How New York’s real estate attracts top occupiers


6 / 30 / 2023


The thought of New York city conjures up bustling streets, yellow taxis and a skyline full of skyscrapers – but which of those buildings offer a first class digital connectivity experience?

New York is a hub for industry-leading real estate in North America. Occupiers in the city have high, modern expectations of a best-in-class user experience and their preferences show. When looking for office space, companies are attracted to a building’s commitment to strong technological capabilities as this indicates occupiers will receive a seamless digital experience. Research has shown that a certification from WiredScore, that proves first-class digital connectivity, leads to an average of 3.8% lower vacancy rates – a clear indication towards what occupiers value most (Moody’s, 2022).

An article in Propmodo also looked into this trend, examining vacancy rates across 10 locations in North America. Perhaps unsurprisingly, they found that New York had the lowest vacancy rates, proving the capital’s continuing attraction for many occupiers.

Yet with almost 80% of businesses with a physical office footprint in the city adopting a hybrid working model – a notable increase from pre-pandemic levels – the onus is on New York’s real estate to keep challenging what it can offer to remain competitive with working from other locations.

How can they do this?

Many of New York’s most sought-after office spaces have achieved their status by demonstrating their commitment to best-in-class digital connectivity and smart technology. This is certainly a factor in occupier decision making as 91% believe it is important to provide a smart-enabled office for their workers. Additionally, 80% believe that employees are more likely to use an office which has smart technology installed (WiredScore, 2023). The following buildings have all earned their places at the top of New York’s real estate market, and just so happen to have achieved WiredScore and/or SmartScore certification:

One Vanderbilt

With a height of 1401 feet (427m), an area of 1.7 million sq. ft. and direct access to Grand Central Station, One Vanderbilt is a towering presence in New York’s real estate market.

When approaching the development, landlord SL Green, placed energy efficiency at the top of the must-have list. This goal was achieved, in part, when the skyscraper was awarded WiredScore certification of offices at the Platinum level. Now the fourth tallest building in Manhattan, the One Vanderbilt’s success also comes from the ongoing ‘flight-to-quality’ in New York. Occupiers have recognized the overall quality of the infrastructure and dedication to user experience as things that would be of great benefit to their workforce.

Empire State Building

Picture New York’s skyline, and the Empire State Building is going to be front and center.

This landmark has a long history of leading innovations in the built world and in 2014 Empire State Realty Trust (ESRT) took another step forward by achieving Platinum level WiredScore certification. This formed a part of ERT’s ongoing plan to make the Empire State Building an icon of energy efficiency. Technology has formed a crucial part of the 10-year long retrofit as the systems infrastructure had a major overhaul to optimize energy use. In fact, ESRT’s commitment to an outstanding digital experience applies across its portfolio as all of their properties in Manhattan have achieved WiredScore certification to Gold or Platinum level.

80 Pine St.

Overlooking New York Harbour, 80 Pine Street is over 1 million sq. ft. of next-generation office space.

The building has been designed with an occupier-first mindset by offering the world’s most advanced building operating system (Nantum OS), best-in-class connectivity (WiredScore Platinum) and a selection of amenities that cater to a modern workforce. All of the building’s telecom and data pathways have been made resilient using WiredScore certification’s standards, cellular connectivity is enhanced and a leading HVAC system is in place to improve building-wide air quality. With these measures, and many others, Rudin Family has re-designed the space for today’s companies, and the talent they want to attract and retain.

With 78% of New York’s workers expecting to have a hybrid work setup as they move forward in a post-pandemic world, it’s clear that the need for first-class office space is higher than ever. Bringing people into the office and away from their sofas is no easy task, but New York is currently setting the bar with assets like One Vanderbilt, the Empire State Building and 80 Pine Street. Achieving certifications like WiredScore and SmartScore does not automatically fill void space. However, they can provide a clear roadmap on how to ensure your building can remain attractive to top occupiers.

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