Over the last five years, backed by the mega billion private equity investment industry, “tech” firms have swarmed into what was a relatively quiet and benign district of the city, Chelsea, and to some extent, its immediate neighbor, Flatiron. This section of the city, rich in boutique and loft style buildings, is a perfect marriage for all the “up and comers” infiltrating the tech industry. And it is not only the buildings, themselves, that present such an attraction to these twenty to forty year old “techies”; the commercial spaces within these structures totally lend themselves to the mood and concept of this breakout industry.
To be more specific, the typical space found in this market is a combination of high exposed ceilings, wood or polished concrete flooring and lots of windows providing the stimulation of an abundance of natural light. And the typical configuration; wide open space where teams of individuals can easily and comfortably collaborate in developing their new age ideas. Throw in a nice glass conference room for weekly meetings; a phone booth ( otherwise known as a tiny office for those private phone calls ); and a wet pantry or a kitchenette, and the buildout is complete.
These companies have proven to be a landlord’s dream tenant. Rich in seed money from their private equity backers, getting a sufficient amount of security is never an issue. Providing a relatively simple and inexpensive buildout, as opposed to office intensive layouts for typical law firms or accounting companies is welcome news to most landlords. With this new generation filtering into the Chelsea/Flatiron district, the demand for updated bistros and restaurants, tenants who are willing and able to pay top dollar for retail spaces, has more than been met, and the collaboration has been a huge success for the city.