Financial Services Firm StepStone Group Takes 30K SF at 450 Lex

450 LEXINGTON AVENUE. PHOTO: RXR REALTY

450 LEXINGTON AVENUE. PHOTO: RXR REALTY

StepStone Group, a financial services firm, has signed on for 30,000 square feet at RXR Realty’s 450 Lexington Avenue between East 44th and East 45th Streets, Commercial Observer has learned.

The tenant will occupy the entire 31st floor in the 39-story, 910,273-square-foot building via a 10-year lease, a spokeswoman for RXR indicated. The asking rents in the top of the tower, where RXR has rolled out prebuilts, range from $115 to $130 per square foot. StepStone will replace JLL Partners when the new tenant moves from the Lipstick Building at 885 Third Avenue on Aug. 1.

RXR boasts that it has done 40,000 square feet of new leasing in the building since January. RXR picked up the property via a ground lease in September 2012 for $720 million, property records indicate. The seller was Istithmar World, the Dubai-based investment firm, as CO reported at the time. Tenants include David Polk Wardwell.

RXR’s Lauren Ferrentino represented the landlord in-house along with CBRE‘s Silvio Petrillo. A spokeswoman for CBRE said the broker declined to comment, but CBRE’s Michael Affronti said in a prepared statement provided by RXR: “450 Lexington Avenue is an exceptional asset, and the success we continue to achieve certainly comes as no surprise. The building’s close proximity to Grand Central, panoramic views, high-end installations and strength of ownership are just a few of the components that continue to attract prominent firms to 450 Lexington Avenue.”

Savills Studley’s David Carlos represented the tenant in the deal.

https://commercialobserver.com/2018/02/stepstone-group-lease-450-lexington-avenue-rxr-realty/

Investment Banking Firm Heads to SL Green’s 521 Fifth Avenue

Investment brokerage Laidlaw & Company is moving one block within Midtown.

The 170-year-old investment banking and securities firm inked a 10-year deal for 20,987 square feet on the entire 12th floor at 521 Fifth Avenue, between East 43rd and 44th Streets. Asking rent for the space wasn’t immediately available.

Laidlaw will relocate from 546 Fifth Avenue, which is only a block and a half away between West 45th and 46th Streets, in the second quarter of 2018.

“Fifth Avenue continues to be a premier business address and buildings like 521 Fifth Avenue, which are centrally-located, convenient to mass transit and have the benefit of institutional ownership will continue to outperform the market,” said SL Green Executive Vice President Steven Durels in prepared remarks.

Jonathan Plotkin and Tim Pond of Colliers International handled the deal for Laidlaw & Company. SL Green was represented by Cushman & Wakefield’s Tara StacomBarry ZellerJustin Royce and Pierce Hance. Spokespeople for both brokerages didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Other tenants in the 39-story office building include ChinaTrust Commercial BankMcGraw Communications and Financial Guaranty Insurance Company. The property’s ground floor retail is occupied mostly by Equinox and Urban Outfitters.

Lender Varagon Capital Inks 28K-SF Deal to Relocate Within Midtown

299 PARK AVENUE. PHOTO: BRETT BEYER

299 PARK AVENUE. PHOTO: BRETT BEYER

Varagon Capital Partners, an asset manager that focuses on lending to middle-market companies, has signed a 28,316-square-foot deal at Fisher Brother’s 299 Park Avenue to relocate its offices, Commercial Observer has learned.

The lender will occupy the entire third floor of the 42-story, 1.2-million-square-foot building between East 48th and East 49th Streets.

The asking rent in the deal was in the high $80s per square foot, according to a source with knowledge of the transaction. The length of the deal was not immediately clear. 

Varagon was formed in 2014 with backing from American International Group and affiliates of Oak Hill Capital Management. It is moving from the 22nd floor of 488 Madison Avenue between East 51st and East 52nd Streets by the end of this year. There the company has 10,360 square feet, according to CoStar Group.

CBRE’s Leo Paytas and Conor Denihan handled the deal for Varagon. Fisher Brothers was represented in-house by Marc Packman and Clark Briffel, and a Newmark Knight Frank team led of David FalkPeter ShimkinAndrew SachsEric Cagner and Andrew Peretz. Representatives for CBRE and NKF did not immediately return requests for comment and information.

