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



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.

LeFrak Leases 39K SF of Office Space to Nobu, Financial Firms at 40 West 57th Street



Private wealth management firm Tocqueville Asset Management and Nobu Restaurant Group recently finalized leases at LeFrak’s 40 West 57th Street, as part of a trio of new deals in the building totaling 39,335 square feet, according to landlord broker CBRE.

Tocqueville signed a 10-year agreement to renew its 25,000 square feet on the entire 19th floor of the 36-story office tower between Fifth Avenue and Avenue of the Americas. Asking rent for the space was “closer to $100 [per square foot] than it is to $200,” said CBRE’s Howard Fiddle, who represented LeFrak in the deal. The 29-year-old investment management company has been in the building for “at least 15 years,” according to Fiddle.

Nobu Restaurant Group, the multinational chain of Japanese-Peruvian fusion restaurants run by chef Nobu Matsuhisa and film star Robert De Niro, also decided to move its headquarters into the 1970s skyscraper. Last month the chain leased 8,800 square feet on part of the third floor for just under 10 years. It has operated Nobu 57, a two-level, 13,000-square-foot restaurant, in the bottom of the building since 2004, according to The New York Times. The 30-year-old hospitality group will move from 4,800 square feet at 3 East 57th Street, where it has subleased since 2011. 

Finally, Duquesne Fund Services, a firm that offers tech and back office services for hedge funds and family offices, recently inked a seven-year lease for 5,535 square feet on part of the third floor. The company is an affiliate of Duquesne Family Office, the investment management firm founded in 2010 by billionaire hedge fund manager Stanley Druckenmiller. While Duquesne Fund Services is a new business, Duquesne Family Office (and its predecessor, Duquesne Capital Management) has occupied 35,739 square feet on the building’s 24th and 25th floors via a 10-year lease since 2008.

Fiddle and CBRE’s Evan Fiddle (Howard’s son), Benjamin Joseph, Gregg Rothkin and Arkady Smolyansky, along with LeFrak’s Mary Lou Berk, represented the landlord in all three transactions. On the tenant side, Newmark Knight Frank’s Daniel Madison and James Saunders represented Tocqueville in its office renewal. (A spokesman for NKF didn’t return a request for comment.) And John Nugent and Craig Reicher, also of CBRE, handled the deal for Duquesne Fund Services. Nobu didn’t have a broker in the deal.


Fintech giant Finastra expanding into 285 Madison penthouse


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.


SEPTEMBER 19, 2017

Law Firm, Investment Company Ink 48K SF at 437 Madison Avenue



Two companies located at William Kaufman Organization’s 437 Madison Avenue have signed deals totaling 47,821 square feet to remain in the building, the landlord announced in a release today.

In the larger transaction, law firm Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads inked a 28,297-square-foot direct lease, after it was a subtenant in the building for Nixon Peabody starting in 2011.

Montgomery McCracken will continue to occupy a portion of the 23rd floor and the entire 24th floor of the 850,000-square-foot office tower between East 49th and East 50th Streets. The asking rent in the 10-year deal was $90 per square foot.

“The decision to remain at 437 Madison made sense to us for our attorneys and clients during a critical time for growth and we’re excited to expand our presence in the building,” Lee Unterman, a managing partner of Montgomery McCracken’s New York office, said in prepared remarks.  

Michael Lenchner of Sage Realty Corporation, the leasing and management arm of William Kaufman Organization, negotiated the deal.

In the second transaction, investment management company Prelude Capital has signed a six-year early renewal and is expanding its offices in the building. It will occupy a total of 19,524 square feet on a portion of the 33rd and 34th floors. Previously, Prelude occupied just 7,000 square feet on the 33rd floor. The asking rent was $105 per square foot. Lenchner negotiated the deal. 

“The expansion of our 437 Madison Avenue offices represents a commitment to the highest quality infrastructure in an ideal location with an established long-term partner,” Cisco del Valle, a co-founder of Prelude Capital, said in the release.

