Banque de France Takes 5K SF at Chrysler Building

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The central bank of France, Banque de France, inked a deal to move its United States office to the iconic Chrysler Building, tenant broker Cushman & Wakefield announced.

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Banque de France signed a long-term lease for 5,475 square feet on part of the 57th floor of the landmarked skyscraper at 405 Lexington Avenue, according to C&W. Asking rent was in the high $80s per square foot, according to a source with knowledge of the deal.

“Banque de France was attracted to the luminosity and quality of the prestigious building,” C&W’s David Mainthow, who represented the Paris-based institution along with Troy Elias, said in a statement. “This asset offered everything the bank was looking for, allowing it to expand its footprint in Manhattan.”

The bank plans to relocate from its current Manhattan offices nearby at 400 Madison Avenue, the source said.

Aby Rosen’s RFR Realty and Signa Holding GmbH bought the 77-story Chrysler Building for a shocking $150 million in 2019 from the Abu Dhabi Investment Council (ADIC), which bought a 90 percent stake in it at the height of the market in 2008 for $800 million, as Commercial Observer reported. 

Its low sale price was largely caused by the building’s onerous ground lease with Cooper Union, which RFR has reportedly been trying to renegotiate.

Rosen originally floated the idea of turning the Chrysler Building into a hotel but later told Bloomberg he dropped those plans and has since remained mum on the full future of the property

He did tell Bloomberg that he wanted to improve amenities for tenants and the public in the arcade level of the building and wanted to bring back the Cloud Club lunch spot that formerly occupied the 66th through 68th floors of the Chrysler Building until it closed in 1979.

RFR also won approvals from the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission in May to add a new observation deck on the 61st floor.

It’s unclear if RFR had brokers in the Banque de France lease, and a spokesman for the landlord did not immediately respond to a request for comment.