General Assembly

Space 60,000 sq ft

Type Technology Startup

Location 902 Broadway

When we met the four founders of General Assembly, they were in the early stages of figuring out who they were as a company, honing their business model and clarifying their space needs. Their plan: a tech campus with classes and events at the intersection of technology, design and entrepreneurship. Their situation: a great idea with limited funding. These days, things are a little different: GA has quickly become one of the biggest names in the task based education space and has over 60,000 rentable square feet of classroom and office space in New York with over 450 employees globally.

The Challenge

The idea on which a new company is built is often more substantial than its bank account. There's a basic difference between the way landlords think about and view risk and the way startups do: Entrepreneurs care about the idea and the potential, while landlords just want to know they can count on you to pay the rent.

These are always touchy issues with start-ups. Landlords hate risk and startups typically don't have the track record or the money to make a landlord completely comfortable. It's a classic real estate Catch-22 which for the landlords of 902 & 915 Broadway, paid off in a big way.

The Solution

With all this in mind, we focused on a full floor opportunity of 16,500 s.f. at 902 Broadway in the heart of Union Square, considered by many the epicenter of the NYC tech scene. The landlord was at least open to talking about this startup tenant and all their specialized needs. So we set up a meeting. We needed the landlord to take a leap of faith based on GA's business model and its founders.

We knew that no one could tell GA's story better than its founders–and that once we could get everyone in the same room, good things would happen. To this end, we worked hard and took great care to ensure that by the time everyone met, both sides and been prepped and were eager to make it work. Ultimately, everyone came to an understanding and one of the most exciting new businesses in New York was off and running.

A year later, both tenant and landlord were happy, but GA had experienced rapid growth and needed another floor, which sadly wasn't available in their existing building. With no space in 902 Broadway, the next best thing was to be across the street in 915 Broadway. So we went on a campaign to secure a 13,500 rentable square foot full floor for classroom and training space there. By getting all the relevant parties together we were able to help GA secure another floor at very favorable terms.

Where They Are Now

To date we have done 5 deals with GA totaling more than 60,000 rentable square feet. The company now occupies, the entire 4th Floor at 902 Broadway and the entire 2nd, 3rd, and 4th floors at 915 Broadway.


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