William Kaufman Organization recently completed a top down, $60 million renovation of the 40-story building, which includes a new 8,870-square-foot lounge on the 15th floor, a redesigned lobby and arcade, new plaza, renovated elevators and upgraded the mechanical systems.

“These transactions are a clear indicator of the ongoing resurgence of the Midtown East market and the success of our multi-million dollar capital improvement program at 437 Madison Avenue, an iconic property that has been reimagined for the 21st century,” Lenchner said in a statement.

Vornado, SL Green land private equity tenant at 280 Park

Antares Capital signs 12-year lease for 55K sf

280 Park Avenue in Midtown

280 Park Avenue in Midtown

Private equity firm Antares Capital signed a 55,000-square-foot lease at Vornado Realty Trust and SL Green Realty’s 280 Park Avenue.

The lease is for 12 years and asking rents in the building are in the $90s. Antares is moving from Fisher Brothers’  299 Park Avenue.

The firm was a subsidiary of now-defunct GE Capital until last year, when it was sold to Canada Pension Plan Investment Board as part of a $12 billion deal. CBRE’s Paul Amrich and Neil King represented Antares, while Vornado’s Andrew Ackerman and CBRE’s Peter Turchin and Sam Seiler represented the landlord.

SL Green and Vornado spent $150 million renovating the 1.2 million-square-foot property, which they bought for close to $500 million in 2011.

The building will be the new home of the Four Seasons Restaurant, which was kicked out of RFR Realty’s Seagram Building.

Last year, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC signed a 50,000-square-foot lease at the tower.  [Crain’s] — Konrad Putzier

Private Equity Firm ZMC Advisors Moving to East 59th Street



ZMC Advisors, originally known as Zelnick Media Capital, is relocating to 13,284 square feet at 110 East 59th Street, a source with knowledge of the deal told Commercial Observer, so it can expand and be closer to its investors and investments. The company will occupy the entire 24th floor of the 612,181-square-foot building between Lexington and Park Avenues, the source said.

In the second quarter of 2017, ZMC, which was founded by Strauss Zelnick in 2001, will move from a roughly 11,000-square-foot space at 19 West 44th Street between Fifth Avenue and Avenue of the Americas via an 11-year deal. The asking rent was $85 per square foot.

JLL’s Alexander Chudnoff and Dan Turkewitz represented the tenant in the deal and Dennis Brady and Fran Delgorio of Jack Resnick & Sons represented the landlord in-house. The tenant’s brokers did not immediately return a request for comment via a spokesman.

“We’re delighted to add ZMC to our prestigious tenant roster at 110 East 59th Street,” Brady said in a statement via a spokeswoman. “We are confident that they will benefit from the building’s strategic location near some of the finest hotels, shops and restaurants in Midtown.”

Cantor FitzgeraldEstée LauderIMAX Corporation and RP Management are prominent tenants in the 37-story Class A building that Jack Resnick & Sons erected in 1969.

Thor Lures Personal Finance Company From Third Avenue



Thor Equities has leased out a full floor of its 597 Fifth Avenue to a personal finance firm, Commercial Observer has learned.

ValuePenguin will occupy the whole fifth floor, or 6,370 square feet, of the 81,000-square-foot building between East 48th and East 49th Streets, according to a press release from Thor.

The company signed a 10-year deal at the property, also known as the Charles Scribner’s Sons Building, and is moving from a smaller space at 600 Third Avenue, according to Thor.

Asking rent was in the deal was $65 per square foot, a source familiar with the deal said.

Douglas Elliman’s Anita Grossberg represented ValuePenguin, while Thor’s Adam Rappaport represented the landlord in-house with Christel Engel and Robert Gallucci of Colliers International. Grossberg did not immediately return a request for comment.

“The quality of the existing building meant that we wouldn’t be required to do significant imagining on our own about what to do with the office,” Jonathan Wu, the chief executive officer of ValuePenguin, said in an email. “Instead we could simply extend what was already there and focus on our business.”

Thor seems to be leasing out full floors of the 1913 building, originally built to house Scribner’s Bookstore. In April 2015, CO reported that Bateleur Capital signed a deal for the whole 6,364-square-foot ninth floor, and GCT Constructors inked a lease for the entire 6,364-square-foot fourth level.     

