Infor and the Lease Negotiations Behind Its Deal at 641 Avenue of the Americas

The pursuit of Internet and tech tenants may have had some landlords scrambling to update key infrastructure such as a

The pursuit of Internet and tech tenants may have had some landlords scrambling to update key infrastructure such as a building’s electrical capacity or Internet connectivity. At 641 Avenue of the Americas, a historic office property that was built in 1902, those would have been expensive upgrades. Recognizing this, Atlas, Mr. Turchin said, was determined to be more focused.

“Atlas had replaced some of the windows in the space that Meebo ended up taking and Meebo really responded to that upgrade,” Mr. Turchin said, noting that many tech firms don’t need any more infrastructure than a conventional office user.
The landlord, with Mr. Turchin’s support, went on to swap out all the old wooden windows in the property with all new window modules.

“It’s not the kind of upgrade you notice until it’s been changed,” Mr. Turchin said. “It was a subtlety that really was a huge thing. When you saw the space with the new windows, it just looked completely different. Light was flooding in.”

The CBRE team scrambled to find ways to highlight and enhance the upgrade, asking that walls be knocked down in the vacant spaces that obstructed the building’s perimeter and cut off the majority of the space from the abundant light that was now flooding in.

“Atlas was incredibly responsive,” Mr. Turchin said. “They moved very fast. When a tenant is looking to take a space, they’re moving fast and you need a landlord who can move accordingly. At 641 Avenue of the Americas, the window decision was a quick decision for Atlas. When we needed a wall torn down, they had the workers in that day practically starting on the work to get it done as soon as possible.”

After seeing the building in a better light—literally—Infor began to warm to the prospect of being in Chelsea.

“We had looked at lots of different alternatives in Midtown,” Mr. Mosler said, noting that the search process was a learning experience for Infor’s top executives because the firm was based in Atlanta and 641 Avenue of the Americas will be its first office in the city. “They saw the neighborhood as a place that was going to be conducive to the talent pool they want to attract.”

The deal was also attractive to Infor because it allows the company to stage its growth. According to the terms of the transaction, the company will take 31,500 square feet of its space immediately and then grow into the remaining 11,500 square feet after a given amount of time.

“It gives them a lot of flexibility to grow,” Mr. Mosler said.

For Mr. Turchin, the deal was a gratifying lesson in being focused.

“That’s what a good landlord does,” Mr. Turchin explained. “You can think of a thousand things to do to a building. The key is selecting the two or three things that the tenants are really looking for.”

dgeiger@observer.com

Infor and the Lease Negotiations Behind Its Deal at 641 Avenue of the Americas