It will be much too soon before Edward Minskoff's big black box 51 Astor Place rises from the ground, but right now, the site is little more than a giant hole. Over the weekend, Michael Natale of GammaBlog took advantage of an opening in the construction fence to snap this cool panoramic photo, showing the lot's progress. Meanwhile, EV Grieve pulled out a few updates about the development from a recent Bloomberg article that reports Minskoff is seeking between $88 and $115 a foot, rates that "approach the highest rents for top-quality space in midtown Manhattan, the most expensive U.S. office market." Because of a booming tech industry?NYC is now only second to Silicon Valley in the number of tech startups?companies are willing to pay more for trendier neighborhoods.
Minskoff says that he is getting "a huge amount of interest" from "lots of very, very exciting companies," two of which were rumored to be IBM and Microsoft. He fully expects that a company "will pay for the opportunity to plant its flag in the East Village the way Google asserted its presence in Chelsea." "The Google building is a good building, but it's a big factory building,"Minskoff told Bloomberg. "It doesn't knock your socks off. Fifty-one Astor is like an island. It's very, very visible."
Indeed, it is. Like EV Grieve notes, it will be interesting to see how much trendiness and quirkiness remain after 51 Astor Place casts its shadow.
· The Island of Astor Place [EV Grieve]
· Manhattan Tenants Pay Top Office Rents for Midtown South [Bloomberg]
· 51 Astor Place coverage [Curbed]