51 Astor remains tenantless despite Jones Lang’s efforts

July 29, 2013 11:00AM

You can’t say 51 Astor Place doesn’t have potential. Tech titans Facebook and Microsoft were eyeing moves to the 400,000-square-foot office building, between Third and Fourth avenues in the Midtown South office market, before opting to relocate elsewhere, the Wall Street Journal reported. Alas, a major tenant is yet to sign at the massive project, built on speculation by developer Edward Minskoff.

The 13-story building opened in May, but commercial brokerage Jones Lang LaSalle, who represent Minskoff, have yet to close a deal. Paul Glickman, a vice president at of Jones Lang, told the Journal that he is currently in talks to lease approximately 70 percent of the building, though.

“It has been extremely well received,” Glickman told the newspaper. “We’re close on a whole bunch of good stuff.”

Some say the sleek, modern tower is struggling to fit in among the older buildings in the area.

“Given the energy of this location, and the fact that Manhattan is generally starved for new office product, it seems logical to believe that 51 Astor should eventually garner tenants,” Michael Knott of Green Street Advisors told the Journal. “The question may be at what price.”

Rents range from $80 per square foot for lower floors to more than $100 per square foot for higher floors, a source told the Journal. Minskoff hired Jones Lang to head up leasing a year and a half ago, though leasing efforts launched only two months ago.

St. John’s University was steps away from signing a lease for two of the base floors earlier this month, as previously reported. The university was vying for a 42,000-square-foot space on the second floor, but that deal fell apart. [WSJ]Mark Maurer