Renovating and Refilling The “Empty State Building”

It’s Manhattan’s grandest symbol, but the Empire State Building has always been a punch line in the real estate world (the Empty State Building. Ha!).

Well, in a thorough story in The Real Deal, Vanessa Londono runs down just what’s happening over on 34th and Fifth.

The management team of Wien & Malkin is ready to shake down and empty the building to 50 percent vacancy as they upgrade and smooth over those famously rough edges (you know, low ceilings, weird layouts, etc.). The building is in such bad shape that average tenants have less than 2,000 square feet.

Wien & Malkin–understandably–want to get that number to somewhere around 10,000 to 15,000 feet, and to try to raise rents, which are currently 25 percent below-market, on average.

The key player in all of this, Anthony Malkin, said he’s putting $600 million into the renovations, and he means business. “We’re not running a hotel full of one- and three-year leases,” he said. “We want higher-credit-quality tenants brought in by higher-quality brokers.”

- John Koblin