One Vanderbilt lease at $300+ psf may be city’s highest office rent ever

Top-most rentable floor at SL Green’s signature tower goes to Canadian firm

SL Green’s Marc Holliday with One Vanderbilt tower (SL Green Realty Corporation)
SL Green’s Marc Holliday with One Vanderbilt tower (SL Green Realty Corporation)

One square foot of office space — about what a pair of Louis Vuittons takes up — had reportedly never been leased for more than $300 a year in New York City.

But now a Canadian-based environmental services company has agreed to break that barrier to lease the 73rd floor of SL Green’s One Vanderbilt tower, The Real Deal has learned.

Sources say GFL Environmental signed a deal for all 9,871 available square feet on the building’s highest office floor, right below its Summit observatory. The asking rent was $322, TRD reported last summer.

The ultra-high-end work space with commanding views of the city stands in stark contrast to the job sites of many of GFL’s 18,000 employees across much of Canada and more than half the 50 states: They provide non-hazardous solid waste management, infrastructure and soil remediation along with liquid waste management services.

Nearby, GFL has a soil remediation facility in Logan Township, New Jersey, that is being used to cap a 172-acre brownfield in Gloucester County.

The company was represented in its search for office space by Rob Lowe of Cushman & Wakefield, which did not respond to a request for comment. SL Green Realty was represented in-house by Steve Durels and David Kaufman and by CBRE’s Bob Alexander and his team. CBRE declined to comment.

The record rent of $300 per square foot had been set by the top floors of 425 Park Avenue in 2015, when that L&L Holding tower was under construction. Billionaire Ken Griffin’s hedge fund Citadel inked that deal and added to it in 2019. A source said he paid $350 per square foot for some of the best space, leaving some doubt as to whether the One Vanderbilt lease is the new record holder.

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But the 73rd floor of One Vanderbilt is even higher and is the uppermost office space in the building, which, at 1,401 feet, towers over the city skyline.

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As one of the two so-called sky floors, it has unobstructed “helicopter” views from the George Washington Bridge to the Statue of Liberty through its floor-to-ceiling windows. The floor also has a 24-foot slab height and windswept private outdoor space.

Headquartered in Ontario, GFL calls itself the fourth largest diversified environmental services company in North America.

At the end of last year, building owner SL Green Realty had interests in 73 buildings totaling 34.9 million square feet, including ownership stakes in 26.9 million square feet of Manhattan buildings and 7.1 million square feet securing debt and preferred equity investments.

SL Green’s Durels declined to comment on the rent but boasted, “The floor unquestionably is the single most spectacular floor given the combination of all the factors.” Aside from its height and newness, the building benefits from its immediate access to Grand Central Terminal.