America's bloodiest day
New York firms scramble for space
TRENTON, N.J. Companies displaced by the New York terrorist attacks are inundating real estate brokers and office landlords in northern New Jersey, Manhattan and Connecticut with pleas for temporary office space.
Financial concerns and other businesses that had offices in the World Trade Center towers, damaged buildings nearby and others still cordoned off in lower Manhattan were desperately seeking new quarters.
"Any large block of space is in instant demand if it offers proximity to New York City," David MacDowell, a senior vice president at Weichert Commercial Realtors in Morris Plains, said Thursday.
"Some of these landlords, they're just putting them in (offices and saying) we'll draw up the leases next week," he said.
Companies that rent short-term, fully furnished offices with secretarial support, supplies and conference facilities were flooded with calls.
At HQ Global Workplaces, which operates 50 such locations in Manhattan, Long Island and about 15 northern and central New Jersey towns, staff yesterday handled requests from more than 200 companies looking for small or mid-size offices.
About 50 deals were completed except for signatures, said president David Rupert.
"All of these are literally (to move in) Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday of next week," Rupert said, adding other space will be snapped up quickly.
In Connecticut's Fairfield County, real estate brokers said they have received dozens of telephone calls following the destruction of the twin towers.
"This is a terrible tragedy. But businesses have to get up and running," said Stephen Baker, a director at Cushman & Wakefield of Connecticut in Stamford.
Large companies were having trouble finding one place for so many employees.
Morgan Stanley, the biggest World Trade Center tenant with 3,700 workers on 22 floors, plans to divide them up over existing offices in Jersey City and Short Hills, three locations in Manhattan and one in Brooklyn.
Deutsche Bank, which had operations in a Liberty Street building that was damaged, has moved those employees to backup sites in New Jersey, New York and overseas, but would not disclose exact locations.
Several real estate brokers said they were looking for properties for a dozen or more clients, but with office space extremely tight in Hoboken, Jersey City and other cities closest to New York, many businesses would have to move to more-distant suburbs.