fifth avenue

Investment Manager Inks 11K-SF Sublease in Midtown



Kinderhook Industries, a private investment firm that manages more than $2 billion, has signed a 10,786-square-foot sublease at 505 Fifth Avenue to relocate its offices, Commercial Observer has learned.

The financial company inked the deal with American Capital Strategies, which was acquired by Ares Capital Corporation earlier this year, to occupy the entire 25th floor of the 26-story, 298,000-square-foot building, which is located on the corner of East 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue. (The building is owned by Axel Stawski’s Stawski Partners.)

The asking rent in the nine-year deal was $80s per square foot, a source with intimate knowledge of the transaction told CO.  

Major factors for the move included the building’s proximity to Grand Central Terminal and because it has column-free space with floor to ceiling glass and high ceilings, according to the source.

Kinderhook is relocating in the first quarter of 2018 from 521 Fifth Avenue between East 43rd and East 44th Streets a block north, where it presently occupies 6,580 square feet.

Alexander Chudnoff and Abe Cooper of JLL handed the deal for Kinderhook Industries, while Savills Studley’s Christopher Foerch and Gary Kerperrepresented American Capital.

Chudnoff declined to comment on the deal, and the Savills Studley brokers did not immediately return a request for comment via a spokeswoman.

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.


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

FinTech Firm, Investment Bank Take Full Floors at 19 West 24th Street



Two tenants have each inked entire floors at Kaufman Organization’s 19 West 24th Street, which together account for more than 10,000 square feet of space.

Commercial Observer has learned that TransferWise, a financial services platform, has signed a five-year, 5,418-square-foot lease for the entire ninth floor at the property between Broadway and Avenue of the Americas.

The company, which allows users to transfer money abroad “without hidden fees,” will take the entire ninth floor of the 63,015-square-foot office building between Fifth Avenue and Avenue of the Americas. It plans to move into the building in the summer from coworking space at WeWork’s digs at 175 Varick Street.  

Asking rents in the building were in the $70s per square foot, according to a Kaufman spokeswoman. Colliers International’s Michael Thomas, who represented the tenant, declined to comment on the deal.

The building “continues to attract a diverse mix of high-quality tenants as the building offers updated loft-style office spaces located in one of the most sought after office destinations,” Kaufman’s Grant Greenspan, who represented the landlord with colleagues Michael Heaner and Elliot Warren, said in a statement.

In the second deal, Pursuit Advisory, an investment bank that provides services to media, technology, digital and private equity firms, has also taken a five-year, 5,418-square-foot lease for the entire eighth floor. Pursuit Advisory is also moving in during the summer from a temporary space in Lower Manhattan.

Pursuit Advisory “wanted a cool, hip area,” Arash Sadighi of TheSquareFoot, who represented the bank, told CO. “They felt that 24th Street off Madison Square Park gave them what they wanted.”

With these two leases, the 12-story building is now 85 percent occupied with only two floors remaining. Other tenants include Blue Ocean Brokerage, men’s custom clothing line Knot Standard, health technology company AiCure and a family-owned distributor of wines and spirits, Wilson Daniels Wholesale.

Hedge Fund Hollis Park Partners Finds New Digs at 579 Fifth Avenue

Hollis Park Partners is moving to 7,620 square feet at 579 Fifth Avenue, according to JLL, which represented the landlord, Stawski Partners, in the deal.

The hedge fund, which manages a structured products fund, took the entire 15th floor at the Fifth Avenue building at East 47th Street through a 10-year lease.The asking rent was $75 per square foot, JLL indicated, and the deal includes a private terrace setback.

Hollis Park Partners will be relocating from 1540 Broadway between West 45th and West 46th Streets.

“Hollis Park Partners sought a new, modern office at a top-notch office property that was appropriate for its growing and expanding fund,” said JLL’s Paul Glickman, who represented Stawski Partners in the deal along with Diana Biasotti and Benjamin Bass.“Stawski Partners recently completed a complete modernization and redesign of 579 Fifth Avenue. The building is an ideal location for boutique businesses looking for a full-floor presence with the prominence of a Fifth Avenue address in Midtown.”