Fisher Brothers expects to begin a David Rockwell-designed renovation of 299 Park Avenue early next year, which will include a new lobby, revitalized entrance that will allow more light from outside and an illuminated plaza. The work will cost approximately $20 million.

“Our capital improvement program at 299 Park Avenue is going much deeper than a standard refresh and completely transforming the aesthetic of the building with a sleek design and modern feel,” Winston Fisher, a partner at Fisher Brothers, said in a prepared statement. “We are pleased to welcome Varagon to the growing roster of blue-chip tenants [at] 299 Park Avenue.”

Existing tenants in the 1967 building include Capital One and UBS.

https://commercialobserver.com/2017/11/lender-varagon-capital-inks-28k-sf-deal-to-relocate-within-midtown/

Winklevoss Twins’ Digital Currency Exchange Company Relocating Within Midtown South

315 PARK AVENUE SOUTH. PHOTO: COLUMBIA PROPERTY TRUST

315 PARK AVENUE SOUTH. PHOTO: COLUMBIA PROPERTY TRUST

Gemini Trust Company, a digital currency exchange founded by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss three years ago, has signed a 34,000-square-foot deal to relocate its offices to 315 Park Avenue South, Commercial Observer has learned.

The company will occupy two entire floors of the 20-story building between East 23rd and East 24th Streets, according to a source with intimate knowledge of the transaction who declined to disclose which floors. Gemini is a platform for investors to buy, sell and store digital assets, such as Bitcoin and Ether. Its founders are best known for suing Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg over the the social media platform’s genesis.

The asking rent in the more than 11-year deal was in the low $90s per square foot, the source told CO. Gemini is moving from 30 West 24th Street between Fifth Avenue and Avenue of the Americas in spring 2018.

Columbia Property Trust, the owner of 315 Park Avenue South, has spent approximately $10 million to renovate the building with the addition of a new lobby and new elevator cabs. The landlord pointed to this transformation as the reason why Gemini signed a lease there.

“When we acquired 315 Park Avenue South in 2015, we recognized its potential to attract the city’s top creative, media and technology companies and made significant investments to transform the building into a premier Midtown South destination,” Nelson Mills, the president and chief executive officer of Columbia, said in a prepared statement.

Ross Zimbalist and Michael Blum of CBRE represented Gemini, while David Berkey and Andrew Wiener of L&L Holding Company, the exclusive leasing and managing arm of the building, handled the deal for Columbia.

A spokeswoman for CBRE said the brokers declined to comment, and a representative for Gemini did not immediately return requests for comment.

https://commercialobserver.com/2017/10/winklevoss-twins-digital-currency-exchange-company-relocating-within-midtown-south/

Carlyle Group mulls space at One Vanderbilt

Rendering of One Vanderbilt and Marc Holliday (Credit: SL Green)

Rendering of One Vanderbilt and Marc Holliday (Credit: SL Green)

Global investment firm Carlyle Group is in talks for four floors at SL Green Realty’s One Vanderbilt.

The firm is the latest tenant to consider taking space at the 1.7 million-square-foot office tower, the New York Post reported. Management consulting firm McKinsey & Co. is also reportedly looking at 250,000 square feet at the project.

Germany’s DZ Bank and DVB Bank recently inked a lease for 35,500 square feet on the 26th floor. The bank was the first office tenant to sign on to the building since TD Bank, which inked a long-term lease as One Vanderbilt’s anchor tenant in 2014.

In April, chef Daniel Boulud agreed to open a restaurant on the tower’s second floor. The restaurant will span 11,000 square feet, and Boulud will invest in the project rather than signing a traditional lease. [NYP]— Kathryn Brenzel

https://therealdeal.com/2017/10/24/carlyle-group-mulls-space-at-sl-greens-one-vanderbilt/

Fintech giant Finastra expanding into 285 Madison penthouse

Finestra.PNG

RFR Realty LLC  announced that global financial technology provider Finastra – created when Misys and D+H joined forces in June this year – has expanded into the 11,275 s/f  full-floor penthouse at 285 Madison Avenue.

