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NYC Landlords Introduce Playful Office Perks Amid Rising Vacancies

New York City's landlords are adopting a novel approach to entice tenants back into their spaces.
Cover Image Source:  New York City's landlords are adopting a novel approach | Pexels | Photo by Cottonbro Studio
Cover Image Source: New York City's landlords are adopting a novel approach | Pexels | Photo by Cottonbro Studio

In the heart of Manhattan, a new trend is emerging in the commercial real estate market. As vacancies in New York City's premier office buildings soar past the 20% mark, landlords are adopting a novel approach to entice tenants back into their spaces with the introduction of playful office perks. These amenities, ranging from luxurious breakfast rooms to state-of-the-art athletic facilities, are not only designed to attract companies but also to coax employees out of the comfort of their remote work setups and back into the bustling office environment.

Incorporate these 10 quirky and fun employee benefits and let them make their work fun leading to happy employees|Pexels
Image Source: Photo by Pixabay | Pexels

Recent reports reveal an unprecedented surge in amenities offered exclusively to tenants. For example, Vornado's redeveloped office space boasts a sprawling 300-seat "town hall" space, which cleverly doubles as a "social stair," providing panoramic views of the vibrant West 33rd Street plaza.

Meanwhile, Brookfield's 22 Vanderbilt features a plush breakfast room, exuding opulence and comfort for employees to kickstart their workday. Moreover, at 101 Park Ave., owned by former New York Post magnate Peter Kalikow, tenants can indulge in fifteen top-of-the-line golf simulators, catering to leisure and networking pursuits.

Image Source: Pexels | Tima Miroshnichenko
Image Source: Pexels | Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko

The demand for athletic facilities is also on the rise, with spaces like the Seagram Building offering subterranean playgrounds equipped with basketball courts, pickleball courts, and even rock-climbing walls.

"Eight or nine years ago, amenities packages were very rare—maybe two or three in Manhattan," said Durst principal David H. Neil. "Now, there about seventy of them, either open or in the works."

Photo by Pixabay:
Image Source: Photo by Pixabay | Pexels 

Surprisingly, numerous luxury amenities are not limited to buildings in dire need of tenants. Take, for instance, 101 Park Ave., which proudly boasts a remarkable 97% occupancy rate, showcasing this emerging trend. Likewise, One World Trade Center, featuring a deluxe wellness and athletic center on its 64th floor, is leased to over 95% by esteemed organizations.

The center also boasts a 64th-floor Sky Lobby complete with a showpiece pool table and chic lounges. For tenants like Condé Nast, these spaces serve as social hubs, fostering collaboration and camaraderie among employees.

Furthermore, Norman Foster's new office tower on East 56th Street houses Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Four Twenty-Five restaurant. High-end tenants like Citadel enjoy exclusive perks like secret menus and a Diagrid Club on the 26th floor with private meditation rooms and terraces.

People working at workplace | Pexels | Photo by fauxels
Image Source: Workplace | Pexels | Photo by Fauxels

Gone are the days of mundane office spaces adorned with uninspiring cubicles and lackluster lobbies. Commercial landlords are now vying for major tenants by redefining the traditional workplace environment. 

"In today's market, an office tower without amenities is sunk," a real estate broker says. "Tenants nowadays are discerning they love their jobs but crave an environment that offers more than just work. With vacancies soaring, companies have the luxury of selecting spaces that align with their values and preferences."

As the commercial real estate landscape continues to evolve, one thing remains clear—the era of bland office spaces is unequivocally over. Landlords are no longer just offering square footage; they're curating experiences, fostering innovation, and transforming the very fabric of workplace culture in the heart of New York City.