Elementary, my dear Watson: IBM searching for massive new NYC office

Tech company on the search for as much as 350K sf

TRD New York /
Feb.February 22, 2017 12:30 PM

IBM supercomputer Watson is helping people file their taxes, upgrading the city’s 311 system and helping to turn Internet of Things devices into points of sale. But all that high tech still needs some brick-and-mortar office space.

IBM, which is headquartered about 35 miles north of Manhattan in Armonk, NY, and has offices in the city on Madison Avenue and in the East Village, is looking for as much as 350,000 square feet of additional space in the city as it expands Watson, sources told The Real Deal.

Representatives for IBM couldn’t be reached for comment.

The technology company recently announced partnerships with a number of commercial clients such as H&R Block and Visa as it expands with Watson, the artificial intelligence platform that won at Jeopardy! back in 2011.

IBM has had offices in the city going back to the early half of the 20th Century, when it set up shop at 590 Madison Avenue. In the late 1970s it tore down the old building at that site and built a 43-story, 1 million-square-foot modern corporate headquarters known as the IBM Building. But the company sold the property to a partnership between Edward J. Minskoff TRData LogoTINY and the investment group Odyssey Partners in 1994, a time when IBM’s fortunes were in decline and it was shedding space in the city.

But along came Watson, and IBM began growing its footprint. In 2014, it inked a deal with Minskoff to sign on as the 120,000-square-foot anchor tenant at his 51 Astor Place property, which is known as the IBM Watson Building. The tech firm took another 25,000 square feet in the building in 2015, bringing its total footprint there to just shy of 144,000 square feet.

Sources said IBM’s now looking for somewhere between 250,000 and 350,000 square feet, an assignment that will surely limit its options. Blocks of that size are nearly nonexistent in Midtown South. Last month, the music-streaming app Spotify, which is currently based in Chelsea, signed a lease for 378,000 square feet at Silverstein Properties’ 4 World Trade Center.

IBM CEO Ginni Rometty is a member of President Trump’s CEO advisory board, and has said that Trump’s plan to reform the corporate tax structure and scale back regulations will improve the country’s business climate.

CBRE’s Carl Eriksen, who is based out of the brokerage’s Saddle Brook, N.J., office, is handling the search along with James Ackerson in Manhattan. Eriksen did not return calls for comment.


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Cushman & Wakefield’s Brett White

Cushman & Wakefield reports $101M quarterly loss

Cushman & Wakefield reports $101M quarterly loss
Durst Organization chairman Douglas Durst and Advance Publications president Donald Newhouse with One World Trade Center (Newhouse by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration; Unsplash)

Condé Nast may be moving out of 1 WTC

Condé Nast may be moving out of 1 WTC
Moody's CEO Raymond McDaniel and 1 World Trade Center (McDaniel by Alex Wong/Getty Images; Pixabay)

Moody’s looks to sublease its 1 WTC office

Moody’s looks to sublease its 1 WTC office
From left: Manhattan Mall at 100 West 33rd Street, Vornado CEO Steven Roth and a rendering of the Farley Post Office building (Roth by Misha Friedman/Getty Images; Manhattan Mall via VNO; Farley Building via SOM)

Vornado may convert Midtown J.C. Penney space to last-mile facility

Vornado may convert Midtown J.C. Penney space to last-mile facility
(iStock)

TRD Insights: Nationwide office leasing demand hits two-decade low

TRD Insights: Nationwide office leasing demand hits two-decade low
Bryant Park Hotel at 40 West 40 Street (Google Maps; iStock)

Bryant Park Hotel being marketed as office space

Bryant Park Hotel being marketed as office space
28 Liberty Street (Wikipedia)

Manhattan’s office leasing sees busiest month since January

Manhattan’s office leasing sees busiest month since January
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and a rendering of the Farley Post Office building redevelopment (Credit: Getty Images, SOM)

Farley gets Zucked: Facebook signs huge lease at Post Office redevelopment

Farley gets Zucked: Facebook signs huge lease at Post Office redevelopment
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...