SL Green on Tenants: ‘Nobody Gets Out’

SL Green, New York City’s largest commercial landlord, has issued a mandate to its brokers to retain tenants at all

SL Green, New York City’s largest commercial landlord, has issued a mandate to its brokers to retain tenants at all costs and is considering, among other options, selling some of its core Midtown assets, according to Marc Holliday, SL Green’s CEO, who spoke Tuesday morning at Citi’s 2009 Global Property CEO Conference.

“We’re dropping our rents in order to retain [tenants],” Mr. Holliday said. “All of our agents are under strict instructions that nobody gets out, nobody, unless there’s just nobody there. But if they’re there, they don’t get out.”

Mr. Holliday also that that the company, which owns 30 New York City office towers, comprising 23.7 million square feet, at some of the most prestigious and coveted addresses in Manhattan, would consider selling some of those assets to shore up its bottom line.

“We would consider asset sales,” Mr. Holliday said.

“We’re not opposed to it,” he said, adding that the company has formed perhaps “the single most compelling portfolio of properties” in the country, with a “nucleus” of properties in Midtown Manhattan.

“To shed that is somewhat unfortunate, but it is not a last resort,” he said.

Mr. Holliday also said that if the firm does decide to sell some of its Midtown assets, he doesn’t anticipate it would have any trouble doing so, despite the general lack of financing.

“Believe me, if we wanted to sell, I told you before we get reverse inquiries–we could sell,” he said. “It’s pricing and what makes sense for a company like us that’s really been a seller of non-core assets but not core assets. We have a different price objective in mind and we’ll evaluate that over the course of the next year.”

SL Green on Tenants: ‘Nobody Gets Out’