Leasing with the enemy: Uber to move into same LIC digs as NYC taxis

Uber is the second car-sharing service to move into the building
October 09, 2015 03:44PM

Talk about awkward — Uber will soon be neighbors with the Taxi and Limousine Commission.

The ride-sharing app announced on Friday that it will move its Long Island City office to the second floor of the Falchi Building, one level below the TLC’s office. The company joins a competitor service, Lyft, which occupies 5,000 square feet in the building.

Uber plans to lease the 70,000-square-foot space for 10 years, Crain’s reported. Rental rates at the 570,000-square-foot Falchi Building are in the $40s per square foot.

JRT Realty Group and a Cushman & Wakefield team of Mitchell Arkin, Michael Blanchard and Haley Fisher, represented property owner Jamestown in the deal. Uber was represented by JLL’s Alex Chudnoff.

Moving one floor below the TLC, as uncomfortable as it may be, will save Uber drivers significant time in getting a chauffeur’s license.

The startup’s move to 31-00 47th Avenue in Queens comes as the taxi industry battles the service — on the street and in courtrooms — for customers.

Uber, valued at $51 billion, added 20,000 New York City drivers in the last year. Its already-rocky relationship with the city deteriorated further, with Mayor Bill de Blasio accusing the company of expanding too quickly and clogging city streets.

The company scored a major victory when de Blasio’s plan to put a cap on Uber failed in spectacular fashion, though future regulatory fights certainly loom.

In 2014, Uber inked a lease for over 52,000 square feet of space at the Terminal Stores Complex in Chelsea, where it keeps its New York City headquarters. [Crain’s] — Kathryn Brenzel