NEW YORK CITY- Savannah Partners, Monian Group and Newmark & Co. Real Estate Inc., recognizing the surge of emerging dot-coms and other such technology-based companies, joined forces to share resources and create a whole new project. KickStart was born and a new office building was designed solely to meet the needs of start-up technology companies.

Carmel Kashani, executive vice president for KickStart, tells, “This is the first building of its kind in New York or the world.”

The asset is located at 535 W. 34th St. and has been dubbed, “KickStart @ 34th.” The property was originally Bell Atlantic’s, but was acquired by Monian prior to forming KickStart. It will house 59 fully-furnished suites; a rooftop terrace; a courtyard garden; a concierge desk; a mail, copy and fax center; on-site security and system key-tag entry; facilities for training, seminars and video conferencing; catering; and a café. The six-story, freestanding building totals 45,000 sf of office space.

What makes the building so distinctive, according to Kashani, is that each suite has its own bandwidth; can have its own web site and e-mail hosted by KickStart, for a small additional fee; its own high-speed DSL connection to the Internet; and its own set of multiple phone lines. All tenants need to do is hook their equipment access at any speed Internet connection, he says. This, he explains, is “the next level of the Plug-N-Go concept.” To enable this, the building’s infrastructure was redeveloped.

The private suites range in size, accommodating from three to 12 people only, and will cost from $1,500 to $8,000 per month. Once a company grows, it will need to relocate, something for which the company has already planned. They will be farmed out to Newmark in one of its other properties.

The building has just opened its doors and Kashani says it is already half leased. He notes, “There’s a lot of demand out there for a building like this and we’re really the only ones filling the void.”

The first floor is slated for web design, legal, accounting, public relations, marketing, human resources staffing, real estate, venture capital exposure and information technology tenants. Kashani says these too will be short-term agreements, in the spirit of the building’s premise.

All of the tenants were recruited, prescreened and interviewed by the company’s business development services leader, John Mensch. KickStart does not use the term “lease,” viewing leases as “with restraints,” according to Kashani, whereas “an agreement complements the goals of our facility.” Even the gourmet café will be recruited. In fact, Mensch is currently looking at several high-end restaurateurs.

KickStart’s next building is scheduled to open in December 2000 at 17 Battery Place near Wall Street. Other buildings are planned to follow in cities across America in 2001.

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