European Union Seeks Midtown Space
Jotham Sederstrom Dec. 20, 2011, 10:25 a.m.
The European Union is poking around midtown’s east side for space and is in talks to do a roughly 50,000 square foot deal at 666 Third Avenue, several sources told The Commercial Observer.
The lease at 666 Third Avenue is not yet done, but a person close to the EU said the organization is considering two floors at the building.
The EU is currently located at 222 East 41st Street, where it has considerably less space than it is currently looking for. The Union’s New York City operations exist to interface with the United Nations on international policy issues, peacekeeping missions, humanitarian aid and other UN Committee work. Though Europe has been stricken with ongoing worries about the debt load of certain countries and the prognosis for the continent’s economy, the 27-member EU body has only added staff a source said since Europe passed the Treaty of Lisbon into effect in 2009, a pact that expanded the EU’s role with the UN.
A source said that the EU office has about 35 diplomats and a total staff of about 65. The person said that much of the governing body’s space is used for meetings relating to its work with the UN.
One broker who has observed the EU’s comings and goings said it had looked unsuccessfully for space at One Dag Hammarskjold Plaza at 885 Second Avenue, a popular destination for UN missions and other tenants related to the international organization.
Several spaces are available at 666 Third Avenue, including a 65,000 square foot sublease lower in the 32-story building being offered by the Overseas Ship Holding Group. A person familiar with that space said that the EU is not negotiating for that space but for other floors being offered directly by 666 Third Avenue’s landlord, Tishman Speyer.
The 770,000 square foot property is known as the Chrysler East Building and its base abuts and connects into that famous landmark.
Both properties are operated by Tishman Speyer.
Some brokers are hoping that the EU’s deal at 666 Third Avenue falls through so they can strike a deal with the Union. One broker who spoke with the Commercial Observer off record said that he had space he could deliver to the Union, but that it wasn’t immediately available, meaning he would only be in the running to land the Union if its deal at 666 Third Avenue doesn’t get done.
Another person scratched his head at the EU’s potential deal at 666 Third Avenue, explaining that the Union could secure cheaper space elsewhere in the area, such as at 757 Third Avenue, a nearby property.
Dan Geiger, Staff Writer, is reachable at Dgeiger@Observer.com