…. Furthermore, ensuring certified internet connectivity in buildings is extremely important to large owners such as The Plant, a technology tenant-focused building owned by East End Partners at 321 West 44th Street. The owners spent about $7m to redevelop the property, which was once a recording studio, with the aim of drawing in technology tenants who would require strong, reliable connectivity. “East End Capital reinvented the building, including a total redevelopment of its telecom infrastructure, adding a new communal green, roof deck, and fiber backbone,” Barendrecht said.
The building, which has a Platinum certification, was able to increase occupancy from 72% to 98% and raise the rents per square foot from $34 to the low $50s in part on the strength of its connectivity, Barendrecht added. After acquiring The Plant for $95.5m in 2012, East End Partners struck a deal to sell it in February for $165m.
Marc Gitto, a director at East End Capital, said the New York based fund manager has always emphasized the importance of Internet connectivity given its focus on TAMI (technology, advertising, media, information) tenants.
The company has been working with WiredScore for two years and has other certified buildings via the service. “As dependence on Internet connectivity increases, we have noticed tenants becoming more aware and focused on the services their office buildings provide,” said Gitto. “WiredScore is becoming an important benchmark for TAMI tenants as their businesses tends to be more bandwith-intensive.”
WiredScore experiences continued growth nationally and internationally, but its primary focus is on gateway markets. In addition to previous mentioned factors, each city has its own sets of variables affecting internet connectivity.
For example, New York faces challenges such as population density and the old age of infrastructure, whereas Los Angeles is too diffuse for good access. “Our certification is extremely recognizable in New York and in other major US markets. By the end of 2015, we believe we will have a sizable presence in every major city in the US,” Barendrecht continued. WiredScore is concentrating on expanding to markets in Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington DC, Seattle, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas and Atlanta.
Click here for the full article REFM Issue 2 _ June 2015