Getting a facelift and ready to socialize: 1407 Broadway attracts tenants through Twitter

Intense marketing campaign courts "creatives" for 110,000 sf of space

TRD New York /
Oct.October 27, 2015 12:11 PM

With more than 1,000 followers, an office building on Broadway may be more popular than you.

The 43-story building at 1407 Broadway — your newest Facebook friend — has considerable virtual clout: It’s a prolific tweeter of neighborhood and business news. Its Instagram, website and Facebook are full of pictures of local shops, the surrounding skyline and followers’ selfies.

The pseudo anthropomorphic accounts are all aimed at luring “creative” tenants to fill 110,000 square feet as the building undergoes a $30 million renovation, said CBRE’s Gregg Rothkin, who is leasing the building’s office space.

“We saw a fantastic opportunity for growing fantastic tenants,” Rothkin said. “To send out a glossy brochure or to put an ad in a trade publication is not the way to attract these tenants.”

The key to the hearts or, perhaps more accurately, wallets, of younger, creative tenants seems to be a strong digital presence. It’s not a new strategy — other buildings, like the Starrett-Lehigh Building, have employed similar Twitter-centric campaigns — but it’s one that 1407’s marketing team says is helping to transform the building’s identity. CBRE, NickersonPR and SRS Real Estate Partners, which is leading the retail leasing in the building, have ramped up the social media presence in the last five months, billing the neighborhood as an “epicenter” of activity, due to its proximity to Midtown south, Times Square and Bryant Park.

The marketing campaign coincides with a renovation of the “dated and very tired” 43-story building, said Mark Portner, managing director of capital transactions at Shorenstein Realty Services.

Behind the story:
1407 Broadway

The renovation, which includes a redesign of the lobby, storefronts and facade, is expected to be completed by the end of the summer or fall 2016, Portner said. Fogarty Finger is the architect of record. The 1.1 million-square-foot building already counts Capital One, Wells Fargo, GoGoTech and Tech Stars among its tenants, and hopes to lure more tech, restaurant and fashion-focused businesses. He said 1407’s social media accounts will keep people apprised of the renovation’s progress and get people excited about the building and its location. Rothkin said up until recently, the building had fallen off of peoples’ radar.

“This has always been sort of a sleepy building,” he said. “The fact that we’re creating this kind of buzz with this building is extraordinary.”

CBRE is marketing a total of 110,000 square feet of office space at 1407 Broadway — the 11th and 16th floors, each at 42,000 square feet, and the 36th and 37th floors, both holding about 13,000 square feet.

The goal is to market a lifestyle to prospective tenants who will spend more time at the office than at home, said Lisa Nickerson, founder at NickersonPR.

“It’s really important not only to find your targets but to find the people who influence your targets,” she said. “At the end of the day, we could have all the followers in the world, but if it’s not beneficial to the brokerage team, that’s where the rubber meets the road.”

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