The Online World's Brick-and-Mortar Man

“It’s different. It’s not the Flatiron area, but it’s also kind of contiguous,” said Mr. Petrie.

It’s also ideal for tech firms that received their first hit of seed money and have plans to expand space toward the tail end of their leases. Which means that Mr. Petrie is negotiating shorter leases—usually three to five years, with options to expand into contiguous space—instead of the traditional 10-year lease.

Clearspring, a web company that publishes advertising software, has doubled its space in two years, going to 2,500 square feet at 584 Broadway.

And Turn Two Media, an online advertising and marketing company, is looking to expand on the 3,000 square feet it currently occupies at 33 West 33rd Street.

“I haven’t been afraid to take on the small assignments in the growth sector,” he said.

When looking at new office space, these small assignments are looking to hit head-count numbers, not square feet.

“That’s really the driver for them … trying to mesh head-count targets with the lease term and not getting burnt,” said Mr. Petrie.

With a slew of other tech tenants hitting the market—Yelp recently moved to 104 Fifth Avenue—will New York see a repeat of the pre-bubble leasing frenzy? Or is this tech tear for real? Mr. Petrie thinks it’s for real.

“These are stronger companies with faster revenue,” said Mr. Petrie. “There’s a buzz around New York.”

drosen@observer.com