With the looming United Nations Secretariat building about to undergo a $1.9 billion renovation, its legions of diplomats, bureaucrats and support staff are seeking refuge. The tide of office-space demand in a downbeat market is resulting in some East Side real estate shake-ups and a few surprising beneficiaries—namely, the U.N. and its assorted agencies.
One such agency, the United Nations International Computing Center, is taking the 24th floor—8,345 square feet—at 730 Third Avenue, owned by the giant pension fund and mutual fund manager TIAA-CREF. Based in Geneva, Switzerland, the computing center provides technical and data processing support to the U.N. and the World Health Organization.
The U.N. has also staked out several additional floors in the building for temporary leases.
As the U.N. made plans to accommodate its colossal renovations, it originally forecast equally colossal expenditures for temporary office leases, which, before the downturn, carried heavy premiums. But desperate times create desperate landlords, amenable even to open-ended, short-term deals at drastically reduced rates. The five-year renovation, begun last year, will overhaul the 59-year-old structure and reduce its energy consumption by 44 percent.
Andrew Roos of FirstService Williams brokered the lease on behalf of the computing center.