One of the big questions hanging over the Essex Crossing mega-project has always been the viability of around 350,000 square feet of office space located in two buildings on Delancey Street. This week there was at least a partial answer. Verizon has signed a 20-year lease for 143,000 square feet at 155 Delancey St., with an option to take the remainder of the office space.
According to the New York Post, Verizon will move hundreds of employees, including its marketing team, from the telecommunications giant’s building at 140 West St. to the third through 5th floors of the mixed-use building called “The Artisan.” The deal includes use of a private outdoor terrace on the sixth floor. You will soon see Verizon branding on the building facade. The Post reported, “The parties declined to comment on terms of the long-term deal but other real estate sources pegged the cost of the 20-year lease at roughly $80 per foot with over $130 per foot towards work in Verizon’s space.”
Verizon will need to decide by late next year whether to take the remaining 35,000 square feet at 155 Delancey St. and another 175,000 square feet at 145 Delancey St.
Years ago, a community task force hashing out plans for the former urban renewal site chose to prioritize commercial/office development as part of the project. They saw it as a way of revitalizing daytime commercial activity on the Lower East Side with foot traffic from office workers. While 350,000 square feet may not be a game changer, there were hopes that a high profile office tenant at Essex Crossing could spur more commercial development in the neighborhood.
Yet there have always been concerns about whether big firms would make the move to the LES. This was the case long before the pandemic, which hobbled New York City’s office market as a whole (it’s started to show some signs of life in recent months).
Essex Crossing developers have pitched their project as an ideal playground for young, creative professionals who would find amenities like the Essex Market and the Market Line appealing. The outdoor space was also likely a big draw in the post-pandemic environment.
The next big challenges for Essex Crossing: launching phases two and 3 of the Market Line (only one section below the Essex Market has opened) and filling a lot of ground floor retail spaces in buildings stretching from Ludlow Street to Clinton Street. The team has also yet to redevelop the remaining sites north of Delancey Street, the former home of the Essex Street Market.