Only two months ago, SL Green & Co. chief executive Marc Holliday was sounding happy. The head of New York’s biggest commercial landlord firm told Wall Street analysts that traffic to the company’s buildings was picking up, and more than 1 million square feet of space was either recently leased or in negotiations. The company’s debt was down, it had finished the structure for its 1 Madison Avenue tower in Manhattan, and local officials had just completed an extension of commuter rail service from Long Island to Green’s flagship tower near Grand Central Station.
“We are full guns blazing,” Holliday said on the quarterly earnings call, with workers headed back to offices after a pandemic that rocked developers as more people worked from home, raising the question of how much office space companies really need any more. “We can hopefully …continue on a path to what we think will be a pivot year for us in 2023.”
Then Silicon Valley Bank failed, and Wall Street panicked.