Manhattan Printers Waiting for Good News

Geoghegan cautions that apathy among printers could have serious consequences. He feels printers should get involved in the process long before leases expire, for the real estate trend has long-term ramifications for the industry.

“If we all hold our ground, we can stake a claim for ourselves,” Geoghegan says. “This is a wake-up call for the printers to push the city, push the landlords and push the brokers.”

He added that, given the dynamics of the negotiations, which could prevent a quick deal, printers in Manhattan with leases terminating soon should be prepared to move.

“For them not to be looking for space is going to put them in a bad position,” Geoghegan says. “We find that tenants who have very little time left on their leases are at a very disadvantaged position with the landlord because they have so few options and they can’t develop options.”

He says those who can stay aboard with Insignia/ESG are going to get “the best economic deal in Manhattan. And if that’s not low enough, then we’ll develop opportunities outside of Manhattan.

“But I believe if we work in unison, and work with the city, the state and with the landlords, then we’ll be able to put together something that makes sense.”

How much space will cost remains to be seen. Bill Dirzulaitis, president of the AGC, doesn’t believe it will be secured for less than $15 per square foot per year.

Several factors will be taken into account, he says. The incentive package, along with city and state aid, as well as other types of financial support, figure prominently in any deal.

Dirzulaitis feels it is important for the companies to have a deal finalized within a six-month period—by the end of the first quarter in 1999.

“If companies go out of business, you’ll have an awful lot of unemployed skilled workers. Where’s a bindery worker going to go, McDonald’s? The jobs are not transferable to other industries, in most cases.”

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