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LinkedIn's Nationwide Expansion Makes It a Major Renovator of New York's Empire State Building

Online Company's Growth in Iconic Manhattan Landmark Reflects Its Added Office Space Across the Country
July 18, 2018

LinkedIn has again expanded in the 2.82 million-square-foot Empire State Building at 350 Fifth Ave., which still dominates the New York City skyline.


A nationwide expansion by LinkedIn, the growing online networking service for 21st-century professionals, has led it to become a top renter and renovator in an iconic symbol of the 20th century: New York City's Empire State Building.

The Sunnyvale, CA-based company expanded its lease at the landmark tower for the sixth time and now dominates the renowned building’s rent roll with 312,947 square feet of office space.

With the latest increase of 30,165 square feet on the 27th floor, LinkedIn now occupies the Empire State Building's third floor and floors 22-28. Only fashion-branding firm Global Brands Group, with about 510,000 square feet, and beauty company Coty Inc., at 343,000 square feet, fill larger footprints in the national landmark.

The stop-motion animated King Kong, battling a Curtiss F8C Helldiver airplane atop the Empire State Building, long before LinkedIn moved in.

Rising 102 stories, the iconic tower held the title of tallest U.S. building for 40 years after it was completed in 1931, two years before the equally iconic movie "King Kong," in which a giant gorilla famously scales the tower to swat at buzzing planes.

Now, it is dwarfed by One World Trade Center nearby and the Willis Tower and Hancock Center in Chicago. But its symbolic stature still dominates among U.S. office buildings.

Thomas P. Durels, executive vice president of real estate for building owner Empire State Realty Trust, said his firm is always trying to upgrade the 87-year-old tower with features that result in "better employee productivity, talent recruitment and retention."

While the Empire State Building includes a 15,000-square-foot fitness center, conference center and a mix of nine fast-casual and sit-down restaurants, LinkedIn has its own amenities designed to foster collaboration across the company. Murals cover the walls, employee lounges dot the floors, and there's even a speakeasy, hidden behind a wall loaded with rotary phones, that slides into view when employees pull the correct phone from its cradle. There's also a cafeteria and in-office gym for the roughly 1,000 employees located in its Manhattan office.

LinkedIn told CoStar it plans to build out the new, contiguous space in a similar manner.

But LinkedIn is not just growing in Manhattan. In April, the company opened an office in Detroit that it said was LinkedIn's first new office location in 10 years, signing a lease for 74,500 square feet at the Sanders Building at 1523 Woodward Ave.

Last year, it submitted plans for a new 28-acre corporate headquarters in Mountain View, CA, to be called the Middlefield Campus. LinkedIn is building on a swath of land it obtained through a direct-exchange deal with Google that included five-already existing buildings. The deal valued the property at almost $331.38 million, or about $718 per square foot.

A second formal revision submitted in March said two of those buildings – 800 E. Middlefield Rd. and 1101 Maude Ave. – will be demolished. Three new six-story office buildings totaling 700,000 square feet and two new six-story garages will be constructed on the site.

The Empire State Building rises 102 stories above Manhattan's Penn Plaza / Garment District submarket, between 33rd and 34th Streets.

Founded in 2003, LinkedIn was bought by software maker Microsoft for $27 billion in 2016.

In its latest quarterly filing, Microsoft said LinkedIn made about $1.3 billion in the three-month period that ended March 31, compared to $976 million in the same period last year. In its 2016 10-K, the last annual report it filed as a separate company, LinkedIn said it leases about 3 million square feet of U.S. office space and 893,000 square feet internationally, while operating data centers in the U.S. and Singapore.

The company said the office growth will proceed as "we intend to expand our facilities or add new facilities as we add employees and enter new geographic markets."



Diana Bell, New York City Market Reporter  CoStar Group   
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