In the remarkably similar real estate climate of 1991, landlord Harry Macklowe went all out to lure Katz Media Group to his new building at 125 West 55th Street, even offering to take on Katz’s remaining 170,000-square-foot lease at One Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, though it had five years left on its term.
Katz was sufficiently enticed, and that year signed a lease of about the same size at the glass-clad 55th Street scraper.
Now that Boston Properties finds itself the landlord of 125 West 55th Street in similarly shoddy economic climes, the question is, to what lengths will it go to retain Katz, which has hired CB Richard Ellis’ Michael Laginestra to hunt for about 200,000 square feet in the Manhattan market?
Mr. Laginestra wouldn’t comment for this story. Nor would Katz spokeswoman Theresa Frasca, who said, “We do not comment on our real estate needs.” Nor, for that matter, would Boston Properties.
Be that as it may, Katz, a media-buying company that’s a subsidiary of Clear Channel, clearly has a knack for entering the market at knockout times. Rents continue to fall; tenants of Katz’s size are a rare commodity; and landlords, be they Boston Properties or anyone else, may go to Macklowe-like lengths to secure such a luscious prize.