New York Life Signs Mega-Renewal, Second Biggest Lease of Past Year

63madthree New York Life Signs Mega Renewal, Second Biggest Lease of Past YearIn one of the largest transactions of the past year, New York Life has signed a long-term renewal for its 415,000-square-foot offices at 63 Madison Avenue.

It may just be a plain vanilla renewal, but in a tepid market, this was the second largest lease of 2009, on the heels of Paul Weiss’s 550,000-square-foot renewal at 1285 Sixth Avenue. The mutual life insurance company – the country’s largest – had been scouting the market for more than 400,000 square feet with Cushman & Wakefield broker Mitti Liebersohn, but ultimately decided to stay put in the George Comfort & Sons-owned building, between 27th and 28th streets. The new lease began on Jan. 1, 2010.

The building has the benefit of standing just north of New York Life’s enormous, and enormously beautiful, headquarters (they call it the “Home Office) at 51 Madison Avenue, which the firm owns.

“The renewal of the lease at 63 Madison is just another sign of New York Life’s continuing commitment to New York City, where the company was founded in 1845 and remains headquartered today,” said William Werfelman, a spokesman for New York Life, in a statement.

We imagine in these vacancy-heavy days, the landlord offered ample incentive for the firm to stay put. And imagine we must. Neither Mr. Liebersohn nor a broker from George Comfort would respond to requests for comment.

drubinstein@observer.com