Ameriprise Financial, the second tenant to sign at 7 World Trade Center before the building was even finished, will not renew its lease at the 10-year-old tower—instead opting to move its New York City office next door to 1 World Trade Center.
The spun-off company of American Express has finalized a 37,704-square-foot deal at the neighboring 3-million-square-foot tower owned by the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey and Durst Organization. That’s roughly the same size that it occupies at Silverstein Properties’ 7 WTC.
“Adding a company like Ameriprise, with a 120-year history and steadfast commitment to serving clients’ financial needs, to our tenant roster speaks to the compelling nature of 1 World Trade Center and its place in Lower Manhattan’s ongoing importance as a center for business and culture,” Eric Engelhardt, Durst’s head of leasing for 1 WTC said in a press release, adding that the building “continues to attract a diversity of space users, with additional momentum building among financial services firms.”
The Minneapolis-based company will move its offices into the entire 78th floor of the tower during the second quarter of 2017. The firm’s new lease is for more than 10 years, according to a Durst spokesman. Asking rent in the deal was not available, but in recent deals has been $69 per square foot on lower floors, as Commercial Observer previously reported. Ameriprise’s lease also makes the Downtown skyscraper 69 percent spoken for.
Ameriprise was one of the first tenants to sign and move into the building following its spin off from American Express in 2005. The company first inked a 20,000-square-foot lease for part of the 39th floor in January 2006. A year later, it expanded by more than 19,000 square feet to take the entire level, according to CoStar Group.
The only companies to precede Ameriprise at the building were Silverstein itself (which occupies the 38th floor) and New York Academy of Sciences, which signed a 40,000-square-foot lease for 15 years in December 2005. The building reached full occupancy roughly four years ago.
Rents have gone up at 7WTC since the building first opened in May 2006 when Lower Manhattan was still rattled from 9/11 less than five years earlier. When Ameriprise signed its initial lease at the building, the asking rent was $55 per square foot, according to CoStar. By the time Westfield, which will control the retail at the World Trade Center PATH station, signed its lease on the 37th floor in 2012, the asking rent had increased to $72 per square foot.
Indeed, the western part of Lower Manhattan that includes the World Trade Center complex has become the priciest of the area’s submarkets. The average asking rent in the western portion of Downtown was $67.86 per square foot, according to a first-quarter 2016 report from Newmark Grubb Knight Frank. Asking rents in the eastern portion of the region averaged significantly lower at $55.09 per square foot, and the City Hall area came in around $61.64 per square foot.
By signing Ameriprise to 1 WTC, Durst and the Port Authority have locked in a second major financial company. Moody’s Investor Services signed a 75,000-square-foot lease last year—expanding from the 680,000 square feet it currently occupies at the 1.7-million-square-foot 7 WTC.
Engelhardt and colleague Karen Kuznick represented the Durst in-house along with a Tara Stacom, Justin Royce, Barry Zeller, Connor Daugstrup and Peter Trivelas. Josh Kuriloff, Drew Braver, Frank Cento and the C&W Global Occupier Services team represented Ameriprise.
“Ameriprise Financial is a tremendous addition to One World Trade Center, with an address befitting its stature in the financial community,” Stacom said in prepared remarks.
With additional reporting provided by Rheaa Rao.