Lease Beat

540 Madison Avenue Continues to Draw Financial Services Tenants

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In yet another sign of the property’s appeal to financial services firms, Boston Properties has signed two new tenants at 540 Madison Avenue, The Commercial Observer has learned.

In the larger of the two deals, Orchard First Source Capital has signed a 10-year, 10,900-square-foot lease for a portion of the eighth floor. The tenant will pay rent in the high-$60s per square foot, according to data from CompStak.

In the building’s tower, Sandell Asset Management has signed a 10-year deal for the entire 7,050-square-foot 36th floor. The alternative asset manager will pay rent starting in the low-$90s per square foot, CompStak’s data shows. Read More

Lease Beat

Trading Up: Boutique Financial Services Firms Flock to 540 Madison Avenue

Boutique financial services firms have recently secured over 20,000 square feet at 540 Madison Avenue, where asking rents range from $80 to over $100 per square foot.

“Boutique financial firms are still the sweet spot for the building,” Cynthia Wasserberger of Jones Lang LaSalle, told The Commercial Observer. The majority of the spaces at the property are prebuilt or that the landlord, Boston Properties, is building for the tenant. Read More

Lease Beat

World Class Capital Opens in New York at 540 Madison Avenue

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Real estate investment and private equity firm World Class Capital has signed a lease for 2,723 square feet at Boston Properties540 Madison Avenue, where asking rents range from $80 to $90 per square foot.

“They were looking to open up a New York office that reflected their business model,” Gabe Marans of Studley, who represented the tenant, told The Commercial Observer. “They wanted to be in a boutique building that had easy access to transportation and that was centrally located on the island.” Read More

Sales Beat

125 West 55th Sells for $470 M. Amid Push to Unload Class A Towers

(Credit: Macklowe Properties)

In another whopping example of large real estate owners seeking to capitalize on current market conditions by unloading top-shelf inventory, Boston Properties has reportedly sold its 23-story office building at 125 West 55th Street for $470 million to J.P. Morgan Asset Management.

The deal follows a string of other Class A building sales this year — 550 Madison Avenue, 30 Rockefeller Plaza, 237 Park Avenue and 75 Rockefeller Plaza – which accounted for $3.8 billion of the city’s first quarter dollar volume and created a 46% year-over-year jump, according to data from Avison Young. Read More

The Sit-Down

Boston Legal: Andrew Levin On 250 West 55th Street

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With eight buildings totaling close to nine million square feet across a number of submarkets, Boston Properties is one of the largest owners of real estate in Midtown. Andrew Levin, senior vice president of leasing in the real estate investment trust’s New York office, has his finger on the pulse of the market. He spoke with The Commercial Observer last week about leasing trends in Midtown and Boston Properties’ development of 250 West 55th Street, which will open in fall 2013. Read More

The Plan

Check Out Bank of East Asia’s New Madison Avenue Office Plans

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Shortly after China-based Bank of East Asia announced it would relocate from 202 Canal Street in Chinatown, banking executives signed off on renovation plans at the bank’s new 10th-floor headquarters at 540 Madison Avenue.

Previously occupied by SAC Capital, the space will be demolished and rebuilt, resulting in an array of sun-soaked, sleek perimeter offices lined with glass panels and interior workstations that allow for a mix of privacy and collaboration, all wrapped up in a prime Midtown location. The 10,900-square-foot deal set off a string of other lease signings: Conquest Capital Group, Hakluyt Co. and Ajax Advisors followed suit at the building, which is made up of various boutique financial firms, law firms and hedge funds.

“They were looking for a quality building, a boutique building where they could have a full floor and an identity—they weren’t looking at big corporate office buildings,” said Cynthia Wasserberger, a Jones Lang LaSalle broker who represented landlord Boston Properties.

Along with Boston Properties’ Adam Frazier, Ms. Wasserberger reviewed floor plans with The Commercial Observer and discussed what, exactly, drew the bank from Chinatown to 540 Madison Avenue. Read More