The Plaza District continues to be a bright spot in the otherwise gloomy financial services sector with Northern Trust‘s 25,000-square-foot lease at LeFrak‘s 40 West 57th Street.
The investment management firm took the entire 21st floor of the 34-story tower–where rents often exceed $100 a foot–and will move its headquarters there from 65 East 55th Street by year’s end.
“We are delighted that yet another elite company has chosen 40West for its new home,” Richard LeFrak, chairman and chief executive of LeFrak, said in a prepared statement. Last October, Tocqueville Asset Management expanded by 12,000 square feet–to roughly 40,000 square feet–in the tower in a transaction with asking rents in the $70s per square foot. That lease came amid a Colliers third quarter report that Plaza District rents had fallen 3.2 percent to $79 a foot.
Yet Colliers 2013 mid-year review detailed an enormous jump in second quarter leasing activity in the important micro-market to 2,734,420 square feet from last year’s 1,054,238 square feet. And Plaza District standouts like Sheldon Solow‘s 9 West 57th Street have led an ongoing resurgence in triple digit rents. And all of this as financial services firms constituted just 19.5% of Manhattan leasing activity in the first half of 2013 compared to 30.1% in that period last year.
Howard Fiddle of CBRE represented LeFrak. Gus Field of Cushman & Wakefield repped the tenant. None of the brokers involved in the transaction could be reached for comment.
Northern Trust will also share the building with JPMorgan/Highbridge, Elliott Management Corporation and VF Corporation.