Estée Lauder Nabs Another 100K SF in LIC [Updated]

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Estée Lauder Companies has subleased an additional 100,000 square feet and doubled its footprint in Brause Realty’s Brewster Building in Long Island City, Queens, Commercial Observer has learned.

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The beauty manufacturer moved its tech employees from its corporate compound in Melville, Long Island, as Newsday reported last year, to the property at 27-01 Queens Plaza North in Long Island City. The makeup company sealed an initial deal a year ago for 100,000 square feet on the third floor on a sublease with MetLife, sources familiar with the deal told CO. The details of the sublease had not been previously reported. Then Estée Lauder inked an expansion deal last month for another 100,000 square feet on the fourth floor in a sublease with public relations firm Publicis Groupe, which is in turn subleasing from MetLife. The IT employees moved into the third-floor offices last fall, but the cosmetics company hasn’t taken over the expansion space yet. A company spokeswoman said it has not yet determined what it will use the additional offices for.

Asking rent in the sublease with Publicis was $35 a square foot, according to sources close to the transaction.

Under the terms of both recent deals, Estée Lauder will sublease until MetLife’s master lease on the building expires in 2023. Then it will occupy the 200,000-square-foot space on a 10-year direct lease with the landlord, Brause Realty.

MetLife net-leased the entirety of the former Rolls Royce engine factory in 2001 and commissioned the construction of a 13-story office tower next door, as part of a plan to shift its headquarters across the river from Midtown East. The insurance company moved into the 700,000-square-foot property in the early 2000s. Then it did an about-face in 2008 and moved many employees and executives back to various locations in Midtown. MetLife eventually consolidated its offices into its namesake building at 200 Park Avenue in 2015. 

Meanwhile, Estée Lauder still has its longtime headquarters in the General Motors Building at 767 Fifth Avenue. It renewed its 400,000-square-foot lease there in 2017 and extended another 216,000-square-foot lease at 110 East 59th Street, as CO previously reported.  

Cushman & Wakefield’s Bruce Mosler, Ethan Silverstein, Mitch Arkin and Kelli Berke represented Brause Realty and MetLife in the transaction and declined to comment via a spokesman. John Maher and Alex Benisatto of CBRE handled the deal on behalf of Publicis and declined to comment. It was unclear who represented Estée Lauder.  

Update: This post has been updated to reflect that Aramis was not moving into the Brewster Building. Estée Lauder has not yet determined what it will use the expansion space for.