“597 Fifth Avenue is ideally situated on Fifth Avenue between Bryant Park and Central Park, with Grand Central Terminal, [Pennsylvania] Station and the Port Authority Bus Terminal all in close proximity,” Melissa Gliatta, Thor’s chief operating officer, said in prepared remarks.


Investment Manager Staying Put at SL Green’s 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.

Financial Manager Renews at SL Green’s 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.

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.

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



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.

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

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.

UBS Renews 900K-SF Lease at 1285 Avenue of the Americas



Swiss bank UBS has renewed its roughly 900,000-square-foot space at the 1.7-million-square-foot Equitable Building at 1285 Avenue of the Americas, a building RXR Realty and real estate investor David Werner picked up today for $1.65 billion.

UBS, which occupies floors eight to 20, 37, 38 and 39 of the 42-story building, had a lease that expired in 2020, but was renewed until 2033, a source with knowledge of the deal said. Crain’s New York Business first reported the news about the lease.

CBRE‘s Robert Alexander represented UBS in the lease and RXR represented itself in-house, the source said. Mr. Alexander declined to comment, as per a CBRE spokeswoman.

RXR’s purchase of the 42-story building between West 51st and West 52nd Streets from AXA Financial and J.P. Morgan Asset Management marks one of the biggest office building sales so far this year in New York City, Crain’s noted.

“Overall, this was a very large, complicated deal where we had to restructure, extend and amend the UBS lease,” Michael Maturo, the president and the chief financial officer of RXR, told CO earlier today. “Morgan Stanley and AIG did a terrific job working through the complexities of getting comfortable with the UBS extension.”

Other major tenants in the building include law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, in 580,651 square feet, according to CoStar Group, and advertising agency network BBDO Worldwide in 323,368 square feet.

Stat of the Week: $38.08 Per Square Foot

At $83.54 per square foot, Midtown Class A overall average asking rents are 2.3 percent higher than three months ago. This average asking rent includes 40 buildings that stand out above the rest, and these trophy assets have the highest asking rents in Midtown. Through the first quarter, the Midtown trophy set averaged $121.62 per square foot, a $38.08 premium over the Midtown Class A average. Trophy asking rents jumped 6.2 percent higher and outpaced Midtown Class A gains of only 3.2 percent in the past year. The first quarter also marked the largest spread between trophy asking rents and Midtown Class A asking rents in the last 30 quarters (or seven and a half years). Midtown Class A asking rents are still 9.8 percent lower than the previous historical highs in 2008, while trophy asking rents are only 6.9 percent off of the mark.

Trophy net effective rents are significantly higher than Midtown Class A as well. Through the first quarter of 2016, net effective rents for trophy assets averaged $107.13 per square foot, a $41.64 premium over the Midtown Class A average. This premium is 95.1 percent higher than the historical $21.34 per square foot average spread between the trophy set and Midtown Class A net effective rents.

Higher asking rents are not the only reason a building is in the Midtown trophy set. Demand for these buildings is high as well, as the current vacancy rate of 8.6 percent is 110 basis points lower than the Midtown Class A vacancy rate of 9.7 percent. Over the past five quarters, trophy assets had an average vacancy rate of 7.9 percent, which actually jumped in the first quarter due to 307,884 square feet added to the market at 65 East 55th Street. During this time, vacancy in the trophy set averaged 170 basis points lower than Midtown Class A. With all of these significant differences, it’s clear that trophy assets are certainly the winning prize, towering over Class A Midtown space in every aspect.

Two Financial Firms Each Nab Leases of Over 7K SF at 437 Madison Avenue

A hedge fund manager and an asset-management firm have signed relocation deals at William Kaufman Organization’s 437 Madison Avenue.

Harbor Spring Capital, the hedge fund manager, has signed a six-year lease for 7,575 square feet at the building between East 49th and East 50th Streets, according to a press release from the landlord. The firm will occupy a portion of the 28th floor at the 850,000-square-foot building, when it relocates from 99 Park Avenue in the third quarter of this year.