Finastra already occupies 23,500 s/f on the fourth floor of the newly repositioned office tower near Grand Central Terminal and Bryant Park.

Finastra is the third largest Fintech (financial technology) firm in the world. It has over 9,000 customers across 130 countries, including 48 of the top 50 banks globally.  The expanded office space will bring all New York-based employees under one roof.

The landlord was represented by Alexander Chudnoff, Mitchell Konsker, Dan Turkewitz and Diana Biasotti of JLL, as well as RFR’s Senior Vice President and Director of Leasing AJ Camhi. Jon Sarkisian, Neil King and Emily Jones of CBRE represented the tenant in the lease transaction.

“We are delighted that this exciting global financial technology firm, Finastra, has chosen to expand its presence within 285 Madison,” said Camhi. “The leasing velocity we’ve seen here since we completely reimagined this well-located office tower speaks volumes about tenants’ desire to match a sought-after location with an array of exceptional on-site amenities.”

The Finastra expansion comes on the heels of Tommy Hilfiger (PVH Corp.) signing a 200,000 s/f lease to relocate its U.S. corporate headquarters to 285 Madison Avenue, joining  global firms including Brighthouse Financial, Pepsico, Bessemer Venture Partners, StriVectin Operating Company and General Electric Company.

In addition to the flurry of new office leasing at the building, recent retail deals at 285 Madison Avenue will bolster the building’s transformation, adding additional amenities for tenants and the surrounding neighborhood.

The Benjamin Group—the restaurant operator behind the Benjamin Steakhouse and Sea Fire Grill concepts—signed a 16-year lease for 9,020 s/f for a Benjamin Steakhouse. Popular Community Bank, part of the international financial services group Banco Popular, signed a lease for the 3,553 s/f corner space. London-based coffee purveyor Taylor Street Baristas occupies 1,040 s/f of space adjacent to the restaurant, as well as a portion of the mezzanine.

The building was acquired by RFR vacant in 2012 and has been transformed through a $65 million  renovation and design upgrade. This includes a landscaped roof terrace with lounge seating and an adjacent indoor multipurpose collaboration space with tables and selected art. The building lobby also has a rotating contemporary art program, currently featuring works by Peter Dayton, Enoc Perez, and Mike Bidlo.

Other tenant amenities include a private lounge, event space, fitness center complete with showers and men’s and ladies’ locker rooms, and a bike storage area.

BY REW 

SEPTEMBER 19, 2017

http://rew-online.com/2017/09/19/fintech-giant-finastra-expanding-into-285-madison-penthouse/

Welsh, Carson inks 31K sf lease at Boston Properties’ 599 Lex

599 Lexington Avenue (Credit: Boston Properties)

599 Lexington Avenue (Credit: Boston Properties)

UPDATED, March 1, 5:26 p.m.: Private equity shop Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe is moving its office from Park Avenue to Boston Properties’ 599 Lexington Avenue, where the firm signed a lease for 31,000 square feet.

Welsh, Carson – which focuses primarily on the healthcare and tech fields – signed an 11-year lease at the nearly 1 million-square-foot tower between East 52nd and East 53rd streets, sources told The Real Deal.

The deal covers part of the 17th floor, where the starting rent was in the low $80s per square foot, and part of the 18th floor, where the rent starts in the mid $80s per square foot, according to CompStak.

Representatives for Welsh Carson and Boston Properties were not immediately available for comment.

The private equity firm, founded in 1979, took a majority stake last month in the iPad point-of-sale startup Revel Systems, which was valued at roughly $540 million after its last fundraise in 2015.

Welsh, Carson currently occupies 30,000 square feet two blocks away at Mutual of America Life Insurance Company’s 320 Park Avenue.

Boston Properties’  50-story tower was 96.8 percent leased at the end of the fourth quarter, according to the company’s most recent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The building is home to other finance tenants such as Fort Management and the Cowen Group, as well as the law firms Kirkpatrick & Lockhart and Grunfeld DeSiderio Lebowitz Silverman & Klestadt.

