Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN:US), the world’s biggest online retailer, is seeking as much as 500,000 square feet of office space in New York City, two people with knowledge of the company’s plans said.
Amazon, based in Seattle, wants at least 250,000 square feet (23,000 square meters) to start, with the flexibility to double its space within seven years, one person said. The two people asked not to be identified because the talks are private.
A deal for a half-million square feet would greatly increase Amazon’s presence in New York, where it has an office at 1350 Avenue of the Americas, near the Museum of Modern Art. Computer technology and media companies have been expanding in Manhattan, preferring the older buildings south of Midtown over the glass and steel towers favored by the financial industry.
Amazon has sent requests for proposals to landlords throughout Manhattan, as well as parts of Brooklyn that are close to the East River, such as downtown, Dumbo and Williamsburg, one of the people said. One World Trade Center, to be North America’s tallest building when completed in 2014, is among the properties under consideration, the person said.
Ty Rogers, an Amazon spokesman, declined to comment. The company is working with Cresa New York, a brokerage that specializes in representing tenants, the two people said. Robert Stella, a senior vice president at Cresa, declined to comment.
Steve Vitoff, a spokesman for the Durst Organization, which is co-developing 1 World Trade Center with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and is overseeing its leasing, declined to comment. As of last month, the 3 million-square-foot skyscraper had 1.3 million square feet unleased.
Amazon last year expanded its space at 1350 Avenue of the Americas to 92,500 square feet, according to a statement from SL Green Realty Corp. (SLG:US), which owns the building. Rick Matthews, an SL Green spokesman, didn’t immediately return a telephone message.
New Manhattan office leasing declined 20 percent last year to 22.3 million square feet, according to a January report by CBRE Group Inc., the world’s biggest commercial real estate services firm. Availability rose to 11.9 percent from 10.7 percent.
Amazon’s interest in expanding in New York was reported last night on the website of the Wall Street Journal.
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