Year in Review – The Largest Office Relocations for Financial Firms in 2017

January 5, 2018

Lance Leighton

Founder –
New York State Licensed Real Estate Salesperson

Call 516-557-1160

BlackRock, Bank of America and Third Point had Midtown Manhattan’s most notable new leases.

There is no question that 2017 was a solid year for New York City commercial real estate.  Though the future of the Manhattan’s office market is still in question, there were notable lease renewals, extensions and expansions (Alliance Bernstein (1,000,000 square feet), HSBC (548,000 square feet) and Mizuho (411,000 square feet))- just to name a few.  However, many big-name tenants opted to upgrade to snazzier digs, most of which chose brand new, to-be-completed, or recently renovated assets.

Below is a list of the top office relocations of 2017 within the financial services sector.  The information is based on data compiled by the team.

TenantApproximate Square FootageBuildingFloorsPrevious AddressDescriptionBusiness Type
BlackRock850,00050 Hudson YardsTBD (15 floors total)55 East 52nd Street & 40 East 52nd StreetLocated at the northwest corner of 33rd Street and 10th Avenue, 50 Hudson Yard's will be New York City's fourth largest commercial office tower when completed in 2022. Measuring 2.9 million square feet and standing 985 feet tall, it will be LEED Gold-certified and offer a working environment flooded with natural light. The tower will also offer large floorplates, private sky-lobbies, outdoor terraces, views of the Hudson River and executive valet parking. As one of the largest transactions in New York City history, BlackRock agreed to pay nearly $1.25 billion over a 20 year obligation according to multiple reports. In addition, the firm also received a $25 million state tax credit. Investment Management
Bank of America386,0001100 Avenue of the AmericasGround - 15One Bryant Park (Expansion Space in addition to their current property)In 2019, when Time Warner owned HBO vacates 1100 Avenue of the Americas, Bank Of America will expand into the entire office component of 1100 Avenue of the Americas. Located directly across the street from Bryant Park, the building is also directly adjacent to the bank's existing headquarters at One Bryant Park, also known as Bank of America Tower- which will allow the company to create a "campus" for its employees.Banking
Third Point75,00055 Hudson YardsEntire 51st, 50th & Partial 49th 390 Park Avenue (Lever House)According to their website, "Fifty Five Hudson Yards leverages tailored planning, state-of-the-art-systems and a work/life integration that enhances employee performance. Positioned at the center of New York's newest commercial and cultural hub and future home to a portfolio of global brands." The building will feature extra-high ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows, multiple outdoor spaces and highly efficient column-free floorplates. Third Point will also be joining financial behemoths, Point 72 and Silver Lake Partners as well. Hedge Fund
Glencore60,000330 Madison AvenueEntire 7th & Partial 6th3 Stamford Plaza, Stamford, Conn.In 2011, Vornado, one of New York City's largest landlords, spent $120 million renovating the 1960s office tower. Upgrades to the asset included a new glass façade, lobby, elevator cabs and mechanical systems. The building, which is just a stone's throw away from Grand Central, is located between 42nd and 43rd Streets.Commodities Trading/Mining
Silver Lake Partners58,00055 Hudson YardsEntire 41st & 40th9 West 57th StreetAs mentioned above, 55 Hudson Yards will be one of the most state-of-the art buildings in New York City and will be located at the epicenter of the Hudson Yards complex. Accordingly, Silver Lake opted for the newest and best-in-class construction and amenities over Central Park views and the cache of 9 West 57th Street. Private Equity
HedgeServ53,0004 Times SquareEntire 8th1271 Avenue of the AmericasFormerly known as the "Conde Nast Building", the Durst Organization is pouring roughly $100 million of capital improvements into the asset in an effort to lure big-name tenants. As a part of the renovations, ownership has created a 45,000 square foot tenant amenity floor. With a combination of the amenities, recent refresh of the lobby, elevator cabs and mechanical systems, and highly efficient column-free construction, the building lends itself well to HedgeServ's high-density layout and growth projections. Their floor also has a massive 5,700 square foot terrace overlooking Times Square.Fund Administration
Global Infrastructure Partners42,0001345 Avenue of the AmericasEntire 30th12 East 49th StreetIn 2017, Global Infrastructure Partners raised a record $15.8 Billion Fund as President Donald Trump pledged to rebuild America's roads and bridges. The company, which now manages over $40 billion, is moving into larger digs at Fisher Brothers' 1345 Avenue of the Americas (they occupied roughly 30,500 at 12 East 49th Street). Ownership is about to complete a $65 million capital improvement program, which includes a brand new lobby, elevator cabs and 20,000 square feet of amenity spaces- including a fitness facility, conference spaces, lounge area and grab-and-go food concept.Private Equity
Hutchin Hill40,000888 Seventh AvenueEntire 22nd & 21st142 West 57th StreetFinding practically brand-new, furnished, high-end office space in a trophy office building is nearly impossible to do, let alone for almost 40,000 square feet. However, Hutchin Hill did just that. Leveraging Visium Asset Management's distressed situation, Hutchin Hill was able to secure a direct deal with Vornado while also inheriting millions of dollars' worth of existing infrastructure. With unparalleled views of Central Park, a cache tenant-roster and arguably one of the best ownership structures in NYC, their deal was an absolute homerun for an expansion. Hedge Fund
Colony Northstar40,000590 Madison Avenue (IBM Building)Entire 34th & Partial 33rd399 Park Avenue (Colony Capital) & 712 Fifth Avenue (NorthStar Realty Finance)Tom Barrack's Real Estate Investment firm, which recently merged two firms to create Colony NorthStar, was the first Plaza District deal since 2014 that crossed both the 25,000 square feet and $100 per square foot thresholds. The building, which is also known as the IBM Building, has always been one of the most coveted in NYC due to its location, views, and cache. Real Estate Investment