In addition to 599 Lexington, Boston Properties also owns the 59-story 601 Lexington Avenue across the street and the adjacent 200,000-square-foot building next door at 159 East 53rd Street.

The landlord is in the midst of a $50 million upgrade to 159 East 53rd Street that includes adding a food hall and dining space, amenities it hopes will make its Lexington Avenue towers more attractive to tenants.

A team led by Peter Turchin at CBRE handles leasing in the building. CBRE’s Mary Ann TigheKen Meyerson and Ben Friedland represented Welsh Carson.

 

https://therealdeal.com/2017/03/01/welsh-carson-inks-31k-sf-lease-at-boston-properties-599-lex/

Investment Manager Staying Put at SL Green’s 600 Lexington Avenue

600 LEXINGTON AVENUE.

600 LEXINGTON AVENUE.

An international investment firm has re-upped its three-floor lease at SL Green Realty Corp.’s 600 Lexington Avenue.

Commercial Observer has learned that MKP Capital Management has renewed for more than five years at the building between East 52nd and East 53rd Streets. The firm currently occupies the 16th through 18th floors, according to a press release provided by the landlord.

An SL Green spokeswoman said the investment manager has been based at the 300,000-square-foot property since 2010. Asking rent in the renewal was $85 per square foot, she added.

SL Green leasing chief Steven Durels noted in prepared remarks that the 36-story tower is “a magnet for financial firms because of its boutique-size floors flooded with natural light, floor-to-ceiling windows and upscale lobby.”

John Mambrino and Evan Margolin of Savills Studley represented the tenant and declined to comment via a spokeswoman. Larry Swiger represented SL Green in-house.

Popular sandwich shop Pret A Manger signed a deal in June 2014 to occupy a portion of the building’s retail section, as CO reported at the time. The eatery took a  corner section at the Midtown property.

Some of the other office tenants at the building include Nissan and aviation firm NetJets, a Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary. 

https://commercialobserver.com/2016/10/investment-manager-staying-put-at-sl-greens-600-lexington-avenue/

Winton Capital leaves Seagram Building for 315 PAS

Hedge fund to take 35K sf at Columbia Property Trust tower

315 Park Ave South in NoMad (inset from top: Winton Capital’s David Harding and Columbia Property Trust’s Nelson Mills)

315 Park Ave South in NoMad (inset from top: Winton Capital’s David Harding and Columbia Property Trust’s Nelson Mills)

U.K.-based hedge fund Winton Capital is relocating from the Seagram Building to 315 Park Avenue South in Midtown South.

The investment firm signed a 10-year lease for 34,844 square feet at Columbia Property Trust’s under-renovation office tower, according to the Wall Street Journal. Columbia CEO Nelson Mills said the move was a “badge of honor” for 315 Park.

Winton will have a private elevator, lobby and elevators in the 328,193-square-foot building. The asking rent for the space was $105 per square foot.

Columbia, a real estate investment trust, paid $375 million to buy the 20-story pre-war building from Spear Street Capital in 2014. L&L Holding Company manages the property and handles leasing services.

Spear Street bought the building in 2013 from Craig Nassi’s BCN Development for $250 million.
Columbia has also reeled in new tenants including Equinox, which is taking 44,000 square feet, and Fullscreen, a YouTube channel aggregator that’s taking 17,000 square feet.  Oracle Corp. plans to expand its footprint there, as well.

https://therealdeal.com/2016/07/11/winton-capital-leaves-seagram-building-for-315-park-avenue-south/

Financial Manager Renews at SL Green’s 485 Lexington Avenue

485 LEXINGTON AVENUE.

485 LEXINGTON AVENUE.

Offit Capital Advisors, an employee-owned finance firm, has inked a 10-year renewal at 485 Lexington Avenue, Commercial Observer has learned.

The firm will remain in its 14,206 square feet on the whole 24th floor of the SL Green Realty Corp.-owned building between East 46th and East 47th Streets, according to a press release from the landlord. Offit Capital has been based at the 921,370-square-foot property since September 2010, CoStar Group indicates.

Asking rent in the deal was $78 per square foot, according to an SL Green spokeswoman.

