For that very reason, the building’s roster of brand-name tenants shows a clear preference for creditworthiness, officials explained.
“We had to be very careful with who we selected,” Mr. D’Avanzo said. “If you have a seven-year lease term left on the sublease and your subtenant gives up the space after five years, the space you get back with a two-year term is just about worthless.”
Mr. D’Avanzo took the same approach with the mezzanine floor.
Numerous tenants had been circling the mezzanine space and making offers for the floor but when he and his team connected with Lactalis, they quickly zeroed in. The company, which will relocate from 950 Third Avenue in Midtown, is one of the world’s largest producers of dairy products and has solid financials.
“We looked at everything, even office condos that we could buy,” said Lactalis’s broker in the deal, Michael Burlant, a leasing executive who also works for C&W. “In the end 77 Water had the right combination of criteria. It was a very cool building, the mezzanine level has great ceiling heights, and the rents are competitive. When Lactalis saw this space, there wasn’t any hesitation; they were sold.”
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Mr. D’Avanzo, a boyish-looking broker who has worked at C&W for most of his career, appeared preoccupied with the second floor rather than celebratory. In his determination to fill the building’s remaining vacancy, he showed the same ethos that bred success throughout the leasing campaign.
“We want to lease that space,” Mr. D’Avanzo said.
Sure enough, Mr. D’Avanzo is close to a deal for about half of the floor, he claimed. Nonetheless, even with only about 12,000 square feet of space left to lease, the agent hardly seemed satisfied.
“I told my guys, bring me a list of every tenant in the market who could be a taker for that remaining piece,” he added. “Let’s make sure we’re reaching out to them.”