Magazine article Journal of Property Management

How Tech Is Too Tech?

Magazine article Journal of Property Management

How Tech Is Too Tech?

Article excerpt

When a major tenant vacated 12 of the 21 floors in one of twin office towers in lower Manhattan, the historic buildings owners and management company faced a tough decision-struggle along in a struggling market or do something different to attract tenants. Some $5.5 million later, the 111 and 115 Broadway buildings pulse with high-tech T-1 lines, fiber-optic cables, and video and cable teleconferencing lines. With occupancy around 90 percent, this smart building is ready to meet the challenges of the 21 st century.

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The decision to make this high-tech investment was based on research into tenant demand in the lower Manhattan office market conducted by William G. Cohen, senior vice president of Newmark & Company Real Estate, managers of the buildings. Cohen believed that there was an unserved need for tenants that had the potential to grow from small, almost incubator, spaces. Many of these targeted tenants, including law firms and software companies, also had huge data transfer and telecommunications requirements. To anchor the new project, however, his goal was to attract a major tenant to occupy approximately 30 percent of the space.

The management company also decided that to make such improvements affordable, all functions should be shared between the two buildings and operated from one central office. As a result, one of the first steps in this hightech modernization was to work with government and city services to install wiring in an existing 12-inch conduit under the street that connected wiring in the two buildings. The city also granted business incentives and tax rebates through the Downtown Alliance program to help attract and retain fledgling companies in the city. The Alliance worked on behalf of building owners in the lower Manhattan area to improve security and sanitation services and to expand public activities in the area. …

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