3 workers test positive for coronavirus at 3 SL Green office towers

An employee at one of the properties, 1185 Sixth Avenue, self-quarantined before testing positive

1185 Sixth Avenue (Credit: Google Maps)
1185 Sixth Avenue (Credit: Google Maps)

UPDATED, March 10, 2:47 p.m.: New York City’s largest office landlord is now reckoning with the coronavirus at three of its buildings.

Three workers have tested positive for the virus at three separate SL Green Realty office towers. The buildings are at its 1.1 million-square-foot property at 1185 Sixth Avenue, 1 million-square-foot building at 100 Church Street and 570,000-square-foot building at 125 Park Avenue.

“At 1185 Avenue of the Americas, an employee of one tenant had elected to self-quarantine after being exposed to an infected individual several days before testing positive,” SL Green Chief Operating Officer Edward Piccinich wrote in a statement to The Real Deal. “Localized cleaning was conducted immediately and was followed by a full floor decontamination. All tenant accessible areas of the building were also remediated.”

SL Green also said it’s taking proactive measures across its portfolio to protect against the virus, including more frequent cleaning and disinfecting of commonly touched surfaces. Several other major office landlords like Durst Organization and Rudin Management are taking similar measures, and a number of commercial real estate conferences have been postponed as reported cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. continues to rise.

Meanwhile, an employee at a Brookfield-owned building in the Financial District and another at a Related Companies-owned building in Hudson Yards also tested positive.

It wasn’t immediately clear at which companies the employees at the three buildings work. At 1185 Sixth Avenue, major tenants include the Hess oil corporation, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the law firm King & Spalding and the National Hockey League, which has its corporate offices and a retail store there.

At 125 Park, tenants include Canon Solutions America Newmark Knight Frank, law firm of Meister, Seelig & Fein and Pandora Media.

New York state has 148 confirmed cases of coronavirus, according to Johns Hopkins University. So far there have been no reported deaths.

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The state’s outbreak is centered in Westchester County, where an attorney from New Rochelle is believed to be linked to roughly three-dozen cases. But confirmed cases are also becoming more prevalent in New York City.

Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday said the number of confirmed cases in the five boroughs had increased to 25, with five new cases since Monday afternoon.

In Manhattan, officials at investor Steve Cohen’s Point72 Asset Management hedge fund in Related Companies’ 55 Hudson Yards office building reportedly learned Monday that one of their employees tested positive for the virus.

And an employee at Brookfield Asset Management’s office at 250 Vesey Street in the Financial District recently tested positive, Bloomberg reported Monday. Brookfield reportedly asked anyone who sat on the same side of the floor as the infected employee and those at risk to stay home. The company also said it was doing a deep clean of the floor where the employee worked.

The brokerage Triplemint asked one of its agents who had been exposed to someone who later tested positive for coronavirus not to see clients.

The pandemic is having a broader impact on the real estate industry. REIT stocks plummeted Monday amid a broader stock market selloff. Hoteliers are facing fewer bookings and home sellers are concerned that open house attendance could be down if people decide to stay home.

Update: This article includes two additional workers at SL Green-owned office properties who have tested positive for the coronavirus.

Contact Rich Bockmann at rb@therealdeal.com or 212-673-5081