“We are delighted that Offit Capital has elected to extend its occupancy with us,”Steven Durels, the head of leasing for SL Green, said in prepared remarks. “Leasing momentum in Midtown East and particularly in the Grand Central [Terminal] submarket has remained very strong this year.”

Larry Zuckerman of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank represented Offit Capital, while Natasha Brown represented SL Green in-house. An NGKF spokeswoman did not immediately return a request for comment.

Earlier this month, Tailwind Capital signed an early renewal for its full-floor space one level below on the 23rd floor, as CO previously reported. The investment firm is staying in its 14,206-square-foot office for an additional five years. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center signed a 54,200-square-foot sublease for seven years on the second floor of the building in February 2014.

https://commercialobserver.com/2016/06/financial-manager-renews-at-sl-greens-485-lexington-avenue/

Steve Cohen’s personal fund leases 175K sf at 55 Hudson Yards

Billionaire to relocate from 330 and 510 Madison Avenue

55 Hudson Yards (Credit: Kohn Pedersen Fox) (inset: Steve Cohen)

55 Hudson Yards (Credit: Kohn Pedersen Fox) (inset: Steve Cohen)

Steven Cohen is so rich that he needs a 175,000-square-foot office to manage his personal wealth.  Naturally, when you’re that rich, you can easily afford the asking rents at Hudson Yards.

Point72 Asset Management, the company charged with managing the hedge funder’s $11 billion fortune, signed a 175,000-square-foot lease at the Related Companies and Mitsui Fudosan America’s 55 Hudson Yards. The 1,000-employee company will move there from its current spaces at 510 and 330 Madison Avenue in 2018. That’s also the year the 1.3 million-square-foot, KPF-designed office tower is expected to open.

Last year, Japanese investment firm Mitsui Fudosan bought a stake in 55 Hudson Yards for $258.8 million In April, law firm Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy signed a letter if intent to lease 250,000 square feet at the tower.  The largest private real estate development in the U.S., Hudson Yards will feature 17 million square feet of commercial and residential space.

Steven Cohen became a billionaire through the hedge fund he founded, SAC Capital. After traders at the firm were convicted of insider trading in 2013, SAC Capital agreed to pay a $1.8 billion fine and was barred from managing third-party funds.

Earlier this year, Cohen reached a personal settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission that barred him from managing third-party money until 2018.

https://therealdeal.com/2016/06/27/steven-cohens-personal-fund-leases-175k-sf-at-55-hudson-yards/

Tailwind Capital Renews 14K-SF Lease at SL Green’s 485 Lexington Avenue

485 LEXINGTON AVENUE (PHOTO: COSTAR GROUP).

485 LEXINGTON AVENUE (PHOTO: COSTAR GROUP).

Private equity company Tailwind Capital has signed an early renewal for its 14,206-square-foot offices at SL Green Realty Corp.’s 485 Lexington Avenue.

The investment firm will remain on the entire 23rd floor of the 32-story Midtown office tower between East 46th and East 47th Streets, which is also known as the Grand Central Square, according to the tenant’s broker CBRE. The firm declined to provide the asking rent in the five-year deal.

A CBRE team of Evan FiddleBen Friedland and Michael Movshovich represented the tenant. While Tailwind Capital looked around at other buildings for its offices, it “ultimately found that 485 Lexington was the best solution for them,” Mr. Fiddle said, without providing further explanation.

Natasha Brown and David Kaufman of SL Green represented the landlord in-house on the transaction. Kaufman did not return a request for comment.

SL Green bought the 925,364-square-foot steel and glass building at 485 Lexington Avenue and the nearby 750 Third Avenue for a combined $480 million in 2004 from pension fund TIAA-CREF, according to city records.

Current tenants in the tower include insurance agency The Travelers Companies, investment firm GoldenTree Asset Management and printer and photo-copying equipment company Xerox Corporation.

https://commercialobserver.com/2016/06/tailwind-capital-renews-14k-sf-lease-at-sl-greens-485-lexington-avenue/

Merrill Lynch takes 125K sf at 75 Rockefeller Plaza

Landlord RXR Realty poured $150M into renovations since 2014

From left: 717 Fifth Avenue, 75 Rockefeller Plaza and RXR’s Scott Rechler

From left: 717 Fifth Avenue, 75 Rockefeller Plaza and RXR’s Scott Rechler

Merrill Lynch Wealth Management is trading its Fifth Avenue digs for four floors at RXR Realty’s newly-renovated 75 Rockefeller Plaza.

