To own and manage one Wired Certified building is a distinction in itself, but to have five Wired Certified buildings is nothing short of impressive. And ABS Partners Real Estate has done just that, achieving a total of five Wired Certifications for their top-of-the line connected properties, with more Certifications on the way. For ABS’ Jay Caseley, the importance of portfolio-wide connectivity is obvious: “Telecom infrastructure is paramount to creating a modern hub - it’s more important than the lobby, than elevator cabs, than the windows. We could replace every window but it wouldn’t matter if the people in the building couldn’t work,” He said.
As Partner and Executive Managing Director of New York-based ABS Partners Real Estate, Jay oversees leasing for a real estate services firm known for delivering best-in-class landlord and tenant representation, property management and consulting services. Led by industry leaders with more than 100 years of collective experience, ABS is dedicated to building lasting real estate partnerships that are focused on results.
And with a full portfolio of connected properties, ABS is definitely getting phenomenal results. Their connected properties include Wired Certified Platinum 915 Broadway in the heart of Midtown South - a hot destination for tech firms. Through their efforts, ABS has been able to retain and attract a roster of valuable tech firms to the 250k sf building, with tenants that include fast-growing companies like General Assembly, Stanford University, and Union Square Ventures– making the building 99% occupied. “When it comes to attracting tech tenants, we know that connectivity is high on their list, even first. So we pursued Wired Certification for our properties and worked to ensure our stock has a variety of telecom providers,” Jay noted.
Other ABS Wired Certified properties include the Platinum-level 44 Wall Street which has been attracting tech and media firms to downtown Manhattan, and Wired Certified Silver 270 Madison Avenue, located in an affordable, emerging area of Midtown, which with the addition of Drybar this spring, will be over 90% occupied.
Many of ABS’s properties are concentrated in the heart of so-called New York’s Silicon Alley, Midtown South and Flatiron. And when it comes to competing in one of the hottest markets in the country, Jay believes that connectivity can definitely differentiate a property from the rest. “In the side streets in particular, many buildings suffer from unreliable and poor connectivity. We’ve been fortunate to bring up the connectivity of our buildings compared to many of the other buildings in the area, who maybe do not have fiber, or are reliant on one supplier."
And all of ABS Wired Certified buildings are fully plugged in and connected with top-of-the-line infrastructure. For example, 1001 Avenue of the Americas, in the center of the emerging Sixth Avenue Garment Center area, boasts fully distributed fiber coverage and redundant connectivity. And 162 Fifth Avenue, which has full floors available in the heart of Flatiron, will soon feature cutting-edge fixed wireless connectivity via the building’s rooftop. Fixed wireless is a technology often used to provide back-up connectivity to internet-dependent companies, because, as Jay explained, “Fixed wireless connectivity relies on microwave transmission, so that if the in-the-street network went out, tenants would still have another avenue to provide connectivity.” And in addition to state-of-the-art redundant connectivity, all ABS Wired Certified properties boast an impressive number of carriers for more choice, redundancy and reliability. “We’ve made sure that our buildings have multiple providers to provide choices for the variety of tenant needs and, as a result, price competition,” he said.
For landlords that are on the fence about connectivity, Jay believes that its past the time to make investments to technology. “I’ve heard landlords say they don’t think connectivity is necessary, or that they don’t think tenants will need multiple providers. I’ve even heard landlords say ‘I don’t want providers poking holes in my building running new cables’,” He recounted. “I think that mindset is a disservice to the tenants and leaves the building in catch-up mode.”
When it comes to the reasons why a landlord would want to upgrade and certify their connectivity, Jay points to the technological innovation that makes investing in connectivity a practical solution. “You have some buildings offering copper DSL which is only marginally supported by providers like Verizon. These providers are moving their budgets for maintenance and installation to the fiber side of the division. So anyone who hasn’t already upgraded and forced the subject into the fiber world, or even the fixed wireless world - they are way behind in time.”
And Jay Caseley and the team at ABS Partners Real Estate are definitely not behind the times. With five Wired Certified buildings in their portfolio, and more in tow, the investments that the firm has made are paying off in a fiercely competitive New York City real estate market. In assuring that their portfolio is outfitted with state-of-the-art internet infrastructure, ABS buildings are creating a modern environment for tech businesses to thrive. And looking back at the way landlords used to support tenant’s businesses to today’s technologically-focused economy, shows a new paradigm shift emerging amongst the most forward-thinking landlords. “We used to be reliant in the city on freight elevators, and when looking at property, tenants would always go and look at the freight elevator so that you could get your product out of the building. “ Jay concluded. “Nowadays that’s as archaic as a horse and buggy. And the intellectual product that’s being generated within the building comes in – and goes out – on fiber. “