Flatiron sees boost in leasing activity even as office-worker numbers remain low


IBM, which signed a lease in March for a 328,000-square-foot space at 1 Madison Ave., isn’t planning to move in until 2024, a representative for the company said in an email. 

It’s unclear how many IBM workers will show up in person to 1 Madison. It will be left up to individual teams to decide how many people will come in and how often, the rep said.

“At this point we accept that for most people, the return to work is improving more gradually and will continue to be more distributed across the workweek as time passes,” said James Mettham, president of the Flatiron NoMad partnership. 

The area could see more foot traffic as soon as Oct. 6, when Japanese spirits company Beam Suntory relocates from its Chicago headquarters into a 100,000-square-foot space at 11 Madison. More than 150 workers will be in person for all or part of the week at the New York location, according to a representative.

It’s worth noting that the data in the Flatiron NoMad partnership’s report covers only the first half of 2022. Since then, Mettham said he’s seen more office workers in the area, but this is anecdotal and won’t be confirmed until October, when the BID releases its third quarter data. For now, he said, the majority of new activity in the area is coming from tourist traffic, which is now up to 79% of pre-pandemic levels, and an influx of new residents as people migrate back to the city.

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