Rumors are swirling that L’Oreal, the cosmetics giant, is considering a roughly 500,000-square-foot-lease in Midtown South in what would be the latest blockbuster deal in the city’s hottest market.
L’Oreal is said to be looking at a large block of space being vacated by The Port Authority at 225 and 233 Park avenues, two adjacent buildings that have separate lobbies but interconnect internally. The buildings are owned by Orda Management and a leasing team from the real estate services firm CBRE led by Howard Fiddle handles dealmaking at the properties.
Mr. Fiddle nor representatives from L’Oreal could be reached for comment.
L’Oreal is currently located at 575 Fifth Avenue as well as other locations and the bulk of its space expires in 2015, a timeframe that would appear to coordinate well with the Port Authority’s planned exit from the Park Avenue South properties to relocate to about 600,000 square feet at 4 World Trade Center. The Port Authority is slated to make the move by about 2014.
A person with knowledge of L’Oreal’s real estate decision making said that it was still early in the company’s search and that it hasn’t definitively decided on the Park Avenue South buildings. But other sources say that L’Oreal has zeroed in on the location as one among a shortlist of large spaces that carry affordable rents and benefits from proximity to mass transit and other amenities.
Midtown South has drawn a number of prominent deals in recent months as much of the rest of the market has appeared mired in a slow first quarter.
As The Commercial Observer reported this morning, Estee Lauder just signed on for 66,000 square feet at 28-40 West 23rd Street. Grey Advertising is also said to be in talks to take as much as 70,000 square feet at 620 Avenue of the Americas, another popular Midtown South building.