Case Study



Savills Negotiates Expansion Rights in New York Times Building for MongoDB


MongoDB, formerly known as 10gen, is an open-source, database-oriented technology company that reshaped the market due to the popularity of its agile and scalable approach among developers and IT professionals. In 2011, Savills was engaged by MongoDB to extricate them from a 2,500-square-foot office and secure a short-term 13,000 square foot sublease at 578 Broadway. At the time, MongoDB was experiencing explosive, albeit uncertain growth. During the following months the technology company continued growing at a rapid pace and started to develop a clearer picture of their future real estate needs and once again retained Savills as its advisor.


Savills began an exhaustive search of potential alternatives throughout Manhattan, including market opportunities and multiple off-market options. We presented over 60 alternatives capable of meeting MongoDB’s requirements and spent the next 10 months touring the potential options. While MongoDB had originally been focused on locating their office within the Soho/Midtown South markets, Savills had continuously advised MongoDB to consider opportunities in other areas of the city that would better accommodate their growing needs.


After narrowing the search to a few strategic options, Savills identified an off-market opportunity at the former New York Times building. The top 12 floors of the building were vacant and had recently been purchased by Blackstone who were extremely motivated to land a new media/technology tenant with brand recognition. As the first negotiated deal, Savills was able to secure aggressive expansion rights in addition to a lower base rent and double the free rent period secured by another tenant that signed a lease in the building just two weeks later.

MongoDB has subsequently expanded its initial 30,000-square-foot footprint by an additional 30,000 square feet in contiguous space and retained their expansion rights to ensure their ability to continue growth within the building. Since the original transaction in 2013, the building has repeatedly proven its viability to TAMI tenants by attracting Snapchat (100,000 sf), Yahoo (176,000 sf) and AlphaSights (22,000 sf). Furthermore, in perhaps the truest testament to the Savills team's foresight, the building now boasts an impressive 0% availability rate.