Catsimatidis’ United Refining Signs Direct Deal to Stay in Midtown East [Updated]

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John CatsimatidisUnited Refining has signed a 20,010-square-foot direct lease at 800 Third Avenue in Midtown East to remain in a space that it has been subleasing for the past three years.

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United Refining, a subsidiary of the billionaire businessman’s Red Apple Group, signed a 10-year lease to keep its offices at the 41-story, 624,000-square-foot building between East 49th and East 50th Streets, landlord SL Green Realty Corp. indicated in its second-quarter earnings release yesterday.

Catsimatidis confirmed the deal, telling Commercial Observer that United Refining agreed to a direct lease with joint landlords SL Green and Joseph P. Day Realty Corp. to stay in the space that it has been subleasing from French media conglomerate Vivendi since 2015. He described 800 Third Avenue as “a great building” and said the company has an option to take an additional 10,000 square feet there if it chooses.

While Catsimatidis declined to provide the floor occupied by United Refining at 800 Third Avenue, CoStar Group data and public information indicates that the company’s offices are on the building’s fifth floor. Though United Refining is the entity that officially occupies the Midtown East office tower, Catsimatidis noted that the space also houses “the executive offices for all of our companies,” including Red Apple Group. Catsimatidis’ business interests also have other offices located around the city, he added.

The Greek-American real estate investor, supermarket magnate (he owns grocery chain Gristedes) and talk radio host is the chairman and CEO of United Refining, which operates an oil refinery in northwestern Pennsylvania and also owns and operates gas stations and convenience stores in Pennsylvania, Ohio and New York.

Asking rent in the direct deal was not immediately clear. Joseph P. Day’s Richard Teichman and Richard Brickell handle office leasing at 800 Third Avenue, while United Refining had no outside broker representation. Representatives for Joseph P. Day could not immediately be reached for comment.

Other tenants at the building include law firm Cohen & Gresser and hedge fund Renaissance Technologies. Real estate investment and development firm Alchemy Properties signed a 9,575-square-foot lease to relocate its offices—as well as those of Alchemy-ABR Investment Partners, the firm’s joint venture with ABR Partners—to 800 Third Avenue last August.

Update: This story has been updated to include input from United Refining’s John Catsimatidis and clarify that the company signed a direct deal to remain in space that it was previously subleasing at 800 Third Avenue.