Pandemic Pitch: Essex Crossing Tries to Lease its Office Space

Posted on: October 22nd, 2020 at 5:04 am by

Photo: Wordsearch/Riverfilm

One of the crown jewels of the Essex Crossing mega project – namely, 350,000 square-feet of Class A commercial space – is also an Achilles Heel of sorts. And now, a first look.

The Commercial Observer spilled ink this week on the challenges of renting this office space during pandemic times, even referring to the Lower East Side as the dreaded “Midtown South” sector.

“The office market is a major challenge right now, there’s no question,” Matthew Weir, co-developer Taconic Partners’ senior vice president for commercial asset management, told the publication this week.

Essex Crossing boasts two towers with five floors of available commercial floor area in each. According to the reporting, space at 155 Delancey Street is expected to be move-in ready by the end of this year, with the other floors online sometime next spring. (It’s been rumored that Apple considered renting here.)

The developers are banking on features — planned pre-pandemic — that are now deemed valuable, including access to outdoor space and modern HVAC systems that individual tenants can control and can accommodate ultraviolet light.

Photo: Wordsearch/Riverfilm

But there is no doubt that attracting businesses here is an uphill battle. Coronavirus reset the playing field big time. Per the article:

And few companies are returning workers to their Manhattan offices (or workers are choosing not to come in). Estimates the past few weeks have pegged only about 12 to 15 percent of the borough’s office space in regular use on any given workday seven months into the pandemic.

Asking rents in the project are still up in the air.

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