Unicorn Real Estate Orchard Technologies moves downtown

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Orchard Technologies, a newly created “unicorn” who aims to simplify the process of buying and buying homes, has had her own odyssey to find a new home for her growing business. The result: a welcome boost of 107,000 square feet for the downtown office market.

The four-year-old company worked in a flexible 25,000 square foot Knotel space until Knotel went bankrupt earlier this year.

Orchard temporarily moved to a WeWork location on West 14th Street, but needed a lot more leeway for his growing staff.

Now he’s signed a three-story lease at 195 Broadway from L&L Holding Company, the iconic “wedding cake” tower between Fulton and Dey streets.

Ironically, part of Orchard’s new space was originally built for Knotel, who never took possession of it.

Orchard achieved unicorn status earlier this month when he announced that he had raised $ 100 million in Series D funding, bringing his total valuation to over $ 1 billion.

She already had major growth plans and was urgently looking for suitable housing. Peter Trivelas of Cushman & Wakefield, who represented Orchard with Gary Ceder of Cushman, said: “We started looking at short term sublets around Manhattan. But when they visited 195 Broadway, L&L “got creative” and gave them a better deal for a direct lease that matched Orchard’s rapidly growing needs, Trivelas said.

Orchard’s rental agreement for three floors in the downtown tower includes “rent free.”
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Orchard will have the entire 25th and 26th floors and part of the 24th. As is the case in today’s market, the 10-year lease includes “significant free rent” for a period of time, Trivelas said.

“They won’t pay for the 107,000 square feet for several years.” The company will not move in suddenly but rather in stages over the next year. The agreement includes options for expansion into the building.

Trivelas said he has the option of terminating the lease if L&L is unable to provide the additional space, but this is unlikely as the timing of several lease expiries at 195 Broadway coincides with plans to expansion of the business. The rent charged was approximately $ 50 per square foot.

Most of Orchard’s 200 employees have worked from home but will move into their new digs in January, Trivelas said. They will enjoy river and skyline views, abundant light through large windows, and proximity to the legendary Nobu restaurant on the ground floor.

L&L Rental Manager Andrew Wiener said 195 Broadway was fully rented before the pandemic and currently only has three floors.

“The beauty of this [Orchard] transaction is, “said Wiener,” that we have a lease expiring at the end of 2022, which provided them with the additional space they needed “starting in September of next year.

Wiener confirmed the free part of the lease, which he described as a “deal”.

An interior photo of 195 Broadway showing chandeliers and marble pillars
Nice architectural details at 195 Broadway will greet Orchard employees once they start working on site in January.
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Other tenants at 195 Broadway include Gucci (for its US headquarters), Omnicom and HarperCollins.


Reopening Express Barrels of the Midtown Restaurant. Ralph Lauren’s Polo Bar, a favorite of the high-end real estate crowd, will welcome customers to its main dining room on October 12 for the first time since the big foreclosure of March 2020.

Although the Polo had recently been used for private events in its downstairs living room, Midtown movers and shakers yearned to return to its lavish underground dining room to see and see where the corned sandwich- beef “Ralph’s” was a bestseller.

An exterior photo of the Manhattan Polo Bar
The Polo Bar has hosted special events since the COVID hit, but now the main dining room will once again be open to eaters who want a bite to eat, starting October 12.
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Polo’s power crowd included elected officials, prominent lawyers, media titans and show business stars such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Kanye West. We once saw pre-presidential Donald Trump order a well-done steak and, true to his habit, get carried away after just a few bites.


A new lease previously announced for accounting firm BDO USA justified Tishman Speyer’s major overhaul of the lobby and other public spaces at 200 Park Ave., the former MetLife building.

The 145,000 square foot lease represents a consolidation of three BDO Manhattan offices into one location in the 3.1 million square foot tower, which Tishman Speyer has owned with Irvine Company since 2005.

As previously reported, upgrades to the massive tower straddling the avenue include a restoration of the original lobby, a new visitor lounge, and a streamlined pedestrian connection to Grand Central Terminal.

The Orchard Technologies and BDO USA agreements followed a strong rental season in Manhattan in the third quarter.

CBRE reports that leasing jumped in the second quarter and was the best performance since the start of the pandemic.

Third-quarter rental of 5.88 million square feet was up 70 percent from the second quarter – although, unsurprisingly, 5 percent below the five-year quarterly average of 6.16 million square feet.

Net absorption for the third quarter increased by 465,000 square feet – “helping to reduce historically high uptime rates,” said CBRE Senior Director of Research and Analysis Nicole LaRusso.


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