The investment company signed a lease for 125,000 square feet on the second through fifth floors of the 623,000-square-foot building, Commercial Observer reported. Since 1998, Merrill Lynch has roughly the same amount of space 717 Fifth, according to CoStar.

Terms of Merrill’s long-term lease at 75 Rock were not reported, but asking rents in Midtown averaged $81 per foot during the first three months of 2016, according to Colliers International.

Scott Rechler’s RXR took control of the building in 2013 when it signed a 99-year, triple-net lease with the owner, British billionaire Mohamed Al Fayed. It has poured $150 million into renovations since the 2014 departure of anchor tenant Time Warner Cable.

Merrill was represented by CBRE’s Robert Alexander, Ryan Alexander, Ramneek Rikhy and Emily Jones. Cushman & Wakefield’s Bruce Mosler, Tara Stacom and Mikael Nahmias represented RXR.

In addition to Merrill, other tenants include doll brand American Girl, which signed a 40,000-square-foot lease at the building’s retail space. Last year, Bank of America took a 200,000-square-foot lease at 75 Rock. [CO] – E.B. Solomont

https://therealdeal.com/2016/06/21/merrill-lynch-takes-125k-sf-at-75-rockefeller-plaza/

TIAA signs two new tenants at 685 Third Avenue

Commonwealth Secretariat and NewOak Capital will take about 46K sf between them

TIAA’s Kevin Smith and 685 Third Avenue in Midtown (Photo: CoStar)

TIAA’s Kevin Smith and 685 Third Avenue in Midtown (Photo: CoStar)

A financial services firm and the governing body of the Commonwealth of Nations, formerly the British Commonwealth, will soon take up residence at TIAA’s 685 Third Avenue.

Commonwealth Secretariat, an organization representing 53 sovereign states, mostly part of the former British Empire, signed a deal to take 27,000 square feet on the building’s 11th floor at an asking rent in the $60s per square foot

Michael Burgio and Daniel Organ of Cushman & Wakefield represented the tenant, which is leaving its current home at 800 Second Avenue, the New York Post reported.

NewOak Capital will take the buildings 21st floor, a total of 17,800 square feet. Asking rent for that space was higher, $77 per square foot. Newmark Grubb Knight Frank’s Larry Zuckerman and Dan Gronich represented NewOak.

JLL’s Matt Astrachan, Frank Doyle, Clark Finney, Jonathan Fanuzzi and Dan Santagata represented the landlord in both deals.

The building’s largest tenant, Salesforce, recently announced it was planning to consolidate its operations at its new headquarters at 3 Bryant Park, which is now officially known as the Salesforce Tower New York.

TIAA took out a $190 million loan last year to fund renovations at the 646,000-square-foot Midtown East tower.

https://therealdeal.com/2016/06/15/tiaa-cref-signs-two-new-tenants-at-685-third-avenue/

Citigroup closes on $1.8B buy of Tribeca HQ from SL Green

Bank had sold 388-390 Greenwich Street in 2007

From left: Citigroup CEO Michael Corbat, 388Greenwich Street and Marc Holliday

From left: Citigroup CEO Michael Corbat, 388Greenwich Street and Marc Holliday

UPDATED, June 13, 6:35 p.m.: Citigroup closed on the repurchase of its Tribeca headquarters at 388-390 Greenwich Street from SL Green Realty for $1.76 billion, according to public records filed with the city Monday.

The banking giant sold the two buildings to SL Green and Ivanhoe Cambridge for $1.6 billion in 2007. At the time, it secured an option to repurchase the buildings, which it now made use of. The Real Deal reported Citigroup’s plans to buy back the tower in January.

Citigroup’s headquarters consists of the nine-story, 760,000-square-foot building 390 Greenwich Street and the adjacent 39-story, 1.59-million-square-foot tower 388 Greenwich Street. Both are currently leased out to the bank.

