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 (BXP), is building for the tenant.

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20d79210535cb1edd68a604ab25bcc6a Trading Up: Boutique Financial Services Firms Flock to 540 Madison AvenueThe individual leases, spread out across six firms, were all recently closed. The largest leases include a 4,227-square-foot deal for Waterfront Capital Partners and 3,950 square feet for Oak Circle Capital Partners. Both firms were represented by Newmark (NMRK) Grubb Knight Frank in their respective transactions.

“High-end financial service guys don’t want to lift a finger building out space,” noted David Emden, director at NGKF, who represented Oak Circle, of Boston Properties prebuild program, which usually permits for only two tenants per floor.

The property benefits from being the former New York headquarters of Steve Cohen’s SAC Capital, which relocated to 510 Madison Avenue. “It has all the infrastructure,” Mr. Emden said.

Between pending deals and the deals recently completed, 540 Madison boasts availability on a “handful” of floors at the base of the building and some small floor plates in the tower section, according to Ms. Wasserberger.

As reported earlier, World Class Capital chose 540 Madison Avenue for its first New York location, signing a 2,723-square-foot lease in March.

Acquired with Two Grand Central Tower by a Boston Properties joint venture from Macklowe Properties for a combined $705 million in 2008, 540 Madison Avenue features floor plates ranging from 4,000 to nearly 11,000 square feet. Built in 1970, the Plaza District building was completely renovated in 1999.

A Jones Lang LaSalle leasing team comprised of Ms. Wasserberger, David Kleiner and Randy Abend represents Boston Properties at 540 Madison Avenue.