MetLife Finances 685 Third Avenue in $190M Deal


MetLife lent $190 million to a joint venture between TIAA-CREF and Australia’s sovereign wealth fund, known as the Australian Government Future Fund, to cover upgrades on the partnership’s 685 Third Avenue office tower, Mortgage Observer has first learned.

The five-year debt deal, which closed on March 18, carries a loan-to-value ratio of 54 percent, a MetLife spokesperson said. The 31-story building in Midtown has no existing debt, according to public records.

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685 Third Avenue.
685 Third Avenue.

The sponsors acquired the 646,422-square-foot property from the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer for $190 million in 2010. Last year, TIAA-CREF and Australia’s Future Fund completed a capital improvement plan, which included renovations to the building’s lobby and entryway and a new pocket park in place of a loading dock.

The Class-A office tower, built in 1960, extends from East 43rd Street to East 44th Street. Tenants in the building include The Tribune Media Company, Crain Communications,, Luke’s Lobster and Navigant Consulting, a self-described “specialized expert services firm.”

The owners hired JLL as the building’s exclusive office leasing agent and property manager in May 2014. The Chicago-based real estate services firm replaced CBRE as the building’s leasing agent.

“The market is moving in the landlord’s favor and they want to accelerate leasing velocity,” Matt Astrachan, a vice chairman at JLL and a member of the leasing team, told Commercial Observer at the time. “It’s a great asset that just needed to be better understood by the market and so far we’ve been successful.”

A TIAA-CREF spokesperson declined to comment.