World Turns to N.Y. Icon


The Wall Street Journal

World Turns to N.Y. Icon


To many jaded New Yorkers, the Empire State Building has been something of a dowager aunt, a formidable but familiar presence on the cityscape.

But around the world, the 1,454-foot-high building has remained a celebrated symbol of America and is now attracting a stream of global companies. The latest international tenant: People’s Daily Online, an offshoot of the official newspaper of the Communist Party in China.

The new lease is the latest result of a $550 million campaign to restore and modernize the building and reposition it in the market, a move that has been most successful with international companies.

At part of that outreach, the Empire State Building was lit up in red and yellow a few years back to note the 60th anniversary of the Communist takeover of China, according to Anthony Malkin, who took over day-to-day responsibility for the building in 2006. The lighting sparked some angry reactions.

Representatives of the Chinese consulate threw the switch in lighting ceremonies to mark recent Chinese New Years. In the past, the event was run on the behest of a local Chinatown business group, Mr. Malkin said.

“We are on television in front of more than 400 million Chinese,” Mr. Malkin said.

Since 2006, companies from Asia and Europe have signed 26 new, renewed and expanded leases at the building. This works out to 28% of all new tenants and more than two-thirds of the office space signed in a building with 2.85 million square feet of space.

“Early on, the image of the Empire State Building was better internationally than it was in New York market,” Mr. Malkin said. “The idea here is to make the image of the building internationally, and nationally and locally appealing.”

Robert Sammons, vice president for research at Cassidy Turley, a commercial broker, said the Empire State Building is recovering from a long period of decline and disinvestment, when it was overrun by tourists and caught in disputes over control of the building.

“It was a zoo, more of tourist attraction than an office building,” he said.

The People’s Daily Online lease is one of the smaller new leases in the building, totaling 3,025 square feet on the 30th floor. Four staffers moved into the rebuilt offices on Monday.

Yuan Tang of CB Richard Ellis, who represented the People’s Daily along with Clyde Reetz, said the New York staffers are journalists working for an expanded online edition of the People’s Daily. William Cohen and Ryan Kass of Newmark Knight Frank represented the building.

Jianmin Ren, the bureau chief for the New York office, declined in an email to discuss any details. He said he couldn’t talk because of pending plans disclosed in January for the People’s Daily Online, a government entity, to go public.


Some of the building’s recent international leases have been significant, mutlifloor leases. In January, Li & Fung, a huge Hong Kong-based trading company, leased more than 482,000 square feet of space on seven lower floors of the building.

In 2008, Coty, the French fragrance company, leased 82,000 square feet of space on the 14th and most of the 15th floors, and recently announced that it was taking another 102,000 square feet on the 16th and 17th floors.

A few years ago, Skanska, the Swedish multinational construction company, leased 24,400 square feet on the 32nd floor. Last fall Air China leased 3,000 square feet on the 69th floor.

Mr. Malkin credited the building’s massive restoration and rebuilding campaign for the recent leasing success. This included a restored lobby, changes to separate tourists from tenants and their guests and a “green” energy-efficient redo of the guts of the building.


2011年 07月 13日 13:38


但在全世界,这栋1,454英尺(442米)高的大楼依然是美国的知名象征,并且正吸引着世界各国的公司纷至沓来。最新的国际租客是:中国共产党官方报纸《人民日报》旗下的人民网(People’s Daily Online)。


据2006年接手帝国大厦日常管理工作的马尔金(Anthony Malkin)说,作为此项行动的一部分,帝国大厦在2009年亮起了红黄两色灯,以庆祝中华人民共和国成立60周年。有人对这一亮灯行动做出了愤怒反应。




房地产经纪公司世邦魏理仕(CB Richard Ellis)的唐元说,纽约这些职员是为《人民日报》网络版工作的记者。


Josh Barbanel


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6 Responses to World Turns to N.Y. Icon

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