Also on the 28th floor, Ospraie Management, the asset management firm, signed a five-year deal for 7,973 square feet. The company will relocate from 320 Park Avenue, also in the third quarter of 2016.

Asking rents in the building, which commenced a $60 million capital improvement program two years ago, range from $80 to $110 per square foot, according to The Wall Street Journal, which first reported news of the deal. The renovations include a redesigned lobby and arcade area, a new plaza, renovated elevators, upgraded building systems and backup generator, an updated façade and amenities like a private 8,870-square-foot, 15th-floor “sky lounge” with skyline views.

Michael Lenchner of Sage Realty Corporation, the leasing and management division of William Kaufman Organization, represented the building’s ownership in-house in both transactions, along with JLL’s Frank Doyle, David Kleiner, Cynthia Wasserberger, Hayley Shoener and Harlan Webster. Evan Margolin and Lance Leighton of Savills Studley represented Harbor Spring Capital, and Brad Needleman and Alexander Golod of CBRE represented Ospraie Management. A spokesman for Savills Studley said the brokers declined to comment as did a spokeswoman for CBRE.

Sage has also leased approximately 8,000 square feet of pre-built space to Darktrace Limited and HT Capital Advisors, bringing the total square footage leased in the building to 24,000 square feet over the last month. Medallion Financial, a finance company that specializes in the taxicab and home improvement businesses, renewed its lease in the building, as Commercial Observer reported in January.

“The quick lease-up of our high-end, build-to-suit office spaces are a testament to the quality of our building, our strong central location and our state-of-the-art amenities, modern finishes and unparalleled services,” Mr. Lenchner said in prepared remarks. “We are proud to offer partial or full floor build-to-suit opportunities to accommodate tenants of all sizes.”

Connecticut-Based Darien Rowayton Bank Doubling UWS Digs



Darien Rowayton Bank, a lender that specializes in student loan refinancing, has inked a 4,550-square-foot lease to move its offices to a larger space within Cammeby’s Management Company’s 1995 Broadway.

The bank will occupy the entire 14th floor of the building between West 67th and West 68th Streets. It currently shares half of the 4,550-square-foot eight floor with financial planner West Side Advisors for its 14 employees, but will leave that space behind for its new digs. The bank is also hiring 20 more workers for the larger office, which will allow it to expand its technology and marketing capabilities.

Asking rent in the seven-year deal was in the $60s per square foot, according to a spokesman for the bank, which did not have a broker in the transaction.

Darien Rowayton Bank’s expansion “is a testament to the rapid growth we have experienced, and the growth we expect to continue to experience as we innovate and seek out new ways to serve our borrowers,” Aryea Aranoff, the chief strategy officer for the company, said in a news release.

A representative for Cammeby’s Management and an executive at Glen Equities, which handles leasing for the building, did not return requests for comment.

Darien Rowayton Bank was formed in 2006 and recently announced that in addition to student loan refinancing, it will begin offering home mortgages later this year.

The firm also signed a new lease to move its Connecticut headquarters to 855 Main Street in Bridgeport, Conn. from 1001 Post Road in Darien, Conn. The new HQ will be comprised of 11,900 square feet, making room for 120 employees.

Asset Manager Renews 31K-SF Lease at 601 Lexington Avenue



BTG Pactual, an investment bank, asset manager and wealth manager with a big presence in Latin America, yesterday signed an 11-year renewal for 31,401 square feet at 601 Lexington Avenue, a source with knowledge of the deal told Commercial Observer.

The public company occupies the entire 57th floor at the 59-story Class A office building, formerly known as Citigroup Center, between East 53rd and East 54th Streets. There was no official asking rent.

Brian Goldman and Josh Friedman of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank represented BTG Pactual in the deal. The landlord, Boston Properties, was represented in-house. Spokeswomen for both companies declined to comment.

The building’s largest tenant is international law firm Kirkland & Ellis, which takes up 400,000 square feet. Other tenants include Blackstone Group, which occupies 90,000 square feet and private equity firm Apax Partners, which is in 31,400 square feet.