Citi had named the buildings as its global headquarters in January and is currently renovating them. “As the establishment of our global headquarters in Lower Manhattan shows, we are committed to the city remaining our home for years to come,” a spokesperson for the bank told TRD.

SL Green had bought out Ivanhoe Cambridge in 2014 for $783 million, meaning it will receive all proceeds from the sale. In April, the company announced that it will use the money “to repay approximately $345 million of its corporate credit facility and retire the $1.45 billion mortgage” from Wells Fargo on the building.

When SL Green first announced the pending deal in January, it put the price at $2 billion. It wasn’t immediately clear why the final sales price is more than $200 million lower. A spokesperson for SL Green could not immediately be reached.

The sale marks New York’s largest commercial real estate deal of 2016 to-date. The runner up is 1285 Sixth Avenue, which RXR Realty, David Werner Real Estate and China Life bought for $1.65 billion in May. Also in May, Saudi-based Olayan Group bought the Sony Building at 550 Madison Avenue from Clipper Equity and the Chetrit Group for $1.4 billion. Both deals were first reported by TRD.

Stat of the Week: $20.16 Per Square Foot

As the “unofficial” start to the summer season approaches, what better way to celebrate Memorial Day weekend than by heading outdoors for some fun in the sun? Since it’s not quite warm enough to head to the beach, let’s stroll through some of Manhattan’s most famous parks and enjoy the cool breeze and greenery. Everyone knows office buildings with views of the 843-acre Central Park command a premium compared to the rest of the office leasing market. Analyzing the office buildings around three other parks within Midtown and Midtown South uncover similar results, as the average asking rent of $92.16 per square foot for buildings surrounding Union Square, Madison Square and Bryant Park are $20.16 per square foot higher than the Manhattan average.

The first park on the list is Union Square Park, which is bordered by 10 office buildings totaling more than 978,000 square feet. Currently there is more than 79,000 square feet of vacant office space in this park set, for a vacancy rate of 8.1 percent. Despite a vacancy rate higher than Midtown South’s 6.1 percent vacancy, at $74.94 per square foot, asking rents in these buildings are $5.01 higher than the Midtown South average.

The second park examined is Madison Square Park, which is surrounded by 12 buildings totaling more than 6.9 million square feet. This park set is extremely tight with only 169,115 square feet of vacant space—a 2.4 percent vacancy rate—370 basis points lower than Midtown South. Asking rents in these buildings are averaging $77.86 per square foot, a $7.93 premium over the Midtown South average of $69.93 per square foot.

The last park analyzed, Bryant Park, resides within Midtown, and this park set contains 20 buildings totaling more than 9.6 million square feet. Despite having the highest vacancy of the three park sets, at 9.3 percent it is still 10 basis points lower than Midtown’s 9.4 percent vacancy. In the Bryant Park set, asking rents are $101.91 per square foot and command a $23.12 premium over the $78.79 per square foot Midtown average.

So, as you stroll through Manhattan’s parks this season, keep in mind that even though money doesn’t grow on trees, you need quite a bit to look at them from your office window.

https://commercialobserver.com/2016/05/stat-of-the-week-20-16-per-square-foot/

Visa swipes in at 277 Park Avenue

Credit card processor inks 25K sf lease at Stahl’s Plaza District tower

277 Park Avenue

277 Park Avenue

If the Stahl Organization were looking for a slogan for its 2.1 million-square-foot office tower at 277 Park Avenue, it could try, “Everywhere you want to be.”

Financial services firm Visa, best known for its branded debit and credit cards, inked a lease for the full, 25,000 square-foot 50th floor near the top of Stahl’s Plaza District tower, sources told The Real Deal.

The asking rent for the 10-year deal was $125 per square foot.

A team at Cushman & Wakefield including Peter Occhi, Mark Boisi and James Frederick represented the landlord. David Hollander at CBRE negotiated the deal on behalf of Visa.

The brokers declined to comment.

