The Rise of the Tech Firm in NYC: Where to Be, and What to Ask For

We talked in The Rise of the Tech Firm in NYC: How to Win the Right Space about the tech and start-up revolution in NYC, and how to win the right space for your concept. Now let’s talk about what this means for you – where should you be, and what should you ask for?

Tech firms trend young, hip, entrepreneurial. Leaders of disruption don’t want to be in a stuffy building on Madison Avenue, jammed into an elevator with a bunch of suits. They want space that reflects who they are: forward thinking and cool.

How do they define “cool”? Is it loft or converted manufacturing space with big windows, high ceilings, and wood, or concrete floors and lots of open space and light? It is no longer about being in the tallest steel skyscraper and winning the corner office. Those “Mad Men” days are dead. Now it’s about Union Square, Hudson Square, Meatpacking, SoHo, TriBeCa, Flatiron, Bushwick. These areas have always destinations for creative firms, and now they are the epicenter of the burgeoning tech movement. That’s the good news. The bad news is that markets move with supply and demand and this creative space that recently traded for $30/s.f. now demands almost twice that and sometimes more.

In response to this trend, Midtown building owners are rebranding traditional buildings into spaces that cater to young, entrepreneurial firms. For example, take the Scribner Building at 597 Fifth Avenue. A few years ago, this building was all about financial service firms; now, the owners are giving it a new identity, christening it “SoHo in Midtown.” 292 Madison, a classic law firm building near Grand Central, changed their “pre-built” program, and built out several vacant floors with “tech” installations – high ceilings, open space, lots of glass – and sold out in months. Landlords are sensing the change in the air and are working hard to keep their buildings top of mind to this growing market.

If you are considering a move, or want information on where you should be and how much you’ll pay to be there, our team is here to help. We’ve negotiated favorable terms for several tech and start-up clients, especially those who are strapped for cash and need to sell their concept to a landlord. We’d love to help you find the right space, with the right deal. Every landlord will have a broker helping him or her get the most favorable terms; you too are entitled to representation, which is why the landlord pays our fees.  

For more information, please contact Andrew Stein at 212-880-3745 astein@vicuspartners.com or Bert Rosenblatt at 212-880-3746 brosenblatt@vicuspartners.com.