Convene inks 93K sf lease at Brookfield’s One Liberty Plaza

Company plans to grow Manhattan footprint by 46% over the next year

Ric Clark and Ryan Simonetti with One Liberty Plaza
Ric Clark and Ryan Simonetti with One Liberty Plaza

WeWork rival Convene signed a lease for 93,000 square feet at Brookfield Property PartnersOne Liberty Plaza, which is its largest location yet.

The flexible-workspace and meeting-space provider’s lease is part of 150,000 square feet of new locations that the company says will increase its presence in Manhattan by nearly 46 percent over the next 12 months, the Wall Street Journal reported.

“Within the next 24 months, we really want to position ourselves as the No. 2 brand,” Convene co-founder and chief executive Ryan Simonetti said.

Brookfield, which owns the 2.3 million-square-foot tower along with Blackstone Group, is also an investor in Convene.

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And short-term space providers are becoming a larger part of Manhattan’s office market, albeit still a relatively small segment.

These companies occupy about 2.5 percent of Manhattan’s office space, and could hit 4 percent by the end of 2020, according to a new report from CBRE. Flexible-space providers have increased their square footage by more than 600 percent since 2013, adding space at an annual average rate of 22 percent, CBRE’s report shows.

Growth in the segment comes at the same time that Manhattan has seen a drop of 41 percent in traditional leases by tenants of 5,000 square feet or less between 2013 and 2017, suggesting that flexible-space companies are drawing tenants away from traditional long-term leases, according to CBRE’s report. [WSJ] – Rich Bockmann