Open-plan office spaces command big rents

December 14, 2011 06:25PM

Airy, open-plan office spaces, once seen as difficult to rent, are commanding some of the highest office rents in Manhattan since the recession, the New York Times reported, some more than $100 a square foot. These spaces, with dramatic city views, can be found in Midtown towers like 499 Park Avenue and 250 West 55th Street, the Times said, as well as downtown at 1 and 3 World Trade Center, now under construction.

Also desirable for their floor plans are buildings like 51 Astor Place, 28-40 West 23rd Street and 30 Rockefeller Center, where investment company Lazard is redesigning its 430,000 square feet on the top floors.

“Constantly now, we see firms wanting to build dramatic space,” said Peter Turchin, an executive vice president at CBRE.

At 3 WTC, the 80-story tower by Silverstein Properties, the floor plates of 29,000 to 68,000 square feet have no columns, the Times said.

“We’re finding that the geometry of these floors and the absence of the columns result in most tenants needing anywhere from 10 to 15 percent less space,” said Jeremy Moss, senior vice president of leasing at Silverstein.

Meanwhile, despite an increase in demand, landlords who inked major leases in Class A buildings like 499 Park Avenue last year made practically no money on those deals once basic expenses were subtracted, a recent report from commercial advisory firm Studley showed previously. [NYT]