Amazon considers leasing historic former Lord & Taylor flagship from WeWork

Posted On Fri, July 26, 2019 By

Posted On Fri, July 26, 2019 By In Midtown

Photo courtesy of Lord & Taylor

Earlier this week reports circulated that Amazon might be eyeing Industry City for new office space in Brooklyn, but the company’s search isn’t limited to one borough. As the Wall Street Journal reported, Amazon is searching throughout New York City for a space large enough to accommodate its growing workforce and is in talks with WeWork to lease space in the historic Lord & Taylor flagship store, which WeWork bought earlier this year. Spokespeople for both companies declined to comment, but sources say Amazon is considering leasing a part of the building or the entire 12 stories. The Journal also noted that Amazon is looking into other locations, including the Farley Post Office across from Penn Station.

Amazon currently has more than 5,000 employees in New York City spread over several office buildings. The Lord & Taylor building could likely accommodate more than 4,000 employees, though it’s not clear if Amazon is looking to consolidate it’s existing employees into one building or make new hires.

Following years of straggling sales, Hudson’s Bay Co.—Lord & Taylor’s parent company—agreed to sell the 676,000-square-foot Italian Renaissance building to WeWork for $850 million in 2017. After a few delays, the deal closed earlier this year. WeWork planned to make the building its global headquarters after an extensive renovation by Chief Architect Bjarke Ingels.

Sources who spoke to the Journal said one option being discussed was an arrangement under which Amazon would enter a long-term lease and pay more than $110 a square foot—versus average Midtown rents that fall around $87 a square foot so far this year.

A real estate insider who spoke to the New York Post emphasized that all these swirling rumors may not be what they seem, warning that Amazon might be leveraging these negotiations to land better deals. “Amazon plays it this close to the vest about real estate. I wouldn’t take anything as true until it happens,” one source told the Post.

If a deal were to go through between Amazon and WeWork it will likely happen soon, as WeWork has a vested interest in finding a tenant for the sprawling building ahead of its planned public offering in September.

[Via Wall Street Journal]

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