The Daily Dirt: Big tech’s west side lovefest

TRD New York /
Sep.September 27, 2019 11:35 AM
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and a rendering of the Farley Post Office building redevelopment (Credit: Getty Images, SOM)

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and a rendering of the Farley Post Office building redevelopment (Credit: Getty Images, SOM)

The James A. Farley Post Office — the hottest new place for tech companies?

Neither crummy lunch options nor swarms of tourists nor the hell that is Penn Station stays these tech companies from considering the west side of Manhattan. 

Facebook is the latest company to toy with the idea of moving to the Farley Building, which Vornado Realty Trust is turning into 740,000 square feet of office space. There will also be 120,000 square feet of retail, along with a spankin’ new train hall for Amtrak passengers.  

Uber, Apple and Amazon have all toured the space as well. Some have also looked at nearby Hudson Yards. But Facebook, according to the New York Post, is considering taking the full 740,000 square feet. 

Tech companies have dramatically expanded their footprints in New York over the last few years. According to Cushman & Wakefield, TAMI tenants inked 74.3 percent more space in the second quarter of 2019 than they did the year prior. A Wall Street Journal analysis earlier this year showed that Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Amazon have all added a ton — in some cases doubling the amount — of office space in the city over the past five years. 

Facebook already has an office at Vornado’s 770 Broadway, though it’s not clear if the company would ditch that and its other office at 225 Park Avenue should they cut a deal at Farley.

The potential convergence of tech talent in and around Hudson Yards likely makes landlords and developers in Long Island City cringe. With the proximity to the 7 Train, a new Amazon headquarters in Queens would’ve meant a direct lifeline between tech communities in Long Island City and Hudson Yards. 

Does anyone even still work at WeWork?

Just kidding, tons of people do. But at least three more executives are apparently on their way out the door. 

Vice chairman Michael Gross, VP of operations and special projects Zvika Shachar and director of development Roni Bahar are all negotiating their exit packages, David Jeans reports. Their departure follows several other high-power exits at the company, most notably that of Adam Neumann, who is now a non-executive chairman of the board. In all, 20 allies of Neumann and his wife Rebekah will likely be forced out, according to the Wall Street Journal.

WeStillDon’tKnow when the We Company plans to go public, though the firm has said it will happen before the end of the year. For those counting, that could mean another three months of WeWork-related news and intrigue.

What we’re thinking about next: Who will buy Adam Neumann’s plane? How will Adam travel now? How much longer will we be inundated with WeWork news? Send a note to [email protected]

Residential: The priciest residential closing recorded on Thursday was for a condo unit at 220 Central Park South in Midtown, at $41.7 million.
Commercial: The most expensive commercial closing of the day was for an apartment building at 47-46 40th Street in Sunnyside, at $18.5 million. 

The largest new building filing of the day was for a 87,411-square-foot apartment building at 1883 Crotona Avenue in East Tremont. Sebco Development filed the permit application. 

The priciest residential listing to hit the market on Thursday was for a condo unit at 70 West 45th Street in Midtown, at $18 million. Compass’ Jackie Soussan has the listing. — Research by Mary Diduch

A thing we’ve learned…

Hudson Yards has its own version of Deborah Kass’ “OY/YO” sculpture, which was previously displayed on the Brooklyn waterfront. The Hudson Yards version is just a two-dimensional installation on a wall on the second floor of the mall. The idea is the same as the sculpture, though: It combines the Yiddish expression “oy vey” with Spanish “yo,” which means I. Thank you to Kevin Sun for providing this dispatch from our office’s backyard.

Top stories from our other markets:

Millionaires aren’t what they used to be. The global population of individuals worth at least $30 million saw their net worth shrink in 2018 for the first time in three years — even as their ranks grew, according to a new report by research firm Wealth-X. Following the downward trend of billionaires’ fortunes, their collective wealth has dropped 1.7 percent to $32.3 trillion last year, amid stock market volatility and concern over the U.S. and China’s trade war.

Oh 2006, where art thou? While home prices across the nation are on average 13 percent higher than their post-boom peak years in the early 2000s, the price of Chicago homes has not recovered since its high-point in 2006, according to Crain’s. In fact, Chicago’s home values are 12 percent less than they were that year, only reaching about where they were in 2004, according to data from the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices.

San Pedro is now in the middle of a multifamily building boom, with assistance from the city and federal government. An individual named Mitchell Lindsay filed plans for a 56-unit apartment building on 9th Street. Property records show an LLC tied to Lindsay bought the 8,100-square-foot lot in December for $2 million. While the project qualifies under Los Angeles’ Transit Oriented Communities program, it sits just outside the border of a federally-designated Opportunity Zone.

The Related Group and its partners purchased a large property in Wynwood for $32 million, with plans to redevelop the site. A joint venture between Related, developer Alex Karakhanian and Tricera Capital’s Scott Sherman and Ben Mandell closed Thursday on the 2.1-are site at 2801 Northwest Third Avenue. Rockwood Capital sold the property, which runs along a planned woonerf, a Dutch-inspired pedestrian-friendly street. The site hit the market about two years ago for $45 million.


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