Top 100 Most-Taxed Office Properties in the U.S.

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Skyscrapers stand proudly amid some of the most desirable office spaces in the U.S., housing corporations from around the world. But such prime commercial real estate comes at a cost. With this in mind, PropertyShark looked at which U.S. office buildings paid the highest property taxes in 2021. Here are their findings:

Manhattan Dominates the Top 100 List

Of the 100 commercial properties listed, a whopping 82 are in Manhattan. Notably, the entire top ten is made up of Manhattan buildings. This is no real surprise, with Manhattan being known across the globe as an office space capital — it boasts history, prime locations, as well as some of the most famous skyscrapers on earth.

General Motors Building, the Office Property with Highest Taxes

Located in Midtown, the General Motors Building took the #1 spot in terms of high taxes, and not for the first time, either. It also ranked first in 2017, when it was taxed at $75,568,292. In 2021, it paid a slightly smaller bill of $75,285,000, though still a lot more than any other property on the list.

Other High-Taxed Properties in Manhattan

Coming in at #2, the MetLife Building paid around $60 million in taxes last year. Meanwhile, the Rockefeller Center had $53.8 million in taxes and took third place. Dating back to the 1930s and comprising three art-deco style skyscrapers between West 50th Street and West 51st Street, it’s home to the International Building, 50 Rockefeller Plaza and 1270 Avenue of the Americas.

Several other properties within the Rockefeller Center also made the top 100, including the News Corporation Building and the Time-Life Building, among others. Another 1930s Art Deco that ranked within the top 10 was the Google-owned 111 Eighth Ave. in Chelsea, paying $48.7 million and coming in at #7.

Old vs. New Office Buildings

Arguably New York’s most iconic art-deco skyscraper, the Empire State Building, also made the top 100. Completed in 1931, it ranked 13th and paid a tax bill of just over $43 million. In contrast, one of Manhattan’s newest skyscrapers, One Vanderbilt Avenue, which saw completion in 2020, took the ninth spot, paying $43,985,700.

Of the top ten, seven buildings were built during the 1960s/70s boom, two during the 30s, and just one in the 2000s. Meanwhile, the oldest property in the top 100 is Manhattan’s 770 Broadway which dates back to 1906 and had a tax bill of $19.5 million last year, taking 61st place.

14 Chicago Properties Within the Top 100

Outside of NYC, Chicago saw 14 downtown properties in the top 100 list. The Willis Tower took the title of most-taxed office building outside New York, coming in at #12 in the top 100. Owned by Blackstone and considered by many the crown jewel in Chicago’s Skyline, it had a bill of around $43 million.

After Willis Tower, the 60-story waterfront tower, 300 North LaSalle, paid $26,550,265 in taxes, taking the third spot in the list of buildings outside NYC, and 33rd in the overall ranking. Not far behind, The Post Office paid almost $24.8 million and ranked #37 out of 100.

In the top 20 office properties with the highest taxes outside New York, Chicago took 15 spots. This includes the Field Building, which didn’t make the nationwide 100 ranking, but did pay almost $13.7 in taxes. Completed in 1934, it’s also the oldest building in this top 20 list.

California and D.C. Properties Also Make the List

California saw only three buildings make the top 100. Boasting the highest taxes in the Golden State, the Salesforce Tower in San Francisco paid $30.6 million last year. It ranked 28th and was the highest-taxed property outside NYC and Chicago. Seeing completion in 2018, it’s now the tallest building in the city.

Facebook’s Menlo Park Headquarters (Facebook Building 23) is the second Californian property to make the list. Completed in 2016 and taking the 73rd spot, it paid a little over $17.5 million in taxes last year. California’s final property in the top 100 is Park Tower at Transbay, which ranked 77th after a tax bill of just under $16.8 million. Two blocks from the Salesforce Tower, it saw competition in 2019.

The final city in the ranking is Washington, D.C. Just one property made the top 100, the Constitution Center, which came in at 96. Previously known as the David Nassif Building, it paid a $14.6 million tax bill.

Interested in the office and shared spaces market in the areas mentioned in this study? Check out the links below:

Coworking in Manhattan

Coworking in NYC

Coworking in D.C.

Coworking in Chicago, IL

Coworking in San Francisco

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