Transforming a district for the new economy
- An aerial view of Hudson Square, a neighborhood on the way up. Photo courtesy Trinity Real Estate
BY JASON D. PIZER | At Trinity Real Estate, our focus continues to be on Hudson Square, one of the most dynamic neighborhoods in New York. With low vacancy rates and solid demand, the future is bright.
The neighborhood’s attractive fundamentals are complemented and supported by the new rezoning, which balances growth and stability with its limited, but welcome, residential component, height restrictions and incentives and requirements for preservation.
Hudson Square’s appeal is only growing as the city’s economic engine shifts from traditional FIRE (finance, insurance, real estate) sectors to creative and high-tech industries. These diverse creative, media and technology firms are focusing on areas like Hudson Square that are west and south of Midtown Manhattan, and they enjoy the community’s energy and distinctive qualities.
It is a vibrant creative hub, and highlights from 2013 emphasize the area’s wide-ranging appeal. The global food and beverage leader PepsiCo chose Hudson Square as the home for its first Manhattan office space, signing a lease for nearly 20,000 square feet at 350 Hudson St. Meanwhile, Accenture LLP, one of the largest multinational management consulting, technology services and outsourcing companies, signed a long-term lease for 10,000 square feet at 155 Avenue of the Americas.
New York magazine, a long-term tenant of ours, renewed its 80,500-square-foot lease for its headquarters at One Hudson Square, our flagship property, for another 10 years; and Horizon Media, Inc., an independent media services agency, continued its expansion at One Hudson Square, signing on for an additional 33,800 square feet and bringing its total occupancy to roughly 190,500 square feet.
These companies are part of Hudson Square’s family of major consumer brands and corporate tenants, such as Adidas, 3.1 Philip Lim and Thakoon, Viacom, Omnicom and Two Sigma Investments. In terms of creative, arts and nonprofit businesses, tenants there are Horizon Media, HAVAS, WNYC New York Public Radio/Jerome L. Greene Performance Space, CBS Radio East, Postworks New York, Splashlight Photographic and Digital Studios, One Kings Lane, The Children’s Museum of the Arts and the Jackie Robinson Foundation, among others.
This year has also kicked off on a strong note. We signed long-time tenant Workman Publishing Company to a 13-year renewal of its 63,200-square-foot lease at 225 Varick St. We also signed a 15-year retail lease at 155 Avenue of the Americas with Mototainment, a dealer of premium Ducati, Triumph and Mission motorcycles.
An example of the Hudson Square’s progress and diversity is reflected on five floors at 350 Hudson St. where Medidata Solutions, a software provider for life-science organizations, has completed its spectacular headquarters space occupying nearly 100,000 square feet. In the same building, global fashion and lifestyle brand Tory Burch, has started construction on its 80,000 square feet of new office space on the fifth and sixth floors.
Trinity has played a prominent role in Lower Manhattan and Hudson Square for more than 300 years. Clearly, we take a long-term view. But we are also involved on a day-to-day basis in crafting policy and implementing it to meet neighborhood needs. A special focus, after the six-year collaboration with community members, elected officials and city agencies to win approval for the rezoning, is on our Duarte Square development site, at Canal St. and the Avenue of the Americas. We hope to make progress by the end of the year and are looking forward to realizing our vision for the project, which will bring a new school and park to the neighborhood. In my new role as chairperson of the board of directors of the Hudson Square Connection business improvement district, I am also looking forward to supporting the BID’s initiatives and improving the area’s public spaces and streetscapes, with a priority on Soho Square, the park at Spring St. and Avenue of the Americas.
We are also moving forward on a major project at the core of our Lower Manhattan parish. We will be replacing 68-74 Trinity Place with a new structure designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects to complement Richard Upjohn’s historic Trinity Church. The new structure will include a base dedicated to mission activities and offices, topped by a residential tower. Demolition on the existing structure is scheduled to start in the fall. We have signed a long-term lease to relocate the Trinity preschool from the building to a new home at 100 Church St. Trinity parish offices will be moving temporarily to 120 Broadway until construction of the new building is completed.
We are actively engaged on multiple fronts. The new zoning will help ensure the long-term character and vitality of the Hudson Square area, complemented by the initiatives of the BID, adding to its potential and attracting an increasingly diverse range of sectors. Anticipated residential development will also promote street life and enrich retail opportunities. We look forward to building on our success and to playing a prominent role in our city’s bright future.
Pizer is president, Trinity Real Estate