Peterson Foundation40,000399 Park AvenueEntire 14th Floor712 Fifth AvenueThe firm that manages the family assets of Peter Peterson (a Blackstone Group co-founder) and led by Michael Peterson, his son, leased a penthouse-like space for the entire 14th floor at Boston Properties', 399 Park Avenue. The space, which features a "glass box" on the building's setback, offers a new construction feel. The asset is also in the process of undergoing renovations to the plaza and lobby. Investment Management/ Family Office
DZ BANK and DVB Transport36,000One VanderbiltEntire 26th609 Fifth Avenue*'s Deal Germany's second largest bank and its affiliate inked a lease to be the second office tenant at One Vanderbilt, Midtown's most anticipated office tower. The Frankfurt-based company will be joining TD Bank, which is anchoring the asset with 200,000 square feet of office and retail use. The building will be one of the tallest in New York City once completed, and arguably the most cutting-edge and modern asset in the world. Best of all, it is located directly at Grand Central Station.Banking
Gemini Trust34,000315 Park Avenue SouthEntire 18th & 17th30 West 24th StreetThe digital currency exchange founded by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss opted to move to the recently updated asset located between 23rd and 24th Streets. The building, which is owned by Columbia Property Trust and L&L Holdings, recently underwent extensive renovations to the lobby, elevator cabs and mechanical systems. All floors feature extra-large windows, high ceilings and receive a tremendous amount of natural light. Coupled with the location, 315 Park Avenue South has seen a tremendous amount of activity, including our own client, Winton Capital, who leased the top two floors in 2016.Digital Currency Exchange
The Raine Group33,00065 East 55th Street (Park Avenue Tower)Entire 24th & 23rd810 Seventh AvenueThe merchant bank is making a move to the newly updated Park Avenue Tower, which is owned by Blackstone's Equity Office. According to press releases, the firm was drawn to the building's recently completed renovations, which include a redesigned lobby and outdoor plaza, and a new 20,000 square-foot amenity center known as "The Club". The club features a gym, recreation center and a dining area.Merchant Banking
Welsh Carson31,000599 Lexington AvenuePartial 18th & 17th Floors320 Park AvenueOwned by one of the premier New York City landlords, Boston Properties, 599 Lexington Avenue is one of the best assets east of Park Avenue. With highly efficient column-free floorplates, institutional ownership and subway access directly outside of its doors, it often commands some of the highest rents on the avenue. Additionally, Boston Properties is currently in the process of creating a "campus" for its "trifecta of trophy office buildings", as it also owns 399 Park Avenue (Lexington between 53rd and 54th Streets), and 601 Lexington Avenue (Lexington between 53rd and 54th Streets). At 601 Lexington Avenue, they are currently in the midst of a $50 million upgrade that includes a food hall and dining space, which will surely benefit 599 Lexington as well.Private Equity
Tiptree Financial29,000299 Park AvenueEntire 7th780 Third AvenueThe diversified holdings company spearheaded tripled in size with its move to Fisher Brothers' 299 Park Avenue (who also occupies the top two floors of the asset for their HQ). The building, which was designed by Emory Roth & Sons, is just steps from Grand Central Station and features extra-large windows. Additionally, ownership expects to begin a David Rockwell-designed makeover, which will include a new lobby, revitalized entrance and an illuminated plaza.Diversified Holdings
GTIS Partners29,000787 Seventh AvenueEntire Penthouse (50th) & Mezzanine (51st)45 Rockefeller PlazaOne of the most unique spaces in New York City, the entire penthouse duplex was one of the most incredible offices that our team ever previewed. With large arched windows offering unobstructed views of the skyline, Hudson River and Central Park, ceiling heights up to 40 feet, and a 51st floor mezzanine accessed by private elevators, it was quite a dramatic workspace. Real Estate Investment
Varagon Capital28,000299 Park AvenueEntire 3rd488 Madison AvenueAccording to Winston Fisher, the building's owner, their 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. Asset Management/Lending
Flow Traders27,0001114 Avenue of the Americas (Grace Building)Partial 4th1140 Avenue of the AmericasTo facilitate its expansion, Flow Traders, a leading European high-frequency trading firm, committed to the majority of the 4th floor at the world-famous Grace Building. The floor features eye-level views of Bryant Park and all of the conveniences and amenities of the bustling location. The team found a replacement subtenant to sublease their existing premises at 1140 Avenue of the Americas, which was roughly 12,000 square feet.Asset Management
Cyrus Capital23,00065 East 55th Street (Park Avenue Tower)Partial 35th & Entire 34th399 Park AvenueThere is no question that when Equity Office, an affiliate of Blackstone Group, purchased 65 East 55th Street, they planned on transforming it into one of the best office buildings in New York City. After a massive redevelopment- including a brand new lobby, elevator cabs, mechanical systems and tenant-only amenity floor with private gym and locker rooms- the building has attracted some of the most notable names in finance. Additionally, according to reports, ownership is "turnkeying" the space to a very high standard for Cyrus (and installing a staircase)- something that most landlords are not willing to do for a tenant of their size.Hedge Fund
Soroban Capital22,50055 West 46th StreetEntire 32nd444 Madison AvenueAs space utilization and efficiency continues to evolve in the workplace, more tenants are seeking new construction and amenities. Accordingly, it is no surprise that SL Green has been successful at leasing its tower floors at 55 West 46th Street, also known as Tower 46. Boasting extra-high ceilings, extra-large windows, column-free floorplates and a tenant-only fitness center, it is arguably one of the best deals in town for a brand new office tower.Hedge Fund


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