The space, which boasts dramatic double-height ceilings, became available for the first time in half a century two years ago as one half of a 50,000 square-foot penthouse on the 49th and 50th floors. That was when the Continental Grain Company relocated to the General Motors Building at 767 Fifth Avenue.

The 49th Floor remains on the market, according to CoStar.

Back in 2014, Visa dropped the “It’s” from the company’s popular slogan, abbreviating it to simply: “Everywhere you want to be.”

The company is relocating from the William Kaufman Organization’s 777 Third Avenue, where it currently occupies 10,810 square feet on part of the building’s 23rd Floor. That space is now available for sublease, with a term running through 2023.

277 Park is also home to Stahl’s headquarters.

Other tenants in the building include JP Morgan Chase, which has 571,000 square feet in the tower, and Sumitomo Mitsui Bank Corporation, a subsidiary of Japan’s fourth-largest bank.

https://therealdeal.com/2016/06/02/visa-swipes-in-at-277-park-avenue/

Goldman Sachs’ Real Estate Finance Co-Head Jumps Ship to Start B-Piece Fund

JONATHAN STRAIN (PHOTO: LINKED IN).

JONATHAN STRAIN (PHOTO: LINKED IN).

Jonathan Strain, the co-head of U.S. Real Estate Finance at Goldman Sachs has left the company in order to start his own fund, Commercial Observer can first report.

The new fund will focus on purchasing B-pieces of commercial mortgage-backed securities, according to two people familiar with the move.

Mr. Strain co-led the U.S. Real Estate Finance group along with Ted Borter. He joined Goldman Sachs in 2014 after heading up JP Morgan Chase’s CMBS Capital Markets group for seven years. Prior to that, Mr. Strain held positions at Dillon Read Capital Management, UBS and Morgan Stanley.

Mr. Strain’s last day at Goldman was Friday of last week, according to one of the sources.

A spokesman for Goldman Sachs declined to comment. Mr. Strain could not immediately be reached for comment.

https://commercialobserver.com/2016/05/goldman-sachs-real-estate-finance-co-head-jumps-ship-to-start-b-piece-fund/

Four Seasons restaurant finds new home at 280 Park

Iconic eatery signed 19K sf lease at building owned by Vornado, SL Green

From left: The Four Seasons restaurant and 280 Park Avenue

From left: The Four Seasons restaurant and 280 Park Avenue

After getting the boot by Aby Rosen, the Four Seasons restaurant found a new home at SL Green Realty and Vornado Realty Trust’s 280 Park Avenue.

According to sources cited by the New York Post, the restaurant’s owners Julian Niccolini and Alex von Bidder signed a lease for a 19,000-square-foot lease at the office building. Brazilian architect Isay Weinfeld will design the new restaurant.

Rosen and Michael Fuchs’ RFR Realty last year announced it would not renew the restaurant’s lease at the Seagram Building, which had been its home since 1959. The restaurant’s lease ends July 31, and Rosen has been reportedly looking to raise $30 million to renovate the space.

Classic Restaurants, which owns the restaurant, trademarked the names of the Pool Room and the Grill Room last year when it realized it would not be staying at 375 Park Avenue. [NYPost] – Konrad Putzier

Schroders takes 74K sf at 7 Bryant Park

Bank of China bought the 30-story tower for $600M last year

7 Bryant Park and a bank of China location

7 Bryant Park and a bank of China location

The U.S.-based arm of global financial services firm Schroders is set to move to Bank of China’s 7 Bryant Park in Midtown.

Schroders Investment Management North America signed a 15-year lease to take the 17th through 21st floors, and part of the 16th floor, for a total of 74,000 square feet, the New York Post reported.

Asking rent for the space was reportedly above $100 per square foot. Mary Ann Tighe and Howard Fiddle of CBRE represented Bank of China in the deal, while Stuart Eisenkraft represented Schroders.

Schroders is leaving its offices at 875 Third Avenue in 2017.

Houston-based developer Hines built the 450,000-square-foot 7 Bryant Park along with JPMorgan’s asset management arm. Bank of China, originally the building’s anchor tenant, decided to buy the property last year for $600 million. The bank occupies 250,000 square feet there. Hines remains the property and asset manager.  [NYP] — Ariel Stulberg