CBRE’s Keith Caggiano and Roshan Shah represented the tenant. The CBRE brokers declined to comment via a spokeswoman.

After the hedge fund moves in in May or June 2016, less than half of the 150,000-square-foot office building will be available for lease, according to JLL. Other tenants include Bank Leumi and Roberto Coin’s global headquarters.

“579 Fifth Avenue was formerly leased by several small jewelry offices,” Ms. Biasott said in a statement. “When the industry downsized and relocated off the avenue, ownership seized the opportunity to reposition and renovate the building to accommodate boutique office users who want a full-floor presence on Fifth Avenue, such as Hollis Park.”

York Capital Management Renews, Expands at GM Building

York Capital Management has signed a long-term renewal and expansion at the General Motors Building at 767 Fifth Avenue.

The investment management firm, a 10-year tenant in the building, occupies the entire 17th floor and a portion of the 21st floor and will supplement its existing footprint with a 7,179-square-foot sublease from law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges on 23rd floor. The firm will now occupy a total of to 53,445 square feet at the trophy tower. 

“This transaction enables York Capital Management to maintain its presence at the GM Building and accommodate the firm’s growth in New York City,” L. Craig Lemle, a senior managing director at Studley, who represented the tenant, said in a prepared statement.

Asking rent for space in the GM Building ranges from $125 to $225 per square foot, according to Crain’s New York Business, which first reported the lease.

Mr. Lemle represented the tenant alongside Studley Chairman and CEO Mitchell S. Steir, Jason Perla and Matthew Barlow. Mr. Lemle has represented the tenant since 2005 and the firm’s most recent lease is the seventh deal he has worked on for York.

The landlord, Boston Properties, was represented in-house by Andy Levin and Adam Frazier.

Founded in 1991, York Capital Management today boasts over $21 billion in assets under management. The firm also operates offices in London and Hong Kong.


Hedge Fund Becomes Tower 46’s First Tenant

SL Green Realty Corp. has signed its first tenant to Tower 46—the building within a building it owns at Extell Development Company’s International Gem Tower.

Hedge fund Fir Tree has inked a 10-year deal for 31,000 square feet at 55 West 46th Street, according to the landlord. The firm, which manages $12 billion in capital, will take up part of the 28th floor and the whole 29th floor of the 34-story tower between Avenue of the Americas and Fifth Avenue.

The asking rent in the deal was about $100 per square foot, according to The New York Post, which first reported news of the deal.

Fir Tree will be doing buildout of the space. It wasn’t immediately clear when the hedge fun is moving in.

“We are pleased to welcome one of the financial world’s most prestigious firms to Tower 46,” said Steven Durels, SL Green’s head of leasing and real property, in prepared remarks. “The building is ideally suited for businesses needing a state-of-the-art work environment.”

A CBRE team of Peter Turchin, Scott Bogetti, James Ackerman and Christie Harle represented the landlord, while Gregg Lorberbaum and Eti Hamlet of Centric Real Estate Advisors represented the tenant. Mr. Lorberbaum did not immediately return a request for comment.

SL Green and Prudential Real Estate Investors bought the top 13 floors—considered a single office condominium—from Extell last year for $295 million. The landlord borrowed $190 million from Wells Fargo to finance the Diamond District buy, as CO previously reported. Along with the 13-floor condo, the sales package included additional office space on the second floor, a fitness center, a parking garage and a retail component on West 46th Street.

Mr. Turchin told Commercial Observer that Fir Tree was drawn to the new building, which finished construction in 2013, because its proximity to Grand Central Terminal, as well as the tenant-only gym and parking garage. Financial firms are the type of tenant the landlord is looking to fill the space it owns in the tower, he added.

“It’s the closest new construction to Grand Central today,” Mr. Turchin said. “[The deal is] a great sign for the building in terms of the type of tenant. It’s a financial service firm, which I think is important because they are moving toward new construction.”

Extell has sold off several office condominiums on lower floors as well, mostly to diamond or gem companies. That includes the Gemological Institute of America’s $13 million purchase of a ninth-floor office condo this June. The sale was an expansion for the gem-studying institute, which is also on the fourth and eighth floors of the building, which also has an address of 50 West 47th Street.