With months to go before RXR Realty opens up the new and improved 75 Rockefeller Plaza, the landlord now has several floors in the repurposed office tower spoken for.
Merrill Lynch Wealth Management will move to the 623,000-square-foot building between West 51st and West 52nd Streets, Commercial Observer has learned. The investment and wealth management company, which was acquired by Bank of America in 2009 as a result of the financial crisis, will occupy 125,000 square feet on the second through fifth floors of 75 Rock. The deal officially closed today, according to a source familiar with the transaction.
Terms of the deal were not immediately available, but the source described the lease as “long term.” Midtown asking rents during the first three months of the year averaged about $81 per square foot, according to a first-quarter 2016 Colliers International report.
Merrill Lynch, one of the largest wealth management firms, currently leases a similar amount of space at 717 Fifth Avenue between East 55th and East 56th Streets, according to CoStar Group. The firm has been based at the SL Green Realty Corp.-owned building since 1998.
Robert Alexander, Ryan Alexander, Ramneek Rikhy and Emily Jones of CBRE represented the tenant, while Bruce Mosler, Tara Stacom and Mikael Nahmias of Cushman & Wakefield represented the landlord. Brokers on both sides of the deal did not immediately return requests for comment via spokespeople. William Elder, who oversees RXR’s New York City division, confirmed the lease signing, but declined to comment further.
RXR entered a 99-year triple-net lease with the British billionaire Mohamed Al Fayed in June 2013 to take control of the building, as CO reported at the time. Anchor tenant Time Warner Cable left the building by 2014, allowing it to become fully vacant. Since then, the new landlord has embarked on a $150 million renovation of the 1947 building originally developed as offices for the Esso oil company owned by the Rockefeller family.
As work finishes up, 75 Rock is expected to begin opening later this year. American Girl, the pricey doll brand made by Mattel, announced in May that it signed a 40,000-square-foot deal for the majority of the building’s retail component, as CO previously reported. The retailer will roughly double its size when it opens there next fall, moving from 609 Fifth Avenue between East 48th and East 49th Streets.