheels each day.

But the bike-storage areas were largely built during the recession, when the rent that a few hundred square feet in the basement or ground-floor could generate wasn’t as valuable as an environmentally conscious benefit for tenants of upper floor space. As rents slowly climb back to peak levels, the Times said landlords may rethink that decision.

Moreover, even though the bike-storage facilities are clearly a nod to tenants who care for the environment, the spaces alone don’t generate any point towards the LEED certification that brings a windfall of good public relations to a building. The energy-efficient designation only gives points to bike rooms with showers where riders can rinse — a perk that none of the aforementioned buildings possess.

“If we didn’t have to put a shower in, I think you’d see a lot more bike rooms that would be provided by landlords,” said Eric Gural, an executive managing director at Newmark Knight Frank, which oversees the bike room at 520 Eighth Avenue. [NYT]