SL Green Scores a TD at 1 Vanderbilt


1 Vanderbilt
A rendering of 1 Vanderbilt next to Grand Central Terminal. (Kohn Pedersen Fox)

TD Bank inked a lease to anchor SL Green Realty Corp.’s proposed 1 Vanderbilt skyscraper in an approximately 200,000-square-foot deal for both a flagship retail space and a sizable office footprint in 2020, SL Green announced today.

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The 67-story, 1.6-million-square-foot tower slated for 317 Madison Avenue still needs to gain approval through the city’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure, and representatives for SL Green will be presenting the project to Manhattan Community Boards 5 and 6 at a public hearing tonight at the 42nd Street Library.

But the largescale transaction, which the Canada-based financial firm had reportedly been considering as of this spring, represents a victory for the city, Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen said.

“We’ve set out to ensure East Midtown can compete for the companies and jobs of the 21st century,” Ms. Glen said in a prepared statement. “The announcement that TD Bank will anchor 1 Vanderbilt is exciting news that will strengthen our position as the global financial capital. And what’s significant is that TD Bank has made this choice, not because of tax breaks or subsidies, but because of sound investments we are fostering in new office space and infrastructure. This is a model for how we intend to keep our economy growing.”

1 Vanderbilt
1 Vanderbilt sketch. (Department of City Planning)

The bank will operate out of a retail space on the northeast corner of East 42nd Street and Madison Avenue, SL Green officials said, citing once again the $210 million in public transit upgrades for trains, commuters and pedestrians who utilize Grand Central Terminal that they outlined in detail last month. SL Green announced the formation of a “Coalition for a Better Grand Central” composed of business and labor groups who support the company’s special permit request within the city’s five-block “Vanderbilt Corridor” proposal along Vanderbilt Avenue between East 42nd and East 47th Streets earlier in the day.

While officials from Grand Central landlord Argent Ventures are still fighting the whole rezoning in its current form, SL Green officials hailed the announcement as the latest triumph in the push by the company and the city to rezone one slice of the area that the Bloomberg administration tried but failed to rezone last year in Midtown East.

“Securing a major tenant of TD Bank’s caliber more than five years before 1 Vanderbilt is due to open makes a tremendous statement about this iconic building and the need for new, modern and efficient office space in East Midtown,” SL Green President Andrew Mathias said in a statement. “We are grateful to Mayor [Bill] de Blasio and his administration for their vision in supporting the modernization of the Vanderbilt Corridor and a project that will generate $210 million in public improvements. We look forward to continuing the dialogue with the community, Borough President [Gale] Brewer, Council Member [Daniel] Garodnick and other stakeholders as part of the ongoing public review process.”

Details such as asking rents, the length of lease and the bank’s setup within the 1,514-foot-tall proposed structure weren’t immediately available. But the lease also sends a strong message about the bank that opened its first branch in the city in 2001 and now boasts 124 locations citywide, said Christopher Giamo, the bank’s regional president for the New York metropolitan area.

“The move to 1 Vanderbilt will allow us to consolidate our New York City offices into one regional headquarters, and will offer an outstanding experience and great brand visibility for our employees and our customers,” he said in a prepared statement.