Manhattan’s office towers are still mostly empty, but the leasing market continues to show signs of life with another company inking a large space commitment in a Midtown property.
FTI Consulting has signed a long-term lease for 120,720 square feet across three entire floors at 1166 Ave. of the Americas, a Class A office building between West 45th and West 46th streets.
The NYSE-listed global advisory firm will occupy the 14th, 15th and 16th floors of the tower, which will serve as its New York City headquarters, consolidating multiple office locations. Edward J. Minskoff Equities Inc.—the real estate firm chaired by the eponymous New York developer—owns condominium interests in floors 3 through 21 of the 44-story building, which spans 1.6 million square feet.
Built in 1974, the former International Paper Building is located a few blocks west of Grand Central Terminal and north of Bryant Park and sports a lobby and other features recently redesigned by Gensler. Minskoff is currently creating a 12,000-square-foot conference center on the 12th floor. FTI Consulting’s new neighbors in the building will include Sprint, D.E. Shaw, Janney Montgomery Scott and Marsh & McLennan, which owns and occupies the tower’s other condominium interests.
A JLL team of Paul Glickman, Jonathan Fanuzzi, Cynthia Wasserberger and Diana Biasotti represented Minskoff in the transaction, while Minskoff’s Jeffrey Sussman led the leasing effort in-house. FTI Consulting was represented by Connor Faught, Brian Given, Sheena Gohil, Robert Gallucci and Jim Southard at Colliers International. Law firms Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP and DLA Piper LLP advised the landlord and the tenant, respectively.
Big leases, deserted desks
The new deal follows a string of major Manhattan leases by corporate giants including Facebook, which earlier this month announced a 730,000-square-foot lease for the entire office portion of the Farley Building, Vornado Realty Trust’s redevelopment project neighboring Penn Station.
In July, insurance behemoth AIG leased 325,000 square feet across eight floors at the Rockefeller Group’s 1271 Ave. of the Americas in Midtown, where it will relocate its global headquarters from its current home in the Financial District. The firm also leased space at 28 Liberty St. in Lower Manhattan. Also last month, financial services firm Raymond James claimed 160,000 square feet at 320 Park Ave., a Midtown tower owned by Mutual of America, according to the New York Post.
At the end of May, TikTok’s Chinese parent company signed up for 232,000 square feet in The Durst Organization’s Midtown skyscraper One Five One. The 10-year lease by the popular video-sharing app marked the first major space commitment in Manhattan since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite these high-profile deals, Colliers reports that Manhattan office leasing totaled just 3.2 million square feet in the second quarter, down 72 percent year-over-year and the lowest quarterly figure since 2009. New York City allowed companies to reopen their offices at reduced occupancy in late June, lifting a three-month lockdown, but few workers have returned to their desks.
Offices in the New York metro area are 11.8 percent occupied as of August 19, according to access control data from Kastle Systems. That occupancy rate, the lowest among ten major cities tracked by Kastle, actually declined by 0.1 percent from the previous week.