As long as Wall Street and the New York Stock Exchange is there, lower Manhattan will probably never shed its identify as home to the financial industry. After all, it’s still called the “Financial District.”
But in the last three years, a land rush of modern tech and media firms have migrated into the area in search of cheap rents and new office space. Eager to keep the spigot open, development advocates are building the trendy, in-demand firms their own headquarters.
The Alliance for Downtown New York, with help from $2.5 million in state economic development funds, will build a new “Lower Manhattan HQ” at 150 Broadway, the group announced Thursday. The 12,500-square foot meeting, event and social gathering space for the tech and media professions will be open by next spring.
“When LMHQ opens its doors next spring, innovation will have a new home in Lower Manhattan,” said Daria Siegel, director of LaunchLM, the arm of the alliance dedicated to growing the new sector. “There, we can centralize this effort, ramp it up and give everyone the community home base they are looking for.”
The alliance created LaunchLM last year to support and lure any company in the broadly defined “TAMI” industries: tech, advertising, media and information. According to the group, the census of employees from those sectors has grown 71 percent since 2010, and major companies in that space are preparing to move south into the new World Trade Center, including Conde Nast, Time Inc. and hot ad-tech startup Mediamath.
Among its amenities, the Gensler-designed space will include a 140-seat event space and programming from New York Tech Meetup, New York Technology Council, and the Center for an Urban Future. Pace University will serve as an educational partner. JEMB Realty owns the building. State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver arranged the public financing through the New York Economic Development Capital Program.