Scott Rechler’s RXR Realty has signed a 99-year triple-net lease at British department store tycoon Mohamed Al Faye’s 75 Rockefeller Plaza in Midtown Manhattan, where it plans to undertake a major capital improvement to reposition the building.
The 33-story building will be fully vacated by Time Warner Cable in 2014, leaving behind roughly 630,000 square feet of rentable area, and the renovations will include a new lobby and a restoration of its landmarked, classic limestone façade, executives at RXR said.
“While there have been periodic improvements, the building has never been completely, 100 percent renovated,” William Elder, EVP at RXR, told the The Commercial Observer. ”We will literally have the newest product in Rockefeller Center.”
The building, including retail space, will be delivered vacant and the capital improvements, being designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, are expected to be completed by the third quarter of 2015.
Plans include a new lobby and elevator cabs; new mechanical, electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems; and a complete façade restoration, among other improvements.
Mr. Elder confirmed that the renovation will cost somewhere in the ballpark of $100 million, and he said that while RXR plans to land a prominent anchor tenant, the firm will be flexible with the leasing of the floors, which measure 30,000 square feet on floors two through nine, and 14,500 square feet on floors 10 and up.
The firm hopes to draw a range of tenants from different industries, including the financial and legal firms that have become synonymous with the area.
“In addition to that, I’m hopeful that we will get the social media and tech-type of tenants,” he said. “They’re extremely important to the fabric of our market now.”
A Cushman & Wakefield team of Bruce Mosler, Michael Rotchford, Louis Wolfowitz and Helen Hwang represented ownership in the transaction along with Arthur Mirante of Avison Young (and formerly with C&W). Law firm Shearman & Sterling LLP provided legal advice.
“We identified a group of New York City’s top real estate operators and ran a highly selective process,” Mr. Rotchford said in a statement. “Choosing RXR resulted in a transaction that is highly attractive to both (parties).”
Cushman & Wakefield declined to name the price tag on the deal, as did Mr. Elder.
RXR Realty, with a portfolio of roughly 6.5 million square feet, has scooped office properties aggressively since New York City began to crawl back from the Great Recession. In September, the Uniondale, New York-based firm paid nearly $670 million for 450 Lexington Avenue in another net-lease deal.
The building at 75 Rockefeller, completed in 1947, sits across from Tishman-Speyer’s Rockefeller Center complex, with views of the plaza’s skating rink and the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree during the holidays.