Week of January 21, 2002
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Return to New York
Bank of America Signs 10-Year Manhattan Lease
GERMANTOWN, Md. -- Bank of America (BOA), one of the many major names displaced by Sept. 11's World Trade Center attacks, is migrating back across the Hudson River to Manhattan. The No. 3 U.S. bank has signed a 10-year lease with Argent Ventures for some 180,000 sq. ft. (16,200 sq. m.) on two floors of an office and retail complex at 100 W. 33rd Street in New York.
The deal sets the stage for 400 BOA employees to return to New York in mid-2002. Those 400 workers, who make up BOA's Global Treasury Services and Global Securities operations, are now occupying temporary space in Secaucus, N.J., bank officials said.
"We have said for some time that we will continue to build our presence in New York City," explained Edward Brown, BOA president of Global Corporate and Investment Banking. "This lease agreement reaffirms that commitment and represents the latest example of our company's ongoing growth in New York."
Added Richard DeMartini, president of BOA's Asset Management Group, "Bank of America underscored its commitment to the city early last year by our decision to headquarter our growing Asset Management Group in New York."
U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who was also on hand for the announcement, hailed the bank's new lease as a major step in New York's post-Sept. 11 rebound.
"This is exactly the kind of commitment we need from our corporate leaders," Schumer said. "The Bank of America could have stayed across the Hudson; they could have gone somewhere else altogether, but they know that New York is one of the best places in the world to do business, and they sent a very strong message by signing a 10-year lease."
Space Once Housed Stern's StoreUntil Sept. 11, BOA's Global Treasury Services and Global Securities operations occupied roughly 132,000 sq. ft. (11,880 sq. m.) inside One World Trade Center. The bank's WTC space was located on floors nine through 11 and on floor 81. Three BOA employees were killed when two terrorist-hijacked jetliners crashed into the Twin Towers.
The bank's new space inside the 1 million-sq.-ft. (90,000 sq. m.) complex at 100 W. 33rd Street has gone through its own transformation.
A Stern's department store on the upper floors was formerly the anchor tenant at the complex. Owner Argent Ventures, however, decided last year to redevelop the 363,000 sq. ft. (32,670 sq. m.) that Stern's was occupying into office space.
The 180,000 redeveloped sq. ft. that BOA will occupy in the mall will be ready for a mid-2002 move-in for the 400 employees housed in New Jersey, Argent Ventures officials said.
Central Location 'Prime Consideration'"A prime consideration" in picking 100 W. 33rd Street, both for the bank and its employees, was the property's central location, BOA officials said.
The 33rd Street complex is located near other BOA offices in Manhattan. In addition, the site's proximity to major transportation outlets, including several subway lines and Penn Station, promises to be a boon to employees displaced on Sept. 11, BOA officials explained.
"In the wake of the devastation on Sept. 11, our teams have worked hard under extraordinary circumstances to seamlessly serve the needs of our clients," Brown said. "Returning associates to Manhattan will simplify or improve commutes for many associates who have been working temporarily from our back-up facility in New Jersey."
Neither BOA nor Argent Ventures disclosed the value of the 10-year lease. However, according to MrOfficeSpace.com, rents for the 645,000 sq. ft. (58,050 sq. m.) available at 100 W. 33rd Street were going at about $50 a square foot when BOA signed its lease.
Jones Lang LaSalle represented the bank in the lease negotiations. Julien J. Studley is the leasing agent for the 100 W. 33rd Street property.
Spring Launches U.S. Subsidiary in Chicago, Will Hire Up to 200
So it is with Spring Technology Professionals. The newly minted U.S. subsidiary of London-based Spring Group, Spring Technology Professionals has just announced the opening of its Chicago headquarters. The company plans to hire from 150 to 200 employees by the end of 2002, according to officials at Spring Technology Professionals.
"Now is the perfect time for Spring to launch its U.S. operations," said Spring Group's chairman and CEO, American Jon Chait. "While other companies are scaling back and reducing investments, Spring sees an opportunity," added Chait, who commutes between his Chicago home and London.
Providing outsourced information technology (IT) staffing is Spring Technology Professionals' primary business niche. Company officials believe that increases in IT staffing will be one of the first signs of recovery from the U.S. recession. Spring is now working on assembling a stable of contract IT workers.
"In today's challenging environment, companies are seeking ways to reduce the costs of managing contractors working on mission-critical IT projects," Chait explained. "Moreover, when recovery takes hold, Spring will be there to help them efficiently manage their growing IT requirements."
U.S. Market Offers Will AlsoIn addition to IT staffing, Spring is offering the U.S. market hy-phen, its work-force management solution. Spring Group in August of last year acquired London-based Hy-phen.com, considered a leader in Web-based recruitment. The hy-phen system allows buyers of staffing services and their suppliers to collaborate through Web-enabled tools.
Include Web-based Recruitment Tools
"Because of our extensive industry experience, we understand not only our clients' staffing needs but also their business processes," Chait said in explaining the hy-phen system. "Spring has Web-enabled those processes that most directly benefit from online technology and significantly enhance the user experience for clients and contractors alike."
The opening of its U.S. subsidiary continues a period of rapid growth for Spring Group. Last year the company grew to some 2,500 employees, an 18.5 percent annual increase in its work force.
Briefly . . . Quick Takes
MIAMI -- Venezuela-based Sereca Security Corp. has announced plans to open a new operation in Miami that will create 400 new full-time jobs over the next three years. Founded in Venezuela in 1986, Sereca provides integrated security services for crime prevention, loss control and risk management. "Sereca has selected Miami-Dade County as our place of operations because of the strategic access to North and South America and the centric location to the South Florida region," explained Sereca Security Vice President Jose Gonzalez. "Additionally, the unparalleled international infrastructure and available work force made it the optimal location for our business." The Miami law firm of Steele Hector & Davis referred the project to The Beacon Council, Miami-Dade County's economic development partnership.
Privately held Spectrum Astro is currently working on a number of major programs for the U.S. Dept. of Defense, including the Space-Based Infared System Low, Global Positioning System III, Coriolis and Orbital Express. The company's long-term plan for its 80-acre Arizona campus site encompasses nine buildings, 3,000 employees and some 750,000 sq. ft. (67,500 sq. m.) of manufacturing space. When fully built out, Phase I will include three separate buildings spanning a combined 270,000 sq. ft., (24,300 sq. m.). Phase I space will be used for engineering, manufacturing, testing, office and support, according to Spectrum Astro officials.
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