The 1.7-million-square-foot building at 601 Lexington Avenue was designed by Hugh Stubbins & Associates and Emery Roth & Sons and erected in 1977. Boston Properties bought the building in 2001 for $750 million with Allied Partners, which later sold its share to Boston Properties. In 2014, Boston Properties announced it sold a 45 percent interest in the building to affiliates of Norges Bank Investment Management for $1.83 billion, a deal that included a 45 percent interest in two buildings in Boston.

Investment Firm Moving Within Midtown Tower to Pre-Built Office



HT Capital Advisors, a longtime tenant of the William Kaufman Organization’s 437 Madison Avenue, will move to a new pre-built space in the Midtown structure, Commercial Observer has learned.

The New York-based investment firm will move from the 39th to the 19th floor of the building between East 49th and East 50th Streets, according to a press release from the landlord. HT Capital Advisors is taking 4,092 square feet in the five-year lease.

Asking rents at the 850,000-square-foot building range from $80 to $110 per square foot, the release indicates.

HT Capital Advisors didn’t have brokers in the deal, while Michael Lenchner of Sage Realty, William Kaufman Organization’s leasing and management arm, represented the landlord in-house along with Frank Doyle, David Kleiner,Cynthia Wasserberger, Hayley Shoener and Harlan Webster of JLL.

The company has been based in 4,300 square feet at the property since 1990, according to CoStar Group. A spokeswoman for the landlord said that HT Capital Advisors wanted to stay in the building and liked the finishing of the pre-built spaces.

“We could not ask for a more proactive and supportive landlord,” Eric Lomas, the president of HT Capital Advisors, said in prepared remarks. “They bring a new dimension to the concept of service and partnership.”

Mr. Lenchner said in the release that William Kaufman Organization is developing pre-built spaces on the 19th, 28th, 32nd and 34th floors. Cyber security firm Darktrace Limited is taking one of those spaces on the 32nd floor in a five-year deal as well, according to the release. The company inked a deal for 3,807 square feet at the 40-story structure. Daniel Posy and Jason Roberts of Savills Studley represented the tenant in that deal.

“The new designed space, which is in the heart of New York City, will make for a perfect location to build upon Darktrace’s growing global presence,” said Darktrace Chief Executive Officer Nicole Eagan in a statement.

UBS Does About-Face and Leases 120K SF at Park Avenue Building

299 Park Avenue (Photo: CoStar Group).

299 Park Avenue (Photo: CoStar Group).

Swiss bank UBS AG, which in early 2013 had plans to leave 800,000 square feet, or 30 floors, at Fisher Brothers299 Park Avenue, has leased 120,000 square feet in the Midtown tower, Winston Fisher, a partner in the firm, told Commercial Observer.

“This [deal involves] taking a new 120,000 square feet that we had never anticipated,” Mr. Fisher said of last week’s lease signing. “We’re delighted to have [UBS].”

The Real Deal broke the news that UBS signed a 13-year deal with a five-year extension for floors eight, nine, 24 and 25 in the 42-story, 1.2-million-square foot building between East 48th and East 49th Streets. Asking rents in the building, with floor plates of about 25,000 square feet, range from $90 to $135 per square foot, a source with knowledge of the deal told CO.

Fisher Brothers faced having to lease 30 empty floors in the 42-story tower, dubbed the UBS Building, following Switzerland’s largest bank’s decision to cut jobs and consolidate, Mr. Fisher said. Now, two years before the company’s lease expiration, Fisher Brothers has 27 of those floors spoken for. Capital One took 250,000 square feet of UBS’ space, GE Capital took 115,000 square feet and the Carlyle Group leased 60,000. UBS has been a tenant in the building since 1981.

Marc Packman represented Fisher Brothers in-house. Robert Alexander, Doug Lehman and Patrick Murphy of CBRE represented the tenant and they declined to comment via a spokeswoman.

Built and managed by Fisher Brothers and designed by Emery Roth & Sons, the tower opened in 1967. Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation has a 49.5 percent interest in the property, according to CoStar Group.