Educational Foundation Abandons Penn Plaza for FiDi

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The Wallace Foundation, a philanthropic organization that funds educational programs, is moving from Penn Plaza to the Financial District, Commercial Observer has learned.

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The 16-year-old nonprofit has inked a 15-year lease for 26,206 square feet on the entire 49th floor of 140 Broadway, according to information from Cushman & Wakefield. The foundation has occupied the entire seventh floor of 5 Penn Plaza between West 33rd and West 34th Streets since 2005. It will move to the 51-story building on Broadway between Cedar and Liberty Streets in the fourth quarter of 2019. Asking rent in the deal wasn’t disclosed.

The private family foundation, which manages $1.5 billion in assets, was funded by the fortunes of late Reader’s Digest founders DeWitt and Lila Acheson Wallace. It offers grants to a variety of school leadership and educational arts programs, as well as organizations that research educational strategies.

C&W’s Andrew Chase, Carri Lyon and Wes Rudes represented the tenant.

Lyon said the foundation chose the landmarked 1960s office tower because it “supports the foundation’s culture and collaborative and interdisciplinary work process. 140 Broadway offers a bright, open space for the  foundation’s new headquarters with the convenience of a highly-accessible location.”

C&W brokers Bob Constable, Myles Fennon and Edward “Mac” Mombello represented the landlord, Union Investment Real Estate GmbH, in the Wallace Foundation transaction. The real estate group is a subsidiary of the massive German financial institution DZ Bank.

In a statement, Constable said that the foundation “will benefit from the property’s ideal infrastructure and unparalleled transit accessibility.”