King Kong Vacancy Gone?

Though none of these have changed since Mr. Malkin took over, Mr. Burgio said he would never have considered the Empire State Building for a client five years ago. “The building has transformed,” he said, echoing the assessments of many in commercial real estate. “It’s changed its tenant roster. There are multiple corporate, full-floor tenants. The building did a major renovation, which was a big draw for Funaro.” 
Coty Inc., the international fragrance manufacturer, moved into 90,000 square feet on the 14th and 15th floors that had been occupied by 42 separate tenants, according to Mr. Eynon, in what was then the biggest lease at the Empire State Building since 1961.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation followed last spring, leasing 103,000 square feet on the 12th and 13th floors. The agency sent out 31 requests for proposals for new office space, and, according to public affairs officer Andrew Grey, the Empire State Building was “the best value.”

The F.D.I.C. will move from its Financial District offices to midtown in January. Mr. Grey would not specify the terms of the F.D.I.C.’s lease, but Mr. Eynon said asking rents range anywhere from the high-$40’s to mid-$50’s per foot for high floors.

“What is most satisfying about [the F.D.I.C. lease] is that we are starting to get these sorts of deals on qualitative-type issues,” Mr. Eynon said. “We weren’t just lucky. I mean, they vetted 31 buildings and ended up here. That bodes well for where the building was and where it is now.” 

 

IT IS STILL 22 percent vacancy, but about 45 percent of that space falls within a defined consolidation program.

No major new leases have been signed since the F.D.I.C.’s in May, but the building has been in talks with a large publishing house, which Mr. Eynon described as a “household name,” since August over a space between 50,000 and 60,000 square feet, and an apparel company has since July shown interest in a 40,000-square-foot space. 

At least three full-floor spaces will come onto the market over the next year, Mr. Eynon said, including the 70th floor, the highest and largest full-floor space in the building.

On Sept. 23, the building hosted a party for 400 brokers to launch the marketing of the 61st floor. One broker who attended the event in the recently demolished space was amazed at the Empire State Building’s turnaround, but was surprised to learn that the asking rent was $60 per square foot. “Anthony Malkin did an incredible job of updating the property,” the broker said. “There needs to be flexibility on the $60